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Against the Legumes

A short update to my Against the Grains piece from a couple of weeks back, in which I talked about how getting off of rice, wheat, and corn for the sake of weight loss resulted in a dramatic remission of my chronic mono symptoms. The near-constant inflammation inside my body went way down — probably by 80 percent, I’d guess. I went from having to sleep in the middle of the day, nearly every day, to having to do that only once every four or five days. I felt so much better — not completely free of the stuff, but dramatically better.

For lunch today, I made myself a serving of lentil soup. I love beans, and could eat them almost every day. This is the first time I’ve had them since going on the new diet. Within 20 minutes of eating lunch, my nasal passages were inflamed, my head began to hurt, and a wave of fatigue washed over me. If I didn’t have a lot of work to do this afternoon, I would go to bed right now.

This is puzzling to me. I did not realize that legumes were inflammatory. Poking around online, I see that some authorities claim that they are anti-inflammatory, but others — the paleo diet people — claim that they are inflammatory. Whatever the truth, I am frustrated to have to remove another food that I really love from my diet. But I can’t keep feeling this way, so I’ll do it without protest.

I am eager to hear of your experiences with legumes in this way. Help me to learn.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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