Health Reasons to be Gluten free
Gluten is a protein that is found in barley, oats, rye, and wheat. For most people eating foods that are not gluten-free does not bother them but there are some health reasons why someone might have to give up eating foods that contain gluten.
The following below are some important reasons why going gluten free is good for you and will change your life:
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease known to affect at least 1 out of 133 people in the US. However, since the symptoms of celiac disease are so diverse, it is likely that many more people may have it without knowing it. People with celiac disease suffer an abnormal response of the immune system to gluten, which damages their small intestine. This, in turn, affects the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and causes many other serious problems. The only treatment for celiac disease is to adhere to a completely gluten-free diet for the rest of your life.
A lot of people are just allergic to wheat but haven’t realized it’s causing their problems because it is so common in so many types of foods. In fact, wheat allergy is recognized as one of the top ten most common food allergies.
Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
Just because you do not have celiac disease or a wheat allergy does not mean gluten does not affect your body. Another condition called “non-celiac gluten sensitivity” causes many of the same symptoms as celiac disease (digestive problems, fatigue, neurological problems, headaches, depression), but without the abnormal autoimmune response. It is not known with certainty how many people suffer from gluten sensitivity. Some estimates claim that 18-20 million Americans are affected by this disorder, and others indicate that it can be as high as 50 to 70 percent of the population. Gluten sensitivity is more common than celiac disease and wheat allergy. In addition, the symptoms are usually slower than with celiac disease or an allergic reaction, making it even harder to diagnose.
Wheat is not very digestible anyway
People are poorly equipped to digest wheat. Unlike cows, we lack the enzymes in our saliva and stomach to completely break down and ingest gluten for nutritional use. Did you know that cows have four separate chambers in their stomachs just to help them digest the food they eat? We only have one. A significant portion of the wheat or gluten-containing foods are only passed through without providing much nutritional value. To make matters worse, this “transmission” does not usually occur without problems. The undigested portions ferment and lead to gas (burp and farting).
Refined wheat has a low nutritional value
The wheat refining process strips so much of the food that it does not really add much to your health. Due to nutrient loss, manufacturers are trying to “enrich” these foods, but even after fortification, nutritional value is still very low.
Wheat is an inflammatory agent
The digestible parts of wheat are quickly converted into sugar when consumed. This causes a pleasing increase in insulin levels in the body, which in turn accelerates inflammation at the cellular level.
Even for people without celiac disease or wheat allergy, the consumption of gluten can lead to health problems. For example, a rash known as dermatitis herpetiformis has been associated with gluten intolerance. The consumption of wheat can also cause “leaky gut syndrome”. A leaky gut syndrome is a condition in which toxins from the digestive system, which are normally not absorbed, can enter the bloodstream.
Some people do not notice problems with gluten but opt for a gluten-free diet just to lead a healthier lifestyle. You may want to try gluten-free just to see how your body reacts. You may have a slight disagreement with gluten that you have never noticed yourself. You may notice increased energy, less bloating, and general well-being. Doctors and nutritionists often see patients who simply feel healthier and more vital when they eat gluten-free.
How to treat these health conditions
The main way to treat these is to eliminate gluten and wheat from your diet. Being gluten free will usually clear up all the major systems along with the healing of the lining of your small intestine. This will help to fade intestinal discomfort. You will have to have a totally gluten-free diet that you follow which means no barley, rye, or wheat of any type. For some people with any of these health conditions ingesting even a tiny amount of gluten by accident can cause a recurrence of the symptoms.
Which foods contain gluten? All these foods contain gluten:
Mostly grains such as wheat, barley, barley malt, rye, spelled, semolina, graham flour, wheat starch, wheat germ, couscous, bran, kamut, bulgur, durum, triticale, oats (oats is not a guaranteed cross-contamination, make sure it is gluten-free oats) and a lot of alcohol ingredient has gluten in it.
What can you eat instead of gluten?
Non-gluten flour: almond flour, amaranth flour, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, chickpea flour, millet flour, potato starch, quinoa flour, sorghum flour, soy flour, tapioca flour/starch, arrowroot flour, and teff flour.
It is important to note that you can eliminate gluten entirely from your diet by just giving up the bread of any kind. The truth is, gluten is in many processed foods. This means that you will have to eat less processed food and being able to cook from scratch more often. When doing grocery-shopping look for foods like cereals that state they are gluten free It is hard to go out to eat because many foods in restaurants contain even small amounts of gluten. It can be hard for many people to go gluten-free because there are so many things that you cannot eat.