Lately, there has been a new trend of lifestyle that people are following is going gluten free. What really gluten is? And how does the gluten intake in our diet affects our health and lifestyle?
What is gluten and gluten free diet?
Gluten is a protein composite present in wheat and other grains such as oats, triticale, rye and barley. It provides sticky and elastic texture to the food. You might want to check out the list of high protein foods.
A gluten free diet is a diet in which gluten is absent. As it is mainly found is wheat, therefore, gluten free diet is very much associated to wheat free diet. Few products which are naturally gluten free are:
- Fresh meats, fish and poultry
- Fresh eggs
- Most dairy products
- Nuts, beans and seeds in their natural, unprocessed form
- Fruits and vegetables
Some whole grains that do not contain gluten include:
Risks of gluten free diet:
Just like all diet plans, there are certain risks involved in following the gluten free diet. As avoiding gluten means eating less variety of food, so this diet restricts the availability of vital nutrients in the body. This diet also leads to constipation, as whole grains, oats are a common source of dietary fiber, and these are prohibited in gluten free diet. If you are facing some kind of constipation issues than you must read our home remedies for constipation article Moreover, gluten free diet products cost more than the gluten containing products and are also less in variety, as well as, availability in the grocery stores.
If you are, for any reason, adopting the gluten free lifestyle, then do consult your physician or dietician and make sure that you are meeting the dietary needs of the following key nutrients in your body:
What is Celiac disease?
Gluten is well-digested and tolerated as a part of our typical meals, but there are some people who are intolerant to its digestion. These people suffer from autoimmune diseases, for example, Celiac disease. In such people, inflammation of small intestine occurs because of their inability to digest the gluten protein and if such thing occurs than you can try some of these foods that fight inflammation. Their body considers gluten as a foreign body and fights against it, causing a person to suffer with intestinal inflammation, which may even lead to cancer. By these simple 20 ways you can never get cancer.
Symptoms of Celiac disease include stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea, bloating, nausea, increased or decreased appetite. This also includes depression, anemia, migraines, even infertility. Confirmatory test of Celiac disease is the biopsy of small intestine or a blood test. If the disease is confirmed then gluten free diet can resolve the problem and provide relief to the patient from the symptoms as the absence of gluten will stop and eliminate the painful, autoimmune responses of the small intestine.
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Gluten Sensitivity and Intolerance:
Gluten intolerance and sensitivity mirror very closely related symptoms and condition of that of Celiac disease, but one must know that these are not the results of any autoimmune disease and genetic disorder. Small intestine will not be inflamed and damaged in this case; however, some intestinal issues still occur. People will non-celiac gluten sensitivity may experience gas and bloating, migraine headaches, acne, diarrhea or constipation, skin rash etc. These conditions do not occur immediately after ingesting gluten, but after few days.
If you feel yourself as gluten sensitivity sufferer, then do avoid gluten completely from your diet to see if the conditions get better. Wheat allergies are also a cause of unwanted symptoms of skin rash, facial swelling, breathing problem and vomiting but can be cured by some of these home remedies for allergies. However, experiments revealed the exciting fact that avoiding gluten has superb effects on the overall health of everyone, whether they are suffering from any gluten intolerant disease/allergy or not.
6. Weight Loss
Are you on the weight loss journey? So, here is good news that adopting gluten free lifestyle aids in loosing those kilos that you want to get rid of! This is very simple and logical:
- Low calorie, fresh foods, which are naturally gluten free like fruits and vegetables are very easy and economical alternatives.
- Foods like pasta and bread can no longer be taken. Thus, unwanted body mass is ultimately lost.
- Eating gluten free allows people to make healthy meal choices which are rich in protein like legumes, lean meats and are low in glycemic index too, for example, fruits and vegetables.
However, one must keep in mind that the food bags, labeled as “Gluten Free” are usually loaded with high amount of calories and sugar. So, try to avoid processed food, and follow the formula; “Keep it natural, keep it simple”, and shed your bulk easily.
5. Decreased Risk Of Cardiovascular Diseases
The American Heart Association indorses adding proteins, vegetables, fruits and other heart-friendly foods into the diet which are gluten free naturally. In this way, one gets the advantage of introducing more fiber in the meals through these nutrient-rich foods. And, we all know the fact, that high fiber diets are amazingly helpful in minimizing the risk of heart diseases. There is a list of healthy food options from which a person can prepare heart healthy, gluten free meals:
- Brown rice
- Olive oil and canola oil
- Peanut butter
- Potato flour
- Rice cakes
- Sweet potatoes
4. Least Chances Of Any Brain Disorder
Although, gluten is usually supposed to be associated to gut problems, it is shocking that it has severe adverse effects on the brain. Many cases of brain disorders may be caused, or linked with gluten intake. Studies showed that there are many neurological disorders including schizophrenia, autism and a rare form of epilepsy, that are supposed to be minimized and even cured, using diet having no gluten in it. This type of gluten intolerance is said to be gluten-sensitive idiopathic neuropathy.
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The primary neurological disorder that is known to be partially caused by gluten consumption is cerebellar ataxia. It is a serious disease in which person loses the ability to manage balance and suffers from problem in talking, movements etc. In this case, there is an irreversible damage to an important part of brain called cerebellum. If you are suffering from any kind of adverse neurological medical condition, then yes, it is the time to try removing gluten from your diet.
3. Less Likely To Have Any Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune diseases are most likely to be caused by gluten intake. Celiac Disease is one of the autoimmune digestive disorder in which body reacts to gluten as poison, resulting in damage to a pert of small intestine. It can lead to serious health issues, including colon cancer.
One in 133 people suffers from it, in spite of the fact that it remains un-diagnosed mostly. The only cure is eating gluten free diet which assures complete recovery, since as no gluten is consumed, so no reaction, and ultimately, small intestine heals. Therefore, if gluten is out of diet then a person is at least risk of autoimmune diseases.
2. Lowest Skin Problems
Suffering from those irritating pimples and wondering how to get rid of pimples fast? Tired of investing money in face creams, ointments to get rid of them? Well, just give gluten free diet a try and you would be amazed by the results. According to the research, acne is caused due to the hormonal reactions caused in our body, which usually occur due to chronic inflammation and blood sugar problems.
These reactions result in blocked pores, high sebum production, over and rapid growth of acne causing bacteria. Production of Histamine is triggered as a result of inflammation caused by immune system, when it works against gluten and treats it as an invader. It results in inflammation and insulin resistance, which is a cause of breakouts on skin. Simple is that, avoid gluten and stay clear.
1. Depression less Life
Occasionally, everyone feels sad and blue and these are the early signs of depression. Feeling unhappy and depressed can be a normal reaction to injured self-esteem, struggles, financial issues, loss of beloved people etc. The problem arises when these feelings of extreme sadness, including feeling worthless, self-pity, hopeless, prolong and last for many days. It is an alarm of a disease known as Depression. This clinical condition hinders in your daily routine and causes problem for you as well the people who love and take care of you.
It is quite shocking to know that gluten can cause a normal person to be depressed. Several researches have been conducted and it was found that there is a relation between gluten and depression. Studies showed that gluten alters the availability of an amino acid tryptophan which is a pre-cursor of a neurotransmitter serotonin. This neurotransmitter is most commonly known to control the feelings of happiness. Thus, when its availability is limited, then a person naturally experiences more sessions of sadness and depression while on the other hand there are many ways to be happy if you want to..
Gluten free diet works a life saver for the people suffering from Celiac disease and gluten allergies. However, majority of people are also going gluten free and many of them report the feeling of goodness and betterment in their health. But guys, be aware: all the products labeled as “gluten free” are not always a healthy choice. These can be high in carbohydrates, fats and calories. In this way, some people gain weight, although, they opt for gluten free foods. Therefore, as long as a person makes healthy and nutritious food choices, cutting out gluten will not probably cause any harm.
- Before buying any eating goods from the market make sure they are gluten free.
- Buy tagged products that mention the presence or absence of gluten.
- Always opt for natural foods as they are always free from gluten.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners.
- Go for a natural protein diet.
- Add intense exercise to your routine if you wish to take gluten carrying foods.
- Always trust your will power and never give up.