To Have or not to Have a Gluten Free Diet - Rivertea Blog
Monica Munteanu | On 17, Jul 2013
Everyday we search for ways to live healthier and add value to our bodies and minds. They say ‘ou are what you eat’, so if there’s anything you need to look out for is what you decide to put on your plate. You can’t be too careful in this day and age.
One word you’ve probably heard often if you’ve been prospecting a healthy diet is gluten. We looked into it to see what all the fuss is about and wether it’s best if you exclude it from your regimen and, especially, why that is.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein present in different grains such as rye, wheat or barley. Its special power is that it gives food that little something extra that makes it more to our taste, for example: it makes pizza dough stretchy, it gives bread that spongy texture and it thickens sauces and soups.
Gluten can be dangerous to people that have an allergic reaction to it, as well as the ones suffering from celiac disorder. What can happen is that it can damage their small intestine, causing great gastrointestinal distress and nutritional deficiencies.
Gluten can be found in several foods like wheat based flour or anything containing wheat such as pasta, bread, muffins, cereal, dressing, sauces and anything that seems familiar. Also, the ingredient sneaked into some meals you wouldn’t have imagined like fried foods, hot dogs, candy, soy sauce, rice mix. Most of these have gluten free versions available in store, but you just have to search them out.
What are the dangers?
Some health issues have been associated with the consumption of gluten and we’ve tracked down 5 reason why this protein might not be good for your body:
1. Gluten can cause inflammation to the gut which causes intestinal cells to die prematurely and oxidize. The result can be that toxic compounds get into the blood stream and lead to autoimmune attacks on the body.
2. Your body does create antibodies against the gluten protein. However, these types tend to attack heart tissue, which can result in several diseases.
3. Gluten binds the minerals, that you even get from other foods which results in preventing your body from absorbing and extracting into your system. This means that it can stop you from getting minerals you body needs to be healthy.
4. Gluten is associated with creating cancer cells. As it is not directly linked to the causes of cancer, it is known to provide a foundation for the disease to build on in the system. It, also, weakens the immune system which makes your body prone to diseases.
5. It is said that gluten can be addictive. It can impact you to eat more than you would normally and it could be dangerous for you on the long run. Also, wheat contains opioid peptides, which are usually found in morphine and other drugs.
So…should you have a gluten free diet?
You have read some not so good things about gluten so far and you’re probably thinking you’re never touching it again. Let’s not be too hasty though and think things through. Should we or whould we not exclude gluten from our daily meals?
Yes and no. As we said in the begining, gluten is highly dangerous for people with the celiac condition or intolerance. There are some signs that can tell you if you are allergic, such as digestive issues, fatigue, diziness, hormone imbalances, migraines, pain or swelling in your joints or mood issues. The best thing to do isfo off it for a couple of weeks and reintroduce. If you were feeling better and then worse after having it again, you should probably go gluten free from now on.
For the rest of us, however, it isn’t necessary to avoid it completely. Keeping in mind the significant inscrease of gluten intake in the past few years, it may just now be starting to have a full effect on our health, so it’s best to watch out for the foods that you buy and consume.
Gluten is not something you should fear, but more something to keep an eye on and like everything else don’t over do it, one way or the other.
Now that you know all the important information you’ll have no problem going to the grocery store. Just remember that it’s best to be informed and keep a heads up on the matter from time to time.
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