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Who is the gluten-free diet for?

Photo by Henri Mathieu-Saint-Laurent from Pexels

Gluten is a kind of protein found in grains, such as wheat, rye, barley and spelt. It is the substance that provides the great texture and helps the foods we make to hold their shape.

However, people do not react the same towards gluten, some of them do not tolerate it at all; even a small amount of this protein can jeopardize their health immediately.  Reacting to gluten or having a gut that might be damaged by gluten means that you effectively suffer from coeliac disease, also spelled celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. That’s why; doctors say that it is important to remove gluten from your diet, since you have no other choice to deal with the celiac disease except going for a gluten-free diet.

People with celiac disease can’t tolerate gluten; just one small crouton is more than enough to cause many troubles.  It is an auto-immune disorder, in which the body sees gluten as a foreign invader, so the system does not attack gluten only, but also the gut.

This process damages the gut and causes many common symptoms like:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Skin rashes
  • Depression
  • Digestive discomfort
  • Fatigue or anemia

Generally, there is some little research proving that a gluten-free diet is healthy not only for people with celiac disease but for everyone. Recently, around 2, 7 million people without celiac disease were adopting a gluten-free diet since 2009, because they have noticed that cutting out with gluten has improved their gastrointestinal health.

Nonetheless, if you think that you may be intolerant to gluten, you should speak to a doctor for an appropriate diagnosis before removing gluten from your diet.

A person with gluten sensitivity should avoid all foods containing gluten, even in the smallest amounts, including; beer, cereals, cakes, French fries, breads, processed meat, pasta… nevertheless, you should check the labels on the food to make sure that it doesn’t contain any gluten traces.

You should pay attention to medications and supplements; they may have some traces of gluten.

Foods to eat.

Avoiding gluten means more than giving up traditional breads, grains, pasta… breads made with white rice, tapioca, and other gluten-free flours are the most consumed while going for a gluten-free diet, they are generally not fortified with vitamins but still healthy. To compensate for the lack of vitamins you can start taking gluten-free multivitamin supplements, it is a good idea for pregnant women too since they need vitamin B9 also known as folic acid to prevent birth defects.

On a gluten-free diet, you can eat any gluten free food like: Lentils, fruits and vegetables, fish and seafood, beans, legumes and nuts…

What about grains?

There are many natural gluten-free grains that you can consume safely. You can find them in the grocery stores or in some special healthy food stores. Otherwise, the following grains are good to include in your gluten-free diet: rice, quinoa, tapioca, corn or maize, chia, nut flours, gluten-free oats, millet, Buckwheat groats (also known as kasha)…

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