Top 10 Reasons To Go Gluten Free

Even if you do not have an intolerance or allergy to gluten, giving up gluten filled foods can do wonders for your health. Below are ten reasons why anyone should consider going gluten free.

1) If you can get nutrition from gluten, you can get it from other sources as well.

Most gluten filled grains are high in dietary fiber and various types of B vitamins. This is why so many people believe it is so important to eat these foods. What most people do not know is that if you can get this nutrition from gluten based grains, you can get it in other foods.

For example, one hundred grams of whole wheat flour provides thirty percent of the recommended allowance of niacin, and thirty two percent of the recommended allowance of thiamin. Eating sesame seeds or flaxseeds provides even more of these nutrients, while being completely gluten free.

Many foods containing gluten are also touted as being fiber rich. This too is an issue that can easily be remedied with other foods. For example, one hundred grams of brown rice has just under two grams of fiber. In comparison, collard greens have nearly three grams of fiber, and green peas have nearly five grams of fiber.

2) Grains containing gluten are not good for your stomach.

When your stomach is not healthy, the rest of your body will not feel healthy because you will not be able to absorb all of the necessary nutrients from food. This in turn makes your body more prone to illness, and even at risk for becoming malnourished. Gluten filled foods have been linked to a condition known as “leaky gut syndrome”.

This means that tiny pieces of the foods are leaked out of the intestinal walls causing the body to react with an immune response. When the immune system is taxed in this way it cannot effectively fight of illnesses.

3) You may be unable to process gluten properly.

Many Caucasian people have a higher risk for being unable to properly digest gluten rich foods. While research has estimated that about one percent of the population has celiac disease, the numbers may actually be quite a bit higher. Some studies have estimated that nearly thirty to forty percent of people of European descent have some form or degree of gluten allergy.

4) Gluten causes inflammation.

Because these types of grain are high in starch, they tend to be inflammatory. The more refined grains you eat, the more inflammation is possible. Take unbleached white flour for example. This ingredient is much more inflammatory than even whole wheat flour.

That being said, foods that are gluten free such as fresh vegetables and healthy fats have been shown to reduce inflammation. People who suffer with chronic inflammation have been subjected to many different conditions such as allergies, bone loss, arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disease, and even some types of cancer.

5) Gluten grains are fairly new types of food.

Even though grains containing gluten are considered to be whole foods, and nutritious, they are still relatively new to the human diet. Before the birth of agriculture, human beings simply hunted and
gathered their foods. This meant eating animal protein, fish, wild berries, fruits, wild greens, nuts, and the like. Our ancestors did not plant gardens, they did not harvest grains, and they did not drink dairy products.

Humans survived on this diet for a great many years, before grains ever became introduced. Today, grains now account for the bulk of our modern diet, which has led to a variety of new health conditions.

6) Gluten grains can harm your joints.

As previously explained, gluten filled grains are quite inflammatory. This also wreaks havoc on your joints, leading to painful conditions such as arthritis. These types of foods contain amino acids that mimic those already found in the joints’ soft tissues. Since both components are quite similar in makeup, the body has great difficulty telling which is natural and which is introduced. This leads to cells becoming overworked, and inflamed, which triggers the immune system to fight off foreign bodies. Unfortunately the immune system really ends up attacking the joints themselves.

7) Gluten grains can block minerals from being properly absorbed.

When gluten grains are not prepared properly, and in most cases today they are not, they can actually prevent vitamins and minerals from being absorbed into the body. Even though you may be eating a diet that has plenty of calcium, iron, and other important nutrients, if you eat gluten filled grains that are not prepared correctly, you will not be able to absorb all of the foods nutrients.

The only exception to this is to sprout certain grains and eat the sprouts as this makes the grains more absorbable by the body.

8) Gluten grains can harm your teeth.

Grains that contain gluten have high phytate levels, which have been attributed to tooth decay. Pytates, or phytic acid, has been shown to block mineral absorption causing bacteria to feed on the starches leading to tooth decay.

9) Gluten grains are not good for the skin.

Glutens tend to be found in foods that are very high in carbohydrates, and while not all carbohydrates are bad, they are broken down into various types of sugars. Sugar tells the body to produce insulin, which can in turn trigger hormonal responses that cause the sebum producing glands in the skin to produce more oil. This can contribute to acne, and other skin related conditions.

10) Consuming gluten makes your body crave gluten.

Just about everyone has had the experience of smelling a freshly baked loaf of bread and all of a sudden craving a nice thick, warm slice. How about freshly baked cookies? A nice warm, gooey plate in front of you makes it nearly impossible to eat just one. Foods that are high in carbohydrates provide a quick burst of energy. However, that burst of energy wears off quickly, and then the body is left wanting more. This causes a rise and fall in insulin levels, which can lead to more and more gluten being craved, so the cycle continues.

A Link Between Gluten and Autism?

Autism is a disorder that is becoming a major concern amongst parents, pediatricians, and even educators. Because this disorder seems to be becoming more common, it has sparked a great deal of debate and research into the reason behind its development. New studies, especially those that have been based in the alternative medicine field, have found that there could be a potential link between food allergies and autism, especially a link between gluten and the condition. This new data suggest that gluten may create allergies that either cause or worsen autism.

Autism is a disorder that affects children’s cognitive development and cognitive function. This can cause problems with communication abilities, behavior, and social interaction. While it was thought that autism may be genetic, recent studies have found that environmental factors may actually be cause of, or influence the disorder.

The studies that tracked autism with gluten allergies found that the food proteins in these foods were broken down into small proteins known as peptides. This then functioned as a narcotic would in autistic children, causing outward symptoms to worsen.

Since allergic responses to gluten can affect the body on the whole, causing a variety of mental and physical symptoms, the consequences can be far reaching. “Brain fog” is considered to be a mental symptom of autism, but is also often mistaken for other psychiatric conditions. Gluten intolerant adults are often plagued by physical symptoms of consuming gluten foods, while children tend to suffer more from mental side effects, such as brain fog.

Just as the remedy for a gluten intolerant adult is a gluten free diet, parents with children showing symptoms of mental impairment may want to consider eliminating gluten in the daily diet. Once parents cut out gluten, mental changes are often reported in a very short period of time. Cognitive problems, abnormal behavior, antisocial tendencies, and problems with communication have completely disappeared in many cases.