Will gluten kill us ... or not?

Nadya Andreeva - healthy lifestyle instructor, experienced professional wellness coach. She has been blogging Spinach and Yoga for many years, and is also the author of several bestsellers. In the book Free from Gluten Nadia talks in detail about a gluten-free diet and shares useful recipes for everyone who has decided to be more careful about their health. With its help, let's try to figure out: is gluten really addictive and so strongly affects our health or is its harm greatly exaggerated?

What is gluten?

As you know, food is one from the main sources of energy. However, it can sometimes become a poison that suppresses our immunity and disrupts the brain. Even our most familiar foods can contain these unhealthy ingredients. One of these foods is gluten. Gluten is a protein made up of glutenin and gliadin molecules. In other words, gluten can be called a sticky protein, it gives food an even texture. For example, it makes the dough elastic when making bread.

Gluten is difficult to digest , for its processing, a person must have one hundred percent healthy digestion. If gluten enters the body in excess, it can irritate the intestinal villi and affect the digestion process in general. Over the years, people who cannot tolerate gluten have become more and more.

Where is it found?

The most common and frequently used product containing gluten is bread.

Interestingly, gluten can be found not only in foods, but also in various cosmetics.

Wheat, rye and barley, as well as products from these grains, are the most common sources of gluten. To this list you can add semolina, bulgur, spelled, malt, kamut. Gluten is used as an additive in beer, soy sauce, various ketchups, canned soup, bouillon cubes, frozen vegetables, and even ice cream. Gluten can also be found in baked goods, pasta, coffee substitutes and chocolate drinks.

Celiac disease

It has been scientifically proven that gluten consumption slows down brain activity. Also, some people may develop celiac disease.

Celiac disease is a genetic, autoimmune disorder. Several symptoms of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity can be distinguished, ranging from cramping, diarrhea, bone and joint pain to headaches and fatigue. Wheat allergy manifests itself in the form of itching and hives. Allergy sufferers need to be completely excluded from theall kinds of wheat.

The only treatment for people with celiac disease is to follow a gluten-free diet. A person who has celiac disease has congenital or acquired sensitivity to gluten.
Check if you have leaky gut and are at risk for celiac disease.

Gluten-free diet considerations

People who do not suffer from gluten sensitivity do not need to completely deprive themselves of gluten-containing foods. You can simply find healthy replacements for most of them.
Of course, if you have been diagnosed with celiac disease or acquired sensitivity, then you need to completely eliminate gluten from your diet. With a gluten-free diet, you will have to eliminate grains and foods derived from them, such as bread, pasta, gluten-free baked goods, sauces, salad dressings and canned soups.

Advice from Nadya Andreeva: To understand how gluten affects you, you need to eliminate it completely for 3 weeks and then make the load - eat gluten-containing foods in 3 meals. If after consuming gluten you feel tired, sleepy, and swollen, then the gluten is most likely not suitable for your body.

Replacing gluten-containing foods with healthier alternatives will surely help you feel better ... When switching to a gluten-free diet, you need to ensure that it is balanced and holistic. It is important not to forget about vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and fiber, vegetables and fruits, high-quality fats and proteins.

People who follow a gluten-free diet are less sick, feel more energized and have a stable mood, may also lose weight or if you want to gain weight.

Gluten-free meals are good for people who have:

  • gluten sensitivity and poor digestion;
  • difficulty with weight;
  • bloating;
  • diarrhea;
  • headaches and lack of energy;
  • skin problems;
  • heartburn;
  • depression;
  • anemia;
  • eating disorders;
  • asthma;
  • joint pain;
  • migraine.

How to replace your usual foods?

Healthier alternatives can be found with foods that contain gluten. One of the most basic foods to replace in your diet is flour. Regular flour can be substituted with legumes (peas, chickpeas, etc.), rice, buckwheat, corn or potato flour, or corn or potato starch can be used for baking.

Include in your diet: corn, corn grits, buckwheat, buckwheat flakes and porridge, white and brown rice, rice flakes, millet, flax and amaranth flour, cornmeal and rice pasta, nuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts, cashews, etc.).

Advice from Nadya Andreeva: If you don't have time to cook healthy food on weekdays, then it is better to cook food on weekends and freeze it. This will help you eat less junk food after work on weekdays.

During snacks a useful alternative can also be found. For example, you can snack on an apple, celery, chopped vegetables and hummus, kale, carrot and beetroot chips, greek yogurt with walnuts, 2 dark chocolate pieces, smoothies, etc. It is important to use herbs and spices to maintain balance in the body, such as ginger, black pepper, fennel, cumin, dill, cinnamon, coriander.

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