How do we benefit from gluten?
Gluten itself does not have nutritional value
Why should we live gluten-free?
Many people are unknowingly affected by gluten. Some may have gluten sensitivity, and others may have Celiac Disease, the most severe form of gluten sensitivity. But many of us just don’t feel as healthy, energetic and happy as we could when eating gluten.
The symptoms in Gluten sensitivity and Celiac Disease are similar to one another, such as constipation, abdominal pain, inflammation, migraines, skin disorders, nerve pain, fatigue, depression and more. The list just keeps growing.
In Celiac disease, there is damage to the lining in the small intestine, which is called the villi. The villi absorbs nutrients from food; when this is damaged, serious health issues may arise. If Celiac Disease is undiagnosed it may cause major damage to many parts of your body, increasing the risk for conditions such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, thyroid, neuropathy, depression and more. If you have gluten sensitivity there is no intestinal damage but still may have same symptoms as Celiac disease.
What is gluten?
Simply – Gluten is a combination of proteins found in grains like wheat, rye, spelt and barley. Wheat is by far one of the worst grains to eat. There are two factors in gluten: gliadin and glutenin. It is the gliadin that people have negative reaction to.
Why is gluten in our diet?
Gluten is in almost all processed foods. Gluten from Latin means “Glue”, and that is what it does; it gives elasticity to dough, helps the bread rise when baked and by adding grains containing gluten to soups, sauces, casseroles, it acts as a thickener or filler – to simply put it, it holds everything together and gives your more volume. It is also used in some medication, many beauty products and pet food. (My dog Hugo has severe gluten-sensitivity, once I removed grains from his diet his skin, which was previously always infected, cleared up. He use to chew on his paws until they were raw. He was on antibiotics for the first two years of his life, he is nine years old now and is healthy, energetic and happy! How did I know he had gluten sensitivity, I didn’t, I took him off grains and that was how I found out? All previous symptoms have disappeared)
How do we eliminate gluten from our diet?
The only way to eliminate gluten from our diet is to live completely gluten-free NOT almost gluten-free.
Eliminating foods that contain gluten from our diet, will we be missing important nutrients?
No! Just because you are living gluten-free, it does not mean that you will miss out on important nutrients, but it is important to eat a well balanced diet.
How do you start living gluten-free?
1) Remove all food that contains gluten from your pantry and refrigerator. You may be surprised to see your shelves empty, this is a good indication of how much gluten we consume.
2) Make a shopping list; now that your cupboards are almost bare you need to replenish your basic ingredients.
3) When shopping for gluten-free baked goods, make healthy choices. Many baked gluten-free products consist of processed sugars, bad fats and starches, same applies to processed prepared gluten-free meals. So choose carefully or make your own.
Here is a basic list for your pantry.
Spices: I always use certified organic gluten-free spices, or use fresh herbs whenever possible. Spices that are not certified gluten-free may have been contaminated with gluten in factories that manufacture other products that contain gluten.
Produce: Using preferably organic fresh fruits and vegetables before using canned.
If your budget only allows you to buy canned, be sure to buy without additives.
Cheese: Use only good quality pure cheeses. Most good quality cheeses are gluten-free.
Nuts: Buy only raw nuts.
Pasta: rice, quinoa, non-GMO corn, buckwheat
Condiments: Mustard, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, tamari sauce; all must be gluten-free.
Chicken, beef or vegetable broth: Always buy gluten free.
Flour: Only certified gluten-free, there are many gluten-free flour blends, also flours like rice, quinoa, buckwheat, almond and many more are now available that are certified gluten-free. Check out the gluten-free flour section in your supermarket.
All packaged products you buy should have a label “Gluten-Free”
By following these simple rules, you will enjoy scrumptious, healthy, and gluten-free
meals. Having a well-stocked pantry will help you live a gluten-free life.
Our recipes are created to promote good health; using only healthy oils, pure maple syrup instead of processed white sugars and a variety of fruits and vegetables. We also include favourite gluten-free recipes for kids and selection of gluten-free vegetarian recipes.
Try living gluten-free for 30 days and let me know how you feel, take the 30-day challenge. The important thing is that you do not cheat, even one meal that has gluten will set you back. For some of us it is hard to commit to 30 days if this may be you, try the 7-day or 14-day challenge. We have over 250 gluten-free recipes, to help you make healthy choices.
Here are our most popular links to help you create
your own menu, these recipes are easy to follow,
healthy and delicious.
When do you start living gluten-free?
The answer is now, take control of your health!
In conclusion, whether you have Celiac Disease or have gluten-sensitivity or you aren’t sure, living gluten-free life is a good start to better health.