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Whats The Deal with Gluten?

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Whats The Deal with Gluten?

Alana Kessler

Gluten is a sticky protein found in wheat. The prevalence of wheat and wheat products, especially processed and refined varieties, have led to a greater percentage of the population developing gluten intolerance or an allergy to gluten either in the form of celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. 

In celiac disease, gluten causes an immune reaction that targets the intestinal villi which are responsible for nutrient absorption.  Inflammation from the disease causes the villi to flatten and therefore impinge on their ability to absorb nutrients leading to malnutrition via malabsorption.  

Because celiac disease is linked to malnutrition; it affects every system in the body. The symptoms are so diverse that many people (and their doctors) are unaware that the disease is present. Anemia, Osteoperosis and liver disease can be symptoms of a long term asymptomatic gluten allergy that may have gone unnoticed. 

Not everyone needs to stay away from Grains and Gluten as some constitutions have a stronger digestion than others. But it is not a bad idea to take a break every once in a while to clear any inflammation that may have occurred as a result of lifestyle. 

To allow intestinal villi to recover; stay away from:

  • Wheat—including barley, einkorn, emmer, rye, spelt and triticale
  • Wheat Products: bran, bromated flour, durum flour, enriched flour, farina, phosphate flour, plain flour, self-rising flour, and white flour.
  • Beer, ale, etc.
  • Malt

Gluten is also added as a filler and binding agent in many processed foods.  

If you choose not to be grain free, it is recommended to eat sprouted grains (Ezekiel Bread) and other grains such as amaranth, quinoa, tapioca, millet, buckwheat, flax, wild rice, indian rice, corn, sorghum, arrowroot, legumes. 

The invitation is to listen to your body and adapt and refine accordingly. And then commit to a plan that allows for exploration and moderation.