At this point, most people should have heard about gluten. It's in your cereal, bread, vitamins and possibly even in your cosmetics. But, did you know that gluten can possibly cause permanent damage to the body ? Even if a person is unaware of the effects that it may have on the body long term, you may have experienced a few temporary effects, such as: bloating and abdominal discomfort, that may have you thinking twice about eating that wheat bread.
Unsure if you have a gluten intolerance? learn more about it here.
Gluten Intolerance Management
If you were to visit a doctor regarding management of your gluten intolerance, you would notice that the treatment is primarily focused on lifestyle modification. These modifications include a gluten free diet, proper intake of vitamins and minerals, and exercise.
The key advice that you would receive from a medical or naturopathic doctor is to maintain a strict gluten free diet. You may be able to create a gluten-free meal plan without a dietitian or nutritionist as long as you pay close attention to food labels and follow the information given. If not, you can visit a Gastroenterologist or a nutritionist and allow them to determine the best individualized nutritional plan for you.
Foods to Eat
The recommended foods to eat as an alternative to glutenous products are: amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat, corn, millet, potatoes, quinoa, rice and teff. Once you understand how to maneuver around with these recommendations, a gluten free diet will be much less painless. Along with this, you can also continue the regular consumption of fruit, vegetables, legumes, and nuts. Just be on the lookout for the gluten free label.
Foods to Avoid
It is important to reiterate that in order to maintain health, you should avoid foods such as: wheat ( wheat flour, wheat germ, wheat bran, cracked wheat, einkorn wheat, & emmer wheat) couscous, kamut, spelt, semolina, rye, triticale, barley, and oats.
Oats itself does not contain gluten, but the reason why it is included on the list is because many of the commercial oat brands are contaminated with wheat in that they are processed in the same facilities as wheat, barley, and rye. This can result in a reaction similar to gluten intolerance. However, if oats are a major part of your diet, then make sure to search for the gluten free and organic variety.
Spelt and kamut are also on the list, but they are a bit more tricky. Kamut, spelt and wheat are in the same genus, but not the same species. Some studies show that kamut and spelt may be okay to consume depending of the individual, but there is uncertainty. With that being said, It is not 100% clear whether the consumption of kamut or spelt is safe with a gluten intolerance, but here are a few facts to help you make your decision:
There is a difference between how the gluten in spelt and the gluten in wheat reacts while cooking.
Spelt gluten is more soluble and delicate than wheat gluten , which make spelt easier to digest.
Spelt also has more fiber than other wheat species, which further facilitates digestion.
Some individuals with a gluten allergy, are able to completely tolerate spelt and kamut.
Kamut is an ancient grain that contains lower amounts of gluten than other species.
There is no official pharmacological treatment for gluten intolerance; there is only the recommendation for the generous intake of supplements and vitamins such as:
iron: (from leafy greens nuts and legumes) *iron tablets are linked to constipation
calcium: 500 mg daily
magnesium: 250 mg daily
vitamin C: 1000 mg two times per day
folate: 300-500 micrograms per day
probiotics : 5-10 billion colony forming organisms
digestive enzyme with DPP-IV component
fish oil: 1500 mg of EPA and DHA combined to reduce stomach inflammation
vitamin D: 2,000- 5,000 IU daily with meals
A few herbs that may reduce inflammation and relieve pain of the digestive tract are:
Slippery Elm Bark
Aloe Vera Leaf and Gel
Get Started on Managing Your Gluten Intolerance
It is also beneficial to maintain regular exercise to help normalize hormones, promote the growth of good gut bacteria and reduce inflammation of the gut. When it comes to gut health, keep in mind that the best management is finding out what works best for your body, so start by eliminating the things that cause excessive bloating and cramping and add the things that enhance healing (i.e. whole foods) . If you can recognize a negative variation from your wellness, change the negative behaviors associated with it and adopt healthy ones. Once you do, you will be well on your way to living your BEST life!
Unsure if you have a gluten intolerance? Learn more about it here.
& check out our Gluten Free Donuts here.
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