To some people, it may seem like the latest food craze but going gluten-free can provide enormous benefits. For some, this is a necessity because of allergies or intolerances, whereas for others it just makes them feel better.
Once upon a time having a gluten-free diet meant going without regular staples like bread and pasta and glorious treats like cakes or pizza. Gluten free is an option in so many convenient and tasty products now that happily your family really does not need to compromise anymore.
What is gluten?
Gluten is present in the most popular grain foods we eat, including wheat, rye, barley, malt and triticale. This effects
- Anything made with regular flour liked baked goods or pastries
- Many cereals
- Some candy
- French fries (or any item that is breaded or uses flour in the batter process)
- Processed meat
- Soups and sauce mixes that contain thickeners
Apparently, it is in some lip balms and can be in the glue on envelopes and stamps!
Why might gluten be bad for you?
If your body has trouble processing gluten you might suffer from celiac disease or have a gluten sensitivity. In this case, when gluten goes through your body it acts as an irritant and doesn’t process well through your digestive system.
Celiac disease is when there is damage to the intestinal lining of their digestive tract from trying to process gluten. Often people with celiac disease can be also lactose intolerant and have low iron. People with long-term celiac disease may face autoimmune problems, have lower absorption of many nutrients from food, and can suffer from osteoporosis, thyroiditis or infertility.
Even if you don’t suffer from sensitivity or intolerance to gluten, you might feel remarkably better if you adopt a gluten-free diet. Many products containing gluten are highly processed (such as white bread and white flour) and also often contain sugar, which is not the best things for proper nourishment.
Many people find their quality of life improves when they remove or greatly reduce gluten in their diet.
Some of the symptoms of gluten intolerance include:
- Stomach troubles like nausea, cramping and bloating
- Bowel problems including constipation or diarrhoea
- Skin conditions and rashes like eczema
- General sluggishness and fatigue
- Iron deficiency, as a high gluten diet can stop you from processing iron properly.
How can cutting out gluten make you feel better?
If you have a diagnosed celiac disease you will probably need to go 100% gluten-free, even using different kitchen utensils if a tiny bit of gluten can cause you concern. If you have a sensitivity or decide to have a gluten-free diet as an option, you will still feel incredible benefits from dropping gluten.
Some of these benefits include:
- More energy and better sleep
- Clearer skin
- Less random pain such as headaches
- Better digestion and bowel function
- Possible weight loss (although gluten-free does not necessarily mean low calorie)
What does a gluten-free diet look like?
A gluten-free diet will usually have more food in their natural state, or a lot less processed than before. Some grains are fine including corn, quinoa, chia, oats, soy and white rice.
Foods that are naturally gluten-free include:
- Fruit and vegetables
- Fresh meat and poultry
- Unprocessed beans
- Most dairy products
Gluten-free products you need to try
Qi’a Gluten Free Oatmeal
Qi’a makes a variety of flavoursome oatmeals filled with healthy grains that taste fantastic and warm you up on a cold morning. They are also an exceptional slow-energy release breakfast that will keep you going all morning.
While oats are gluten-free, normal oat products are often exposed to gluten in the processing plants, so you need to look for specifically gluten-free oat products when buying them, which these of course are!
Try the different flavours including Creamy Coconut or Superseeds and Grains.
Food Life Gluten Free Bread
Food Life has a delicious range of breads made from alternative grains including flax and brown rice, which means you don’t have to give up sandwiches or any baking that needs breadcrumbs. Yummy and filling and often with extra grains and seeds as well like chia, these are a wonderful alternative to regular bread.
O’Dough’s Gluten Free Bagels
O’Dough’s Dough Brothers is an incredible bakery which means you really don’t have to go without any of your favourites. Their range includes bagels and subs, pizza bases, cakes, muffins and more. You will be very happy to be gluten-free once you try this wonderful range of bread and baked goodies!
Annie Chun’s Rice Noodles
Annie Chun’s make a great range of gluten free noodles for making eastern dishes at home such as Pad Thai or Rice Noodle Salad. These are an easy standard to have in the house for a quick meal that the whole family will love.
Crunchmaster Gluten Free Crackers
There is no reason to give up tasty snacks just because you are going gluten-free; there are plenty of awesome alternatives, such as these lovely crackers. They are also available in a variety of flavours.
Mary’s Gone Crackers
This is another fantastic brand of crackers in different and exciting flavours, including Seaweed and Black Sesame or Garlic Onion and Poppyseed. These are great for combining with homemade dips like guacamole or with cheese.
Glutino Gluten Free Pretzels
Snacking can be healthy and easy still with these pretzels, meaning that you can still throw a party or nibble while watching Netflix without having to go hungry.
Come into Eric’s Health Food Shoppe today and see the full range on offer, or just get some advice about how going gluten-free may help you. Many people rave about how much better they feel after making these easy adjustments to their diet, and thanks to new brands and products, you won’t even feel like you are missing out!