Who Needs To Eat Gluten-Free Foods?
Among some conscientious health nuts gluten has become a four-letter word. How did gluten become such a villain, and why did gluten-free foods become such a panacea? Do you need to eliminate gluten from your diet, and if so, what should you eat?
Gluten is a protein. People who have difficulty digesting gluten may be allergic to it and may even develop the autoimmune disorder known as celiac disease. In people with an unhealthy sensitivity to gluten, their bodies attack the protein and damage their small intestines and their whole digestive system in the process.
It is estimated that one in 133 Americans, or one percent of the population, suffers celiac disease. Some of the signs of the onset of this disease include chronic diarrhea or constipation, gas, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. In babies there may be a notable failure to thrive; in young children puberty may be delayed, and dental problems may develop.
The onset of celiac disease can also trigger other disorders like Type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, anemia, chronic vitamin deficiencies, epilepsy, migraines, and other life-challenging maladies.
Some celiac sufferers can control the effects of the disease through their diet, avoiding gluten-rich ingredients like wheat, barley, rye and other grains, in addition to grain-rich processed or baked foods like breads, some soups, and even beer.
Theres a cornucopia of gluten-free foods that can help celiac sufferers thrive!
They include apples, apricots, kiwi, lemons, mangoes, pineapples, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, spinach, kale, blueberries, cherries, lettuce, mushrooms, celery, kumquats, cantaloupe, along with many other fresh, organic fruits and vegetables as well as some animal proteins.
Gluten-free foods are great if you have celiac disease, but what if you dont?
Well, of course, the good news is that gluten-free foods are rich in the fiber, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients we all need to be strong and healthy. But its probably prudent to consult your physician or nutritionist before arbitrarily closing the door on gluten-rich foods. After all they, too, may deserve a place in your dietary regimen. Seeking professional advice may prevent your eliminating food groups that contain vitamins at the levels you need which may not be available in some gluten-free foods.
Get tested to determine whether or not you are allergic to gluten, and then seek enlightened professional help so that you can make enlightened and informed choices.