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Gluten free diet benefits, what to avoid when transitioning and tips to reduce gluten withdrawal symptoms.
Studies have shown a variety of benefits to consuming a gluten free diet. Here are five major pluses to saying no to gluten:
Gluten free diet benefits #1
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If you find that after consuming gluten you experience digestive discomfort like bloating, diarrhea and excessive gas, your gut may be compromised. Removing gluten could allow for healing of the intestines and a reduction of inflammation levels. Thereafter, unpleasant symptoms quickly disappear.
Gluten free diet benefits #2
More Positive Mood
After the withdrawal symptoms disappear, your mood will take a complete change in direction. Many people notice they are in a much better mood after abstaining from gluten containing grains. You might not have thought that mood changes could result from removing a food group from your diet. In fact, the improvement in mood develops primarily because of the removal of gliadin, an addictive component found in gluten.
Gluten free diet benefits #3
Improved cognitive function
Better concentration for longer periods of time is also commonly reported after the removal of gluten. Gliadin-derived opioid peptides are what is responsible for the sluggish brain reaction to gluten and has been shown to worsen symptoms for those with ADHD, dementia and depression. In his book, David Perlmutter states that an increasing number of people face cognitive challenges like weak memory and extreme headaches with gluten, rather than simply the expected gut issues.
Gluten free diet benefits #4
Experiencing An Energy Boost
Due to the restoration of the integrity of the intestinal wall, vitamins and minerals are more likely to be absorbed properly. In addition, because you will be consuming more foods like vegetables, nuts and fruits, it will naturally be easier for you to stay away from unhealthy packaged items and maintain a healthier weight range.
Gluten free diet benefits #5
Better Heart Health
Naturally gluten-free foods are full of nutrients that will improve the health of your heart, reduce cholesterol levels and lower the risk of diabetes as well. Studies show that when compared to other groups, those with Celiac disease were shown to have the best overall heart health. This shows that there is a direct link between gluten-free foods and overall heart health.
What does gluten do?
Celiac disease, is an autoimmune disorder affecting primarily the small intestine that occurs in people who are genetically predisposed. Celiac disease is caused by a reaction to gluten, which are various proteins found in wheat and in other grains such as barley, and rye. (Source Wikipedia)
Gluten has also been linked to Leaky Gut Syndrome. Leaky Gut Syndrome, often referred to as increased intestinal permeability is a medical condition where the lining of the digestive tract gets damaged. When this occurs substances can leak into the bloodstream that would normally not be able to. Some of the things that can now pass through include proteins like gluten, bad bacteria and undigested foods particles. Toxic waste can also leak from the inside of your intestinal wall into your bloodstream causing an immune reaction. (Source Dr Axe)
Why you should give up gluten
Thanks to mass production and farming techniques, we consume a lot more gluten containing grains and carbohydrates today then what we used to. David Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain, states that our diet used to consist of just 5% carbohydrates while our diets today include around 60% carbohydrates, mostly wheat based carbohydrates at that.
With more and more research showing the harmful effects of gluten on the body, it is not surprising that many have attempted to modify their diets to try and eliminate it. A gluten free diet benefits everyone. Admittedly it is hard at first and may take some time to get used to but for those who decide it is time to go gluten free, your body will truly thank you,
Gluten withdrawal symptoms
Within the first week of going gluten free you might experience some unpleasant symptoms. Nausea, headaches, bloating and even depression can occur. This is a normal part of the transition to a gluten-free diet. Don’t lose hope! Try to look at it as a positive thing as your body is returning to balance.
Thankfully, there are ways to reduce the withdrawal effects. These include:
- Keeping hydrated
- Consuming sea salt
- Making sure you take adequate amounts of magnesium, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, iron and zinc
Remember that these withdrawal symptoms will not last forever. Once the withdrawal stage is over, your body will soon begin to feel the difference and you can say hello to a healthier you.
How to truly reap gluten free diet benefits
What to avoid on gluten free diet
Nowadays you can find a wide variety of gluten free products at many supermarkets. As the demand for gluten free increases manufacturers are taking full advantage and increasing supply.
If you want to experience the benefits of a gluten free diet avoid making packaged gluten free products the mainstay of your diet. Most often manufacturers replace gluten with sugar and starches of little nutritional value. So, although these products might be convenient, a much better choice would be to focus on loading up with high quality naturally gluten free foods from the list below.
What to eat on gluten free diet
Since foodstuff such as pasta, bread, cous cous and other gluten filled grains take up such a large amount of space on our average plate, it may appear impossible to replace. But you can still enjoy foods like pancakes and bread, plus there are plenty of foods that are naturally gluten free.
Gluten free food list
- Beans, nuts and legumes
- Meat and poultry
- Dairy products
- Certain seeds and pseudograins like quinoa and buckwheat
In your journey to a gluten free diet, you will ultimately find that removing gluten has a complete impact on, not just on your body, but your lifestyle; boosting your mental, physical and cognitive health.
Are you willing to give it a try?