Are you ready to begin your journey toward radiant health and wellness this holiday season and continue throughout the New Year?
Health and nutrition experts agree that adopting a gluten free lifestyle is not just a fad, it is a necessity. Research on the ill effects of gluten is overwhelming. The Center for Disease Control considers gluten a public health threat responsible for most childhood allergies citing over 75 percent of all grain products are made from wheat (CDC, 2013). Gluten is becoming easier to avoid, as escalating public request for gluten free choices are emerging. Hopefully we will soon see fresh gluten free bread and pizza at Whole Foods, college campuses and on restaurant menus as this new lifestyle trend becomes contagious.
Gluten, from the Latin word “glue” is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. It provides the chewy texture of flour. Gluten is a pro-inflammatory (Marshall, 2014) that inflames the gastrointestinal tract and elicits an antigen immune response.
Current research shows that chronic inflammation is the hallmark of disease. Refined wheat is especially dangerous. Processing removes the wheat germ because it quickly becomes rancid, yet contains the valuable nutrients including, B vitamins, folic acid, proteins, carotenes, omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants resulting in an empty harvest high in Omega 6 fatty acids and void of nutrients (Pollan, 2007).
According to research by Dr. Loren Cordain, author of the “Paleo Diet” vegetables are higher than grains in every category including vitamin B12, B3, B2, B1, B6, folate, vitamins C and A, and minerals calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and iron (Marshall, 2014). Vegetables are also higher in antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, phytochemicals and fiber found in leaves (Pollan, p. 125).
According to Marshall, (2014), the high grain diet recommended by the USDA leads to an increase in the ratio of calcium to phosphorus which can cause hyperparathyroidism and promote osteoporosis. Whole grains contain an anti-nutrient, phytate which binds minerals and interferes with their absorption (Marshall, 2014) impairing both vitamin D and calcium metabolism. Di Stefano, (2013) agrees that Celiac Disease (CD) increases risk of osteoporosis and fractures especially in post-menopausal females. The adoption of a gluten free diet improves bone derangement, (Di Stefano, 2014).
The negative health consequences of gluten are no longer isolated to Celiac Disease or those with gluten sensitivity. CD is an autoimmune disease resulting from an inability to digest gluten and sometimes similar proteins in wheat, barley or rye which activate both the innate and adaptive immune systems resulting in auto immune-mediated inflammation in the small intestine. Chronic exposure to gluten for individuals sensitive or wheat intolerant, usually results in leaky gut (Marshall, 2014). University of Maryland research estimates that 2.3 million Americans have CD, 80 percent of which are undiagnosed (CDC, 2013).
The term “gluten sensitivity” was developed by celiac experts, Drs. Alessio Fasano and Marios Hadjivassiliou when it was discovered that CD is only one of many diseases caused by eating gluten grains (Marshall, 2014). According to Marshall, (2014), gluten sensitivity may contribute to acid reflux, addison’s disease, alopecia, anemia, thyroid disease, dental enamel defects, depression, dermatitis, epilepsy, peripheral neuropathies, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, schizophrenia, lupus, sjorgen’s syndrome, type 1 diabetes, and vitiligo (Marshall, 2014).
Some individuals develop neurologic disorders of the brain and nervous system from gluten. Gluten Ataxia is an autoimmune neurological disease from gluten where the antibodies of the immune system attack and damage the cerebellum region of the brain (Anderson, 2014). The cerebellum is responsible for motor control, balance and muscle tone. Gluten has also been implicated in fertility challenges, either becoming or maintaining pregnancy (Resolving, 2013).
At Live Well, our goal is to educate not intimidate so take it slow and methodical and set a new standard for yourself and your family to eliminate gluten in 2015! The best grains to eat according to Dr. Marshall are organic whole rice, whole oats, and yams or sweet and purple potatoes. Use this holiday season to experiment with these healthy whole grains. If you simply cannot avoid gluten, take Digestase-SP™ enzymes before the gluten meal. Make those mash potatoes from yams and stuff the bird or crown roast with the gluten free recipe from Live Well below. Substitute wild rice or gluten free croutons to your current recipes. Go to Glutenfree.com for more recipes. Enjoy your venture to a gluten free diet and always live well.
- Anderson, J. (2014, November 25). What is Gluten Ataxia? In Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity. Retrieved November 25, 2014, from About.com website: http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/GlutenAtaxia/a/What-Is-Gluten-Ataxia.htm.
- CDC Releases Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools. (2013, April). In Glutenfree.com. Retrieved November 24, 2014, from Boulder Brands, Inc. website: https://www.glutenfree.com/#/articles/cdc-releases-voluntary-guidelines-for-managing-food-allergies-in-schools.
- Di Stefano, M., Mengoli, C., Bergonzi, M., & Corazza, G. (2013). Bone mass and mineral metabolism alterations in adult celiac disease: pathophysiology and clinical approach. Nutrients, 5(11), 4789-99. doi:10.3390
- Marshall, R., (2014). Bio field diet: grains. The Quantum Summit. Quantum Reflex Analysis, Advanced Seminar. Premier Research Labs. Austin, Texas.
- Pollan, M. (2009). The industrialization of eating: what we know. In In Defense of Food (pp. 124-127). London, England: Penguin Books.
- Resolving infertility with a gluten-free diet? Studies summarized. (2013, August). InGlutenfree.com. Retrieved November 25, 2014, from Boulder Brands, Inc. website: https://www.glutenfree.com/#/articles/resolving-infertility-with-a-gluten-free-diet-three-studies-summarized.
- Stewart, K. (2007). Grains of truth: Pasta, Bread, Cereal, and Grains. In Eating Between the Lines (pp. “149-184.”). New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.
- Whole Foods Market. (2014). Wild rice and cranberry stuffing with walnuts. In Recipes. Retrieved November 25, 2014, from Whole Foods Inc. website: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/wild-rice-and-cranberry-stuffing-walnuts.