Are Grains Giving you Pains…
If you’re gluten intolerant or think you may be, then vegetables and fruits, fish, fowl and meats are your friends. The news abounds with articles on wheat free – gluten free diets. Why? Because many of us who suffer from:
- weight gain
- inflammatory ailments
- IBS or Crohn’s disease
- other disorders of the digestive tract
may have an intolerance to certain foods that we hadn’t thought about before – such as disaccharides in some carbohydrate foods and casein, the principle protein in milk.
Consider this: the person with gluten and casein intolerance will not respond to therapies that usually help others. These seemingly unrelated problems can all be linked to the digestive tract – a highly complex living ecosystem.
It also contains more than half of your immune and detoxification systems. It’s an organized community of many different micro-creatures who all play crucial and beneficial roles in your digestive and absorptive capabilities.
If these healthy bacteria are unable to function properly, toxins, parasites, undigested food particles and alien substances may penetrate the intestinal walls and cause many of the ailments listed above – possibly lumped into “gluten intolerance”.
Many things influence the health of these micro-creatures including
- where we live
- the quality of the water and food we eat
- the kinds of foods we eat
- season or climate
- the state of our health & immune system
- physical activity and more.
Our overall eating pattern and intake of certain nutrients influence the general patterns of micro-creatures in the gut. Of course, there may be other factors involved too.
It’s very possible that your body may calm down and respond well to elimination of gluten and dairy products for a time. And by so-doing, you’ll allow your body to begin to more easily respond to those therapies; food modifications, supplements (pre and probiotics*) that didn’t work before. I know many people who have “spontaneously” lost weight, cured their heartburn and other digestive problems with the elimination of these “typical western diet foods”.
Obviously, breads and pastries, pastas, cereals and other packaged foods contain wheat or gluten in some form. Beware: Wheat or gluten may be used as fillers or thickeners or part of the recipe that isn’t considered a major portion. Therefore, we aren’t always aware of what’s in the package besides what we bargained for. Please read labels. It’s sometime astounding what’s in a packaged food…and downright scary as well as difficult to digest.
There are many breads, cakes, cookies and other foods that are gluten-free and don’t produce the bloating and other effects that make life uncomfortable – they are breads made with rice, millet, almond and other non-gluten containing flour. You’ll find some of them in the frozen sections of the grocery stores.
For better digestion and living without the discomfort of gluten intolerance, check your grocery and health food stores for gluten-free products. Also consider eating more fresh seasonal fruits and veggies from the “outer perimeter” of the stores to spark your menus.
If you’d like some help with gluten or other food intolerances/allergies, please give me a call.
Reading suggestions: The Specific Carbohydrate Diet,
*Prebiotics (before life) are found in cabbage, onions, carrots, garlic, soured foods, yogurt, kefir, raw cheeses, sauerkraut, kimchee, pickles, fermented beverages (mead, beer, wine), most unpasteurized foods. They nourish, activate, supportgrowth and encourage multiplication of healthy micro-organism.
*Probiotics (for life) are healthy living microrganisms (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, yeast) that have health benefits that go beyond basic nutrition. Most are also found in the foods listed above.