Gluten is a group of seed storage proteins found in cereal grains. It mostly refers to wheat proteins, barley ,rye etc. Most sources claim that it is safe for everyone except those who have celiac disease. Some experts believe that gluten is harmful to most people and is not good for the digestive system. The two main proteins in gluten are glutenin and gliadin.
Most people can tolerate gluten without any problems but for certain people like those with celiac disease ,gluten sensitivity ,wheat allergy it can be harmful. It attacks the intestine and the lining of the gut and causes nutrient deficiencies, anaemia and several digestive issues. It may cause bloating, diarrhoea, head-aches ,skin rashes. So such people have to consult a doctor before trying a gluten free diet. A blood test or biopsy from the small intestine will confirm if you are allergic.
More than what to eat, what not to eat is more important when you are allergic
Foods to avoid when you are allergic.
Grains To Avoid
People should avoid grains like wheat, barley, rye ,spelt couscous etc. oats are generally gluten free but they can be contaminated with gluten during processing. People with celiac disease should strictly avoid these grains as they may cause intestinal damage and cause symptoms like diarrhoea, gas and bloating. It can also be more serious in children and cause anemia, stunted growth and neurological disorders.
Bread, Crackers And Wraps
Most breads should be avoided as most of these items are prepared with gluten and can be very detrimental and cause serious health issues. Breads like potato bread, bagels , sour bread dough, wheat crackers are also a strict no -no . Most baked goodies like cakes, cookies, pastries, dough nuts, pretzels , pancakes and waffles are also best avoided..
Wheat Based Pastas
Pastas form the main diet of many western nations and with the advancement of science many gluten free alternatives are available but traditionally pastas are made with gluten containing grains. Noodles ,spaghetti ,gnocchi ,dumplings are all made with gluten. Most condiments that go with these delicacies like salad dressings marinades, cream sauces ,barbecue sauces are also full of gluten
It may seem that most foods are off limits when you are intolerant to gluten. There are many other healthy options available which are naturally gluten free.
Foods to eat if you are gluten allergic
There are a number of grains like quinoa ,brown rice ,buck wheat ,sorghum ,tapioca ,millets ,oats which are gluten allergic and extremely nutritious. Most of these grains are grown organically and are rich in nutrients. They are also rich in soluble fiber which increase the feeling of fullness. They are also high in proteins and contain most of the 9 amino acids. These grains also have a low glycemic index and are also good for diabetics. They are easy to digest and are gut friendly.
Fruits and Vegetables
Almost all fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten free and are very healthy alternatives. All citrus fruits ,vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower ,carrots, spinach are packed with vitamins and minerals and can be added to whole grains and made into a wholesome meal. Nuts and seeds can also be had along with fruits and are healthy snacking options.
Beans and lentils are all gluten free and can be used to make pasta and bread alternatives. They are also plant based proteins and contain a lot of fiber and hence aid digestion. They can be incorporated in the diet in many forms and are easy to cook.
A positive mindset is very important when you are diagnosed with allergies. Rather than focusing on what you cannot eat, one should focus on the fact that there a number of foods that one can safely eat which are more delicious and healthy. Complex carbohydrates cause bloating ,gas ,fatigue so a gluten free diet is more healthy even for a normal person and reduces inflammation in the body as well. It also helps people to lose weight and maintain it . So one should on the positives and lead an absolutely normal life even if one is gluten allergic.
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