Gluten

Wheat is one of the most inflammatory foods we eat causing irritation and damage to the lining of the small intestine for those who are sensitive.. and it is in most of our processed foods. Gluten is the protein part of the wheat, the part that makes the dough elastic and pliable. Many people who experience digestive disorders will visit five or more doctors before their condition is correctly diagnosed as gluten sensitivity or coeliac disease. What if this is the cause of your health issues?

array of wheat-based productsBread is an important part of our civilization’s history and has enabled our society to grow and develop in ways we would not have done if we had remained hunter gatherers .. but modern wheat products are causing a problem. So many people are showing signs of wheat sensitivity.
Almost all the clients who come to see me have some degree of sensitivity … even if their initial symptoms were not gut related. What has changed?

Firstly, we have moved away from bread being made with a sourdough starter culture and since the early 1960’s, we have relied on added yeast to make the bread rise faster and save time and money.

Secondly, we are using a more refined white flour which has less nutrient and less fibre and thirdly we are adding chemicals to increase the shelf life, prevent mold and make it lighter in texture.

These changes mean that a loaf of bread can be made in under 3 hours, whereas before it took 36 hours. The wins for the manufacturer have certainly been a loss to the consumer both from a nutritional and a health view point. The protein part of the grain called gliadin (the specific type of gluten found in wheat) does not get softened without the fermentation process and therefore is almost indigestible to the human gut and causes inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the small intestine. The inflammation is not restricted to the digestive system; it can also cause symptoms of fatigue, brain fog, hormone imbalance, joint pain and skin irritations. Dr David Perlmutter has recently published two books Grain Brain and Brain Maker .. where he explores the truth about our modern wheat.
My advice to anyone with IBS, joint pain, arthritis, fatigue or indigestion is to remove all wheat, rye oats and barley from your diet for two weeks, then introduce the oats, rye and barley back in, one week at a time and take note of any changes, but CONTINUE to avoid the wheat for a full 6 weeks. If you do not notice any improvement during this time, I will be surprised. One client dropped 17cm from her waist in 2 weeks after completely avoiding all wheat products!

The work I do with NAET can identify if wheat is an issue for you in the first session when I test for many different foods and allergens. This means that you will not have to avoid it unnecessarily. The rebalancing process can change the sensitivity, but I mostly advise my clients to minimise wheat in their diets in the long term .. no more than 3 times per week.
Wheat is mostly found in our baked goods: bread, cake, biscuits, doughnuts, slices, pies and pastries. It is also in pasta, pizza and most commercial manufactured products that come in packets, bottles, jars and boxes. In recent times gluten sensitivity has been given a wider coverage and the range of gluten-free products has increased both in the supermarkets and in restaurants. Unfortunately, the commercial products are not always healthy. They rely on a lot of sugar and additives to make them tasty. The best option is to make your own baked goods using appropriate substitute flours. The supermarkets mostly sell ‘all-purpose flour’ which is a combination of potato, rice and tapioca flours. It is useful, but does not contain many nutrients. Spelt flour is an option for those who are not sensitive to it, as well as almond meal, buckwheat flour, millet, amaranth and arrow root flours.

The best gluten-free diet is one with plenty of vegetables, proteins from a variety of sources such as eggs, nuts, fish, chicken and meat (organic or grass fed if possible), beans, lentils, chickpeas, seeds and fermented forms of dairy such as yogurt and kefir. Some cheeses are also gluten free, if you are not dairy sensitive as well.
Thanks to The Healthy Chef, Teresa Cutter for doing all the hard work in translating normal recipes into gluten free.
See www.thehealthychef.com for many delicious ways to eat gluten free and still be healthy.