(especially for detox & weight loss)
It’s all the buzz nowadays. Anybody who’s into feeling good and looking good are seeking gluten-free foods. Even top personal trainers are coaching their clients to go GF in order to optimize their athletic performances. So, is this hot spotlight on going gluten free just another diet frenzy from Hollywood or does it actually merit serious attention for those of us who are concerned about health and well being?
Well, as a nutritionist and therapeutic chef, I can personally attest to the benefits of going GF. Many for my clients comment that they feel much better once they remove gluten from their diet. The bloating, tummy upsets, foggy brain, and cravings are greatly diminished or go away completely. So, if you experience bloating and other digestive issues, joint pains, allergies, or difficulty losing weight, then kicking gluten out may be the key to alleviating your suffering.
What is gluten?
Gluten is the elastic-like protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and oat (that has been cross-contaminated in the course of production). Because of gluten’s hard to digest nature, many people have a hard time breaking down this protein in their gut and the undigested gluten particles will cause fermentation (aka putrefaction) in the intestine, leading to that uncomfortable bloated feeling.
Gluten Intolerance Symptoms:
Here’s a list of symptoms to gauge if you are gluten intolerant
Digestion – bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
Skin – eczema, psoriasis, rashes, easy bruising
Neurological – headaches, cognitive impairment, mood swings, depression
Bone & Joint – fractures, osteoporosis, bone & joint pains
Hormonal – menstrual irregularities, PMS, infertility
General – fatigue, lethargy, brain fog, weight loss or weight gain
Detox & Gluten Free
Going gluten free while on a detox is especially beneficial as it will give your digestive system a healing vacation. Constant consumption of gluten containing foods mean that your gut is always inflamed, making digestion and the absorption of nutrients very difficult. You want your gut to rest, repair and heal. Research has shown that constant inflammation of the intestine leads to leaky gut. When that happens, improperly digested particles of food enters into the bloodstream and causes an immune response. Over time, this can lead to autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, and hypothyroidism.
Key Points for a Successful Detox
A holistic detoxification program should allow your body to release toxins supported by proper nutrients and also relief your body burden of allergenic foods, such as gluten, dairy, soy, and corn.
Here are a few key points:
- Eat organic produce and meats
- Concentrate on foods and herbs with antioxidant properties
- Have adequate protein to help the liver filter out toxins
- Use healthy fats such as coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil
(see my FoodFacts page for more on the benefits of healthy saturated oils.)
- Remove allergenic foods (dairy, soy, corn, gluten, eggs if you know that you have an allergy to it.)
- Cut alcohol & caffeine
- Lifestyle: enjoy saunas, dry skin brushing, sleep at least 8 hours per night
Life Beyond Gluten
Yes, you can eat well and live well without gluten. There are many options out there. Try the following gluten free grains and enjoy a whole new world of gastronomical delights! (And be sure to check out all my gluten free recipes on this site.)
Here are a list of gluten free grains to try:
- Brown rice
- Wild rice
Here are some of my favorite gluten free products:
- Bob’s Red Mill
- Pamela’s Gluten Free Baking Mix
- Mary’s Gone Crackers
- Tinkyada Rice Pastas
Your Ally in Health,