Gluten is a naturally occurring protein that’s found in grains like wheat, rye and spelt.
Our exposure to gluten has increased dramatically in recent years.
The amount of convenience foods we consume has increased and most of those contain wheat, from burgers and pizza, to sauces and the seasoning on your roast chicken, and everything in between.
Cosmetics, medications, supplements and many other everyday products also contain ingredients derived from wheat.
Our bodies have literally been inundated with the stuff and modern farming practices mean that the type and quality this wheat has also changed.
The bread that we once ate was fermented for a day or two before being baked using a sourdough culture that made the gluten easier to digest.
Now your baked goods can go from highly processed white flour to being on the shelf ready to eat within the hour.
Our bodies aren’t responding well to these changes.
An intolerance to gluten is otherwise known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity and is not the same as celiac disease.
There are no reliable tests available to find out whether you’re gluten intolerant, you need to completely remove gluten from your diet and see what changes you experience.
Symptoms of gluten intolerance that I have personally witnessed include eczema and many other skin conditions, extensive digestive symptoms, brain fog, poor sleep, anxiety, low mood and many others and they can occur within minutes or even days after consuming food containing gluten.
Autoimmune conditions are also very closely linked to gluten intolerance.
Removing gluten from the diet means removing all gluten containing grains in their many forms and any products made from those grains, including wheat, rye, spelt, barley, kamut, triticale and oats.
Stocking up on everything that says ‘gluten free’ on the packet is not the answer! Eating whole grains that are naturally gluten free like rice, quinoa, buckwheat and millet, plus eggs, grass-fed meat, chicken and dairy, seafood and a heap of fresh fruit and vegetables is your best bet.
This is definitely the condensed version, but if gluten intolerance is something you’d like to find out more about, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.belindabyrnesnutrition.com. I’ll be more than happy to provide you with more information and resources.
- Belinda Byrnes is a qualified nutritionist and naturopath.