With an increasing number of ailments around the world, people are becoming more health conscious. Between complete lifestyle changes, fad diets and actual healthy diets, there is the much talked about Gluten Free diet. Today, we find out why going gluten free is the new black.
What is Gluten?
It is a protein found in grains including wheat, rye, barley and spelt. Simply put, it is a glue-like substance (hence, the name) that gives bread the elasticity it needs in order to rise. While gluten is made up of gliadin and glutenin proteins, it is gliadin that causes trouble inside the human body.
What’s The Damage?
With proteins being revered for healthy living and body building, it is alarming to learn that gluten could have negative effects. Here’s how it causes damage inside us:
- The immune system of people with gluten sensitivity treats gluten as a dangerous intruder and attacks it.
- While attacking gluten, it also harms the enzymes in the cells of the digestive tract.
- The intestinal wall is damaged and nutrients do not get absorbed in the body.
- It can also lead to anaemia, fatigue and an increased risk of various diseases.
- The most severe form of gluten sensitivity is celiac disease. It is an autoimmune disease wherein the intestinal wall is greatly degenerated.
Why We Love Gluten Free Diets
Gluten also has negative health effects on people who aren’t sensitive to it. Intestinal inflammation, irritable bowel, bloating and abdominal pain are just some of the effects gluten can have on our body whether or not we are sensitive to it. So, more and more people are saying goodbye to gluten. The benefits of this are manifold:
Better Digestive Health
If you suffer from gastric issues such as cramping, gas, bloating or diarrhoea, it is possible that you are sensitive to gluten. If eliminating gluten for a few weeks gives you respite from these symptoms, you’ll know what was ailing you and will feel much better.
When you go off gluten, you’re essentially bidding farewell to a lot of bread, pasta and other carbohydrates. You’ll be switching to meat, vegetables and dairy which will naturally be lower in calories and help you lose weight.
Eating a gluten-packed diet leads to excessive cytokines in the body. These cause inflammation in various parts of the body which in turn leads to aches, pains and numbness. So, apart from tummy aches, gluten can also give you eczema, arthritis and even cancer. Going off it will instantly make you feel better and ensure a better quality of life.
Better Cholesterol Levels
As aforementioned, gluten free diets reduce or completely eliminate your consumption of foods which contain excess carbs or trans fats. By switching to fruits, vegetables and other healthier options, you can lower your LDL (Bad Cholesterol) levels and increase HDL (Good cholesterol levels.
People who are sensitive to gluten often complain of lethargy and fatigue. This is directly caused by the malnutrition that stems from gluten sensitivity. Every day that you avoid gluten, your intestines recover from inflammation. They start absorbing more nutrients and make you feel more energetic.
Better Mental Health
The cytokines released due to gluten consumption, negatively affect brain function and may cause diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Autism and Parkinson’s. Foregoing gluten will lead to better brain health and mental well-being. Apart from keeping you away from these diseases, it will also boost your mood and make you feel happier and more content.
So, gluten not only makes you healthy but also happy. People switching to gluten free have ample reasons to tout the lifestyle.
Are you going to make the switch?