Gluten is a naturally occurring protein that binds the food particles together. It gives a stretchy effect to grains such as wheat, wheat berries, barley, rye, etc. However, gluten is one of the major causes of health problems for people suffering from celiac disease and wheat allergy. According to the FDA, gluten-free items contain under 20cppm of gluten.
Why Gluten Is Not Good For Health?
Celiac Disease (Gluten Sensitivity)
It is also known as gluten-sensitivity enteropathy (GSE). People with celiac disease suffer from the problems of ingestion of gluten that irritates the gastrointestinal tract. Gluten-sensitive people can show the symptoms of headaches, brain fog, joint pain, and numbness. Researchers suggest that 0.5 to 13% of people have gluten sensitivity. It can also cause complications such as anemia, deficiency of nutrients, weight loss, multiple sclerosis, neurological problems, and osteoporosis.
People with wheat allergies show severe symptoms after gluten consumption. It occurs during the presence of proteins such as gluten, albumin, gliadin, and globulin. The signs and symptoms of wheat allergy include nasal congestion, hives, swelling, vomiting, diarrhea, and headache. These symptoms arise within an hour after wheat consumption. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition due to wheat allergy. It can lead to blue skin, swelling in the throat, severe breathing problems, trouble in swallowing, and dizziness.
It is a chronic skin rash that arises post the consumption of gluten. Moreover, Dermatitis herpetiformis is an autoimmune response seen in people having celiac disease.
Advantages Of Gluten-Free Food Items
Alternatives to gluten help to reduce the symptoms of
- Gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, abdominal pain, and gas
- Anemia (Iron-deficiency)
- Dermatitis herpetiformis (chronic itchy skin rash)
- Mood disorders (anxiety, stress, depression)
- Osteoporosis and osteopenia
- Infertility and reproductive health problems
Gluten-Free Food Items
- Rice, potato, cassava, corn, beans, buckwheat groats, amaranth, chicken, yucca, and nut flours are some of the naturally gluten-free food items that are rich in starch.
- Sorghum is a good alternative for gluten-free grain containing antioxidants, fiber, and protein. It helps to lower the risk of chronic diseases and reduces oxidative stress.
- Corn or maize is another gluten-free cereal grain rich in carotenoids, antioxidants, vitamin B6, and fiber.
- Almond flour is a gluten-free flour rich in magnesium, calcium, monounsaturated fat, manganese, potassium, and vitamin E.
- Another gluten alternative is teff flour. It is rich in protein and fiber and helps to manage high blood pressure and obesity.
To sum up, gluten is a naturally occurring protein that binds the food particles together. However, it causes severe health problems especially to people having celiac disease or wheat allergy. Therefore, it’s essential to opt for gluten alternatives. People with celiac disease suffer from the problems of ingestion of gluten that irritate the gastrointestinal tract. They show the symptoms of headaches, brain fog, joint pain, and numbness. In addition, people with wheat allergy show severe symptoms after gluten consumption such as nasal congestion, hives, swelling, vomiting, diarrhea, and headache. Also, dermatitis herpetiformis is an autoimmune response (itchy skin rash) seen in people suffering from celiac disease. So, sorghum, rice, potato, cassava, corn, beans, buckwheat groats, almond flour, teff flour, arrowroot flour, yucca, and nut flours are the naturally gluten-free food items. Furthermore, these items are rich in starch, protein, fiber, various nutrients, and antioxidants.