Would You Be Better Off Without Gluten?

by Dr. Tunis Hunt | Follow Him on Twitter HERE.

According to researchers out of the University of Maryland, 1.5 million people in America suffer from sensitivity to gluten. 

These are individuals who have some sort of allergic reaction or intolerance after eating gluten.  Statistically, one in seven people have a gluten intolerance which means they will have some type of adverse side effects from eating gluten.

Those people who are unable to tolerate it at all have a condition called Celiac disease.

Gluten intolerance is 30 times more prevalent than celiac disease. 1 in 7 people are sensitive to gluten but test negative for celiac disease. They suffer many of the same symptoms and are known as Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitive (NCGS). People of European or Anglo-Celtic ancestry are more likely to have gluten intolerance.

What is gluten?
Gluten is a combination of two proteins: gliadin and glutenin. Both are found in the endosperm of the wheat, barley and rye plants. Gluten is the protein that nourishes wheat during germination from seed to plant. The glutenin in wheat flour gives dough its elasticity and allows leavening; glutenin also contributes to the chewiness of baked goods. For many people, these proteins do not digest appropriately and the body reacts with a variety of symptoms.

Today there’s a lot of talk about gluten. We walk down the grocery store aisles to see numerous food products labeled as ‘gluten free.’  We also see on restaurant menus foods that are also noted as gluten free. It seems that gluten free is the new rage. But just what is all this gluten free about and is it something you too should consider?

Typical Symptoms of a Gluten Allergy

While a gluten allergy can present several of these symptoms are none at all it’s important to know what you’re looking for if you suspect a problem with consuming gluten.

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach upset
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Skin rash
  • Mouth sores
  • Tingling in legs and feet
  • Fatty or oily stools
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anemia

Depending on the individual these symptoms all may be present, some may be present or none at all.

But despite the obvious reasons you may want to steer clear of gluten there are some other reasons for even those without a gluten allergy or sensitivity to eliminate gluten from their diets.

Decrease Pain and Increase Performance

What most people don’t realize is that gluten is very “pro-Inflammatory”.  When you eat gluten it may cause reactions in your body that decreases healing time and promotes pain.  Individuals who have eliminated gluten have often reported increase performance in their workouts and decrease in recovery times.

In fact, many professional athlete adhere to a gluten-free diet.  Men’s pro cycling team Garmin-Transitions, LPGA star Sarah-Jane Smith and the New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees all are gluten free.

Just recently, the best tennis player in the world, Novak Djokovic, partially credited his 48-1 record and US Open Championship in 2010-2011 to going gluten-free.

Best Gluten Free Foods

You can consume foods that normally contain gluten by looking for the gluten free labels. In addition you can alter your diet so that you are eating foods that are naturally gluten free.

The following is a small list of naturally gluten free alternatives:

  • Brown Rice
  • Sweet Potato
  • Quinoa
  • Almond Flour
  • Coconut Flour
  • Chick Pea Flour

Although many of these foods are not considered mainstream you can easily find them at your local health food store or at a reputable online health food store.

In addition, eating a diet rich in raw, organic fruits and vegetables is a great way to give your body the nutrients it needs and avoid the detrimental effects of eating a highly refined and processed diet.

Maximize your health and performance, go gluten-free and see the difference!

Sources: mayoclinic.com

Action Steps:

  1. Eliminate gluten from your diet for one month and diary how you feel.
  2. Choose two of the gluten free alternatives listed here and add them to your diet and menu.

About the Author: Dr Tunis Hunt Jr is a chiropractor  and wellness adviser serving the Charlotte area. In addition to administering chiropractic care, Dr. Hunt lectures and educates the public on nutrition and health based information. To reach Dr. Hunt for questions and comments or to schedule him to speak to your group or company please call 704-588-1792 or email him at drtunisjr@HuntForWellness.com.   www.HuntForWellness.com

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