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What are the benefits of going gluten free? Gluten is not easily digested and can cause inflammation in the body. It’s best to cut gluten out of your diet.
Naturally, many may ask, what exactly is gluten? In the health world, the term gluten is being thrown around more and more with the emergence of gluten sensitive individuals being forced to accommodate a gluten-free diet in order to keep their health up. From a scientific understanding, gluten is the encompassing general term to describe proteins found in wheat and other grains. Gluten often helps food hold its shape.
Why is gluten bad?
The most obvious answer as to why gluten is bad has to do with people who have an intolerance to gluten, most commonly found in individuals with celiac disease. Surprisingly, 1 in 141 people in the United States suffers from celiac disease.
What happens when gluten is introduced to the body in individuals who are intolerant to gluten is a poor immune response. Gluten is recognized by the body and ultimately rejected.
The body produces enzymes that do not allow the intestines to absorb the nutrients found in gluten products, as well as other foods being digested at the same time, and therefore starves the individual of necessary nutrients to survive. It is this poor response that makes gluten bad for individuals who are intolerant, but for those who are not intolerant, gluten products do not produce the most efficient energy source.
Benefits of going gluten-free
By switching to a gluten free diet you are more likely to live a “caveman” diet, that is eating fruits and vegetables instead of the processed foods that consume the aisles of grocery stores. The first benefit of a fruits and vegetable lifestyle is you are increasing the amount of antioxidants going into the body.
Gluten products, which are starved in antioxidants, do not provide the body with antioxidants which are crucial to keeping the immune system healthy. In turn, when you switch to a gluten-free diet you will feel the results by getting sick less or when you get sick you may heal quicker than those around you.
During wheat processing, gluten becomes contaminated which can cause an inflammatory response in the body which results in ailments such as joint pain.
Another great benefit of going gluten-free is that it makes it easier for your body to shed off excess weight. This is done in two ways. The first is that processed foods that contain gluten slow down metabolic rates, making it harder for the body to burn off the gluten products.
The second is that gluten-free products often reduce the starch intake to the body, a substance that is more likely to cause a buildup of abdominal fat. In fact, scientific studies are beginning to show that following a low carb high fat diet that is free of gluten has many benefits beyond weight loss.
Thirdly, incorporating a gluten-free diet allows for easier digestion, especially for individuals who suffer celiac disease or other diseases related to gluten intolerance. As stated above, when gluten enters the small intestines of the body, it is unable to absorb the nutrients of the gluten. Therefore, you get the feeling of bloating, painful gas, and even diarrhea.
Lastly, going gluten-free can allow you to have more energy to do the things that you love. How is this so? In particular, gluten intolerant individuals are not absorbing the necessary nutrients that they need for normal bodily functions.
By eliminating gluten, nutrients can once again be absorbed by the small intestines getting necessary energy to your body. Fruits and vegetables, served as a replacement to gluten, also hold more nutrients and therefore provide the body with more energy.
Whether you are gluten intolerant or not, switching to a gluten-free diet will no doubt leave your body feeling better, your immune system healthy, and provide you the necessary energy to get you through the busy day to day tasks you tackle everyday.
Gluten-free image courtesy of Vlado at FreeDigitalPhotos.net