You’ll often read the words gluten-free on some packaging these days, or hear someone requesting wheat or gluten-free products at the cafe or shops. For most people the word gluten sensitivity conjours up belching tummies and a whiff of odd smells. But there is good reason to understand what gluten is and does to you because as problem foods go, it’s up there with the best of them! It has been shown to be a precursor to diseases such as IBS, Crohns disease and Ulceratve Colitis to name a few!
We have been commercially farming grains which contain gluten for a few thousand years now and the quality of the grain has become less and less with the over farming of soils coupled with added chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers. The impact of gluten is heightened by the processing of the original grain to a state so far away from the product that mother nature intended for us, that it is perceived as a threat by your body.
The protein gluten produces an IgA or antibody that the body produces as a safety mechanism against the destructive properties of gluten. Your gut has a lining called SIgA which is a mucosal lining of the gut and digestive tract. This is the first line of defence for the immune system where it helps to destroy bacteria, fungus and parasites that can often inhabit us when our body’s defences are running low. Gluten can help to decimate this mucous membrane that is so vital to our health.
Gluten is found in most grains, including wheat, rye, spelt and oats whilst not containing gluten contain very similar properties to gluten that have a similar effect. It is approximated that 60-65% of fair-skinned people in the world are sensitive to grain and gluten consumption. There are two key things to remember why gluten has developed into a mainstream problem. 1. the quality of grains consumed by the public and
2. Our exposure to gluten has been a progressive bombardment through this century, by the grain industry elluding the facts theat cereals and grains are a real healthy food. Even when I studied to become a fitness instructor we were lectured that consuming high levels of grains was the key to health. Cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner. In a lot of cases this healthy eating plan is a factor in weight gain, obesity and decimated digestive health.
Furthermore you can even link back pain to over consumption of grains. if a food intolerance or sensitivity goes unchecked the nerves that feed key stabilising muscles and part of the digestive system become confused with the reflex created by a dysfunctional gut and subsequent bloating can shut down the key stabilising muscles causing pain .
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Here’s a few pointers on some indicators of gluten sensitivity.
1 Farting, belching, loose stools or constipation, acid reflux, abdominal cramps to name a few.
What can you do to help heal the gut?
It can take the gut a year to heal and have the right levels of lining if you follow these key tips
Well one of the first things I get all my clients to do is to stop eating any grains for a 3-6 month period. It is also beneficial to remove pasteurised dairy products and sugar, including alcohol from the diet for at least three months.
One of the key things that I eat is gelatin from boiled organic chicken carcasses. This broth contains key proteins that help rebuild the lining and compounds that help the digestion of food.There’s a great book called Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon that has a heap of good stock recipes. I like to have it for breakfast with a boiled egg, spinach leaves and some chicken meat as a tasty ramen, instead of a bowl of cereal or toast!
Some clients don’t have the time for this and a daily supplement of key proteins such as glycine and arginine help to replenish and heal the gut over time. You can re-introduce good quality grains into your diet but limit them to once or twice a week!
Removing gluten from your diet is one of many key processes for optimal health be it for weight loss, balanced emotions or reducing pain syndromes.