A gluten-free diet has become a popular trend; we have started to see gluten-free products lining the shelves in grocery stores and more people have been substituting their “processed” foods for foods that are gluten-free.
Gluten is a protein commonly found in wheat, barley and rye. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, “gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together.”
Gluten sensitivity and Celiac Disease are similar because they both are caused by individuals that cannot tolerate gluten. However, a study has shown that gluten sensitivity has been clinically recognized as less severe than Celiac Disease; they are “different clinical entities,” marked by unique immune responses.
What is Celiac Disease? Celiac disease is different form of gluten intolerance. It is caused when people eat foods containing gluten and their immune system responds by damaging the small intestine.
Symptoms of Celiac Disease- Unexplained iron-deficiency anemia, bone or joint pain, depression, anxiety, arthritis, infertility, canker sores inside the mouth and tingling/numbness in the hands and feet (Celiac Disease Foundation).
*Individuals have reported feeling better after reducing their intake of gluten.
Studies have shown these are some of the health benefits of a gluten-free diet-
Promotes digestive health
Improves cholesterol levels
Increases energy levels
Helps individuals with irritable bowel syndrome
Some foods that are naturally gluten-free include- Beans, nuts, fruits, vegetables and most dairy products.
Some Foods to avoid- Bread, beer, French fries, pastas, cereals, salad dressings, and seasoned rice mixes.