A gluten diet has become a trend these days-thanks to all the increased awareness regarding gluten intolerance. Social media is filled with posts of gluten free diets, restaurants and bakers are striving to include and innovate new gluten free recipes, grocery stores and supermarkets have aisles dedicated to such products and perhaps even your doctor is recommending you to follow a gluten free diet. Now you are wondering if you should switch to this gluten free diet. But what’s all this hype about? Why is everyone hopping on this bandwagon? Is it really worth enough for me to get rid of the normal gluten rich food items that I am normally used to?
Well, the answer is kinda complicated, but that’s what we are here for. First of all, as discussed in our previous blogs, gluten is a protein found in some cereal grains such as wheat or barley and it is this component that helps breads, doughs and such to ‘hold’ and stay together. Unfortunately, this seemingly innocent protein is one of the top food allergens and is thought to aggravate or cause some serious health problems. Therefore, some people should abstain from gluten to save their lives while others stay away from it to just feel better. So here are the top 5 reasons why people avoid it and why nutrition experts say that it might be good for your health.
- To manage Celiac disease
People with Celiac disease; which is an autoimmune disease, ingests gluten, which can cause their immune system to attack their small intestine, thus causing intense and irreparable damages in the long run. Even the slightest amount of gluten can prove to be life-threatening for people with Celiac disease. Therefore, sticking to a strict gluten free diet is very essential for people with Celiac to help their small intestine heal and in turn absorb essential nutrients required for the body.
- Gluten can cause inflammation
Even some people who do not Celiac disease can be sensitive to gluten. And when such people take in gluten, it can cause inflammation and trigger various other health problems like joint pains and other Celiac-like symptoms. Wheat allergic people can also not include gluten in their diet as it triggers similar symptoms and can cause serious issues with their health.
- Gluten may cause Thyroid issues
Gluten can cause a negative effect on the thyroid and is found to cause thyroid malfunction in some people. Studies show that a reduced intake of gluten helps in reducing anti-bodies that are associated with autoimmune thyroid disease.
- Can cause non-Celiac sensitivities
An estimate of 13% of the world’s population suffers from gluten sensitivity and it can cause various negative symptoms which may or may not be life threatening. These symptoms include irregular bowel syndrome, headaches and migraines, depression and anxiety, brain fogging, fatigue etc.
- Gluten may block nutrient absorption
If you are someone who suffers from gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease and still consumes gluten, probably, your intestinal walls can become inflamed and this, in turn, can cause poor absorption of vital nutrients. This condition is called leaky gut syndrome. Therefore, sticking to a strict gluten free diet is very essential for people with Celiac to help their small intestine heal and in turn absorb essential nutrients required for the body.
- In certain cases leading a gluten free lifestyle was found to aid weight loss as well. The causalities here are less understood, but many people report weight loss. This may be caused be reduced inflammation due to gluten free diet and overall improvement in health and functioning of the body.
For the reasons above, switching to a gluten free diet may just be the right choice for your health. As always, please consult your medical professional before making any changes.