About Gluten Free Living.
What is that thing called gluten?
That thing called gluten becomes sticky when combined with liquid giving many foods that chewy texture and structure and adds elasticity. Gluten is a complex protein found in many different grains such as wheat, rye, barley and oats. It is also found in most processed food.
Why is it so bad?
Wheat over time has been adapted to increase grain size, gluten content and starch content to aid with threshing. The new structure of common wheat has impacted upon how our immune system copes and reacts to the protein. Due to the change in agriculture and more and more gluten being present in manufactured food more and more people are reacting to the gluten protein.
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease, so instead of the immune system protecting our body against infection it attacks it. When someone with Coeliac disease eats gluten, their immune system fights it by attacking the gluten and also the villi in the small intestine (which aid with absorbing nutrients from food and drink). The villi then become damaged impacting on the person absorbing vital nutrients and fluid. Coeliac disease can cause a wide range of symptoms ranging from fatigue, joint pains, anemia and even neurological symptoms.
Where is gluten found?
It is in anything containing wheat, barley, rye, spelt, couscous (and many more) such as breakfast cereal, bread, biscuits and cakes.
It can also be hidden in salad dressings, soy sauce, mustard, soups, ice cream, snacks. The list is endless so if in doubt check the label.
What can you eat?
There is so much out there that is naturally gluten free, just think of all the variety of fruit, veg, and dried pulses.
There is nothing better than eating whole, fresh foods.
Some great gluten free grains are quinoa, millet, rice, corn.