Once considered an ‘unusual’ way of eating by a small group of people with celiac disease, gluten-free diets have become mainstream and quite popular throughout the United States. In the past, avoiding gluten was considered a ‘sacrifice’ – but, now, with so many choices people are taking a second look at its potential health benefits.
What’s the importance of a gluten-free diet?
For the 3 million plus people suffering with celiac disease, a serious autoimmune condition, it’s very important to completely avoid gluten. But, does that mean everyone should be this strict?
Why have gluten-free diets become the hottest food trend in recent years?
According to NPD, a leading global information company, “a third of U.S. adults say they want to cut down or be free of gluten in their diets.” In terms of financial growth, according to Mintel – a market research company, the sale of gluten-free products is expected to bring in over $15 billion annually by 2016. The popularity of gluten-free diets has been fueled by the growing need to improve digestive health, brain function, immune deficiencies and emotional well-being. With millions of people suffering with celiac disease plus many other immune-related health problems, it’s no wonder that gluten has become ‘public enemy’ #1 in the minds of many Americans. For individuals sensitive to gluten, symptoms can include gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, trouble concentrating and fatigue. But, the most troublesome effect of gluten intolerance is the damage done to the intestinal walls – which make it difficult to absorb essential nutrients from the food we eat. Are you suffering from gluten intolerance?
The connection between gluten and chronic disease
Even if you’re not ‘officially’ diagnosed with celiac disease, which can only be done by a biopsy and certain blood test, gluten sensitivity can cause inflammation of the digestive system and, eventually, a condition called leaky gut syndrome. A damaged digestive system can allow undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream creating health problems like brain fog, memory loss, chronic fatigue, depression and an increased risk of cancer. Simply put, gluten intolerance can compromise the function of every cell in the body. Keep in mind, if you’re symptoms don’t go away by eating a gluten-free diet – then other health issues must be considered. The main point here is to NOT accept poor health as a ‘normal’ way of life. Obviously, if you’ve been struggling with unresolved chronic health issues, you may want to test for vitamin D deficiencies, heavy metal toxicity, thyroid dysfunction plus food allergies.
Is gluten threatening your health?
Eating gluten, found in many grains like wheat, spelt, rye and barley, can trigger a negative immune response; body aches and pain; irritable bowel syndrome; brain disorders and food cravings. Gain greater control over your health through education.