Chances are, you know someone who eats gluten-free. But what exactly does that mean, and why would you do it?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and other grains that can wreak havoc with your immune system and gut health. While only about 1 in 133 people have a complete inability to digest gluten (also called “celiac disease”), many others suffer from gluten sensitivity.
Symptoms of gluten sensitivity can include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, brain fog, digestive issues, anxiety, and depression. They may occur hours or even days after you eat gluten. And a gluten-free diet has been proven to reduce inflammation and insulin resistance (an early warning sign for type 2 diabetes).1
The risks and discomfort caused by gluten make an airtight case for removing it from your diet.Click to tweet
- Gluten causes leaky gut. Gluten damages the tight junctions in your gut, allowing small particles of undigested food, bacteria, and even toxins to escape your digestive lining into your bloodstream. This leaky gut can lead to a cascade of health problems and autoimmune issues.2
- Gluten triggers inflammation. Gluten-induced leaky gut creates inflammation. Chronic inflammation contributes to every degenerative disease, including diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and obesity.3
- Gluten-containing foods are low in nutrients. Common vehicles for gluten like bread and pasta are notoriously low in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients compared to vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
- Gluten inhibits other nutrient absorption. Gluten not only brings little to the nutrition party, it also steals nutrients that other foods bring! For instance, gluten-triggered leaky gut inhibits your body from absorbing nutrients and making vitamin B12. Gluten also contains phytates, an anti-nutrient that can block mineral absorption.
- Gluten makes you fat. Gluten contains lectins, which can create pre-diabetes and cause you to store more calories as fat. To make things worse, lectins can trigger leptin resistance, which makes you feel hungrier even after you’ve eaten a full meal.4 Couple lectins with leaky gut, inflammation, and poor nutrient levels that can stall metabolism, and you’ve got a surefire way to pile on weight.
The risks and discomfort caused by gluten make an airtight case for removing it from your diet. You can learn more details about gluten’s dangers in this post or get started now with 5 Easy Strategies to Ditch Gluten for Good.
And if you’re looking for tasty gluten-free alternatives to your favorite foods, start with this Trio of Gluten-Free Recipes. Then don’t forget to check out our other tasty, gluten-free dishes at jjvirgin.com/recipes!