Gluten: a term that is becoming more common with every passing year. You browse the isles of any grocery store and repeatedly notice “gluten-free fill in the blank”. It has almost become victim to the latest fad. So, what’s the big deal? It actually isn’t…yes, you heard me. This article is not intended to add one more rule to your list. With everything in life, this is simply a guide. With that being said, let’s dive in!
Once Upon A Time…
Let’s travel back thousands of years ago when our main food source was wild animal meat versus what it is today…grains grains grains. Since the birth of agriculture there has been a steady increase in the amount of grains produced, sold and consumed. Not to anyone’s surprise, chronic disease has also increased, mainly in cultures where people have consumed a greater percentage of their calories from processed grains and gluten.
The Skinny on Gluten
Any light research will show you that all processed grains contain a phytic acid which inhibits the absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc. Even though soaking grains overnight can eliminate some of these issues; most of us are not eating bread and pastas that have gone through this process. We also know that phytates can reduce the effect of our digestive enzymes in the stomach which can cause heartburn among other disorders.
Would you like a good challenge? Begin reducing your gluten intake and get ready to feel the difference in your health, energy and mood. Here are 5 good reasons to start today!
- Whole grains are stripped of vitamin E, zinc, manganese and iron during processing of bread, pasta and flour. There are many alternatives out there now which preserve all of these vital nutrients.
- This one may surprise you…Grains contain a proven cancer causing substance called Aflotoxin which is formed by molds that grow when in storage.
- Because the molecular structure of gluten so closely resembles the molecular structure of the thyroid gland, the immune system mistakes the thyroid as a foreign invader which causes the body to attack itself. Just one bite of gluten agitates the immune system and elevates the damage of our own tissues which can cause digestive symptoms, joint pain, skin issues, breathing issues and memory problems.
- Gluten grains hold compounds called exorphins which are highly addictive. Now you know why so many of us are in denial about the harmful impact of gluten and why it is so difficult for us to change our ways.
- Consuming gluten can cause rapid inflammation which blocks the blood flow to the frontal cortex. This is the part of the brain that aids in short term memory. It is also responsible for our focus, organization, and the management of our emotions. I believe this is part of reason for the increase in depression, anxiety, and ADHD that we see today.
If you are a current patient of mine then you have heard me say this before, “It is a guide.” These discoveries are there to help us become aware of the dangers and effects that it has on our body. However, I also feel that we all need balance. Sometimes we can get so caught up in what we “cannot eat” that the stress induced is more damaging than the breadstick itself!
My hope for you is that you fully live. In order to fully live, we need to take care of the body we were given…mentally, spiritually, emotionally and, yes, physically. Giving up gluten is simply one way to achieve this. So, enjoy that breadstick…or don’t, either way, just fully live!