The media has placed a lot of focus on gluten-free diets and the benefits of a gluten-free lifestyle. However, it would be a mistake to dismiss going gluten-free as just another diet trend. Going gluten-free offers numerous health benefits that can help you feel better than you have in years.
In this post, Resilience Health and Wellness' Dr. Koontz is going to explain why you should go gluten-free and provide some compelling reasons for eliminating gluten from your diet.
If you’re dealing with chronic issues like indigestion, inflammation, achy joints, or even acne, gluten could be to blame. Contact Resilience Health and Wellness to learn how changes in your diet can address these common ailments and restore balance and vitality to your life.
Today’s Bread Contains Some Iffy Ingredients
First, let’s examine the potential drawbacks of consuming gluten-containing products. Many bread products on the market are laden with processed ingredients and preservatives. These additives are often included to enhance shelf life, improve texture, and add flavor. The problem is, they can have adverse effects on health.
Processed ingredients in conventional bread often include refined flour, sugar, and unhealthy fats. These ingredients can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels, increased inflammation, and contribute to weight gain. Additionally, preservatives such as chemical additives and artificial flavors can cause inflammatory reactions and trigger various health issues.
If you eat wheat bread and other gluten-laden products, pay attention to the nutrition label. Try to find brands that limit the use of added ingredients like preservatives in favor of more natural and organic processes.
The Rise of Gluten Sensitivity and Negative Reactions
While some people can consume gluten without any issues, more and more people are experiencing negative reactions to gluten-containing foods. These reactions have led to the recognition of conditions such as non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) and wheat allergy, which highlight the adverse effects of gluten on certain individuals.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is characterized by symptoms like digestive problems, headaches, fatigue, and joint pain, which occur after consuming gluten but without the autoimmune response seen in celiac disease. Wheat allergy, on the other hand, is a true allergy to proteins in wheat, which can cause severe allergic reactions.
Six Reasons Why You Should Go Gluten-Free
Given these concerns and the prevalence of processed ingredients in gluten-containing products, it becomes clear why many people are choosing to go gluten-free. Now, let's explore six significant health benefits associated with this dietary choice.
Improved Digestive Health One of the most notable benefits of going gluten-free is improved digestive health. For individuals with celiac disease, eliminating gluten is imperative, as gluten consumption can damage the lining of the small intestine and lead to malabsorption of essential nutrients. However, even those without celiac disease can experience digestive relief by going gluten-free. Many find relief from symptoms such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea, which are common in both celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Going gluten-free can go a long way for gut health.
Increased Energy Levels Going gluten-free may lead to increased energy levels for some individuals. Those with NCGS often report experiencing fatigue and brain fog after consuming gluten. By eliminating gluten from their diet, they can experience improved concentration, mental clarity, and overall vitality.
Reduced Inflammation Inflammation is a root cause of many chronic diseases, and gluten can be a source of inflammation for some people. Going gluten-free can help reduce systemic inflammation in the body. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with conditions like arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or any other inflammatory disorders.
Enhanced Immune Function A gluten-free diet may bolster immune function, especially for those with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. For individuals with these types of conditions, the constant triggering of the immune response system can cause it to become overactive. Going gluten-free can help calm the immune system, reducing the risk of immune flare-ups and autoimmune diseases.
Weight Management Many gluten-free foods are naturally lower in calories and unhealthy fats than their gluten-containing counterparts. By adopting a gluten-free diet, individuals may find it easier to manage their weight. Improved digestion and reduced inflammation can also contribute to a healthier weight.
Better Skin Health Skin issues like acne, eczema, and psoriasis have been linked to gluten sensitivity in some individuals. Going gluten-free may help alleviate skin problems by reducing inflammation and addressing underlying immune triggers.
Have Celiac Disease? Then You Must Go Gluten-Free
While gluten sensitivity is a growing concern, it's essential to emphasize why individuals with celiac disease should eliminate gluten from their diet. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by the ingestion of gluten, leading to severe damage to the small intestine. Even small amounts of gluten can cause significant harm to those with this condition, making a strict gluten-free diet a medical necessity.
Functional Medicine and Gluten-Free Living
Functional medicine practitioners often encourage their patients to adopt a gluten-free diet, especially for those dealing with conditions such as fatigue, gut issues, immune flare-ups, and autoimmune diseases. They understand the potential benefits of a gluten-free diet in addressing underlying causes of chronic health problems.
Unlike conventional medicine, functional medicine emphasizes treating the root causes of diseases rather than merely managing symptoms. For many individuals, gluten is one of these root causes. By eliminating gluten and identifying other potential food sensitivities, functional medicine can help restore balance to your body and promote overall health and well-being.
In conclusion, going gluten-free is not just a trendy fad; it offers numerous health benefits that extend beyond mere dietary preferences. From improved digestive health and increased energy levels to reduced inflammation and enhanced immune function, the advantages of adopting a gluten-free lifestyle are apparent. For individuals with celiac disease, it's a medical necessity; for others, it can be a proactive step toward better health, especially when dealing with chronic conditions.
As research continues to reveal the complexities of gluten sensitivity, it's becoming increasingly clear why going gluten-free is a choice that can lead to a healthier and happier life.
Resilience Health and Wellness is here to help you understand why diet affects health and how functional medicine can help you in your journey toward optimal health and wellness.