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6 Reasons to Go Gluten-Free

August 12, 2013

gluten-free-dietAt one point the term gluten-free was something only people with celiac disease were well acquainted with. Now almost everyday I seem to run into someone who is all about gluten-free living, and grocery stores have entire sections dedicated to gluten-free products.  Last year gluten-free sales soared to over two billion dollars in revenue, and it’s not just people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance that are purchasing these products.  Gluten is a binding protein found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt, and cross hybrids of these grains that gives baked goods their “fluffiness.” Research shows that there are actually over one hundred and fifty diseases and symptoms that are linked to gluten sensitivity and difficulty digesting gluten-filled foods. Celiac disease, the most commonly known gluten-related condition affects about three million people, and is a disorder where the immune system attacks the small intestine when you consume gluten. Other serious conditions that can improve once gluten is eliminated from the diet include Crohn’s disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia.

If you are a raw vegan, or a vegan who avoids processed foods, you are by default be gluten-free anyway and just call it something else. I remember personally how long it took me to kick my bread cravings to the curb, and how much better I felt once I made it through the withdrawal period. All this said, gluten-free living doesn’t automatically equate with a healthier lifestyle. If you are still eating the processed products marketed to gluten-free disciples that are heavily stocked in grocery stores, you’re are missing the point. Many of these products are made with potato, soy, and corn, and loaded with refined carbs and simple sugars that can still have negative effects on your health longterm. Just because it is a gluten-free cupcake, that doesn’t mean that it is by default guilt-free. However if you eat more fruit and veg based meals and/or opt for one hundred percent whole grains like quinoa, millet, buckwheat, or amaranth you’ll be playing the game right and reap the benefits. Some of the perks of going gluten-free the right way include:

Shedding Excess Weight. When you eliminated many processed foods that include bagels, cookies, cereals etc. of course you are going to lose weight! Gluten is also found in a bunch of products you may not expect like salad dressings, maple syrups, yogurt, and even some meat products.

Boost Digestion & Elimination. A lot of people notice immediately that cutting out gluten eases any digestive problems. You may have less indigestion, less bloating or cramps, and better bowel movements. Part of the reason why this improves is because a lot of people’s bodies’ have a hard time digesting gluten to being with.

Clear Up Skin Issues. If you’ve read my e-book The Acne-Free Diet, you’d know that very often acne is the bodes way of releasing waste that couldn’t be released via bowel movement because the colon is backed up or the body is overloaded with toxins. Those with acne issues may also find relief by going gluten-free because sans the gluten your body is able to eliminate waste easier.

Decrease Inflammation. Many times when people get into a disease state, they may be asked to eliminate gluten, partly because it decreases the amount of inflammation in their bodies and can relieve pain. Even if you are not suffering from a disease but experience regular aches and pains or stiffness, going gluten-free may help you relieve your symptoms.

Increase in Energy. When your body is not weighed down or having to work overtime to process gluten, you may find that you have additional energy, less fogginess, and are able to get more done in a day.

Get Happy, Stay Happy. For some people consuming gluten does not only affect their bodies, it affects their emotions. I know for me, consuming gluten sometimes creates emotional “lows.” If you are suffering from depression or generally find yourself extra irritable, check your diet and monitor how you feel after eating certain foods. Getting rid of gluten may help you sustain a more stable dose of happy throughout the day.

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