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10 Good Reasons to Give Up Gluten

July 5, 2012




By Caitlin Weeks;

1. Before 10,000 years ago our main food source was wild animal meat, not grains. Since the birth of agriculture there has been a steady increase in the amount of grains consumed daily. 10,000 years is a very short time when you compare it to the millions of years of human evolution. Over the past 130 years in the western world where chronic disease is very widespread people have consumed a greater percentage of their calories from processed grains and gluten (Chek, 2004,64). Many scientists believe our digestive systems have not adapted to digesting grains. Our hunter gather ancestors were taller, free of cavities, and had low infant mortality rates which indicates a nutritious diet. They also did not have the degenerative conditions we have today such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

2. All grains contain a phytic acid which inhibits the absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc. Soaking grains overnight can eliminate some of these issues but most people are not eating bread and pastas that have not been properly prepared. Phytates can also interfere and neutralize our digestive enzymes in the stomach increasing disorders such as heartburn.

3. Whole grains are stripped of nutrients such as vitamin E, zinc, chromium, manganese and iron during processing of bread, pasta and flour.

4. Grains contain a proven cancer causing substance called Aflotoxin which is formed by molds that grow when in storage.
 
5. In numerous studies gluten the protein found in wheat, spelt, barley, and rye that is linked to numerous auto-immune diseases such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. The molecular structure of gluten so closely resembles the molecular structure of the thyroid gland that the immune system mistakes the thyroid as a foreign invader and the body begins attacking itself. Every time someone eats even one bite of gluten it flares up the immune system and increases the destruction of our own tissues which can cause digestive symptoms, joint pain, skin issues, breathing issues and memory problems.

6. It is estimated that 35-50% of Americans are gluten intolerant. Approximately 1 out of 10 people have Celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that affects the small intestine. A majority of people with Celiac are unaware because they have no gastrointestinal symptoms.

7. Experts believe that 43 percent of Americans are predisposed to Celiac Disease and 81 percent are gluten intolerant. Gluten intolerance and Celiac is very common for people of Northern European origin. It is estimated that 20 percent of Americans have autoimmune diseases.

8. Eating gluten over time weakens the digestive system which can start a process called Leaky Gut syndrome where tiny cracks develop in the protective intestinal lining letting undigested food particles into the blood stream. These gluten antigens flare up a protective reaction by the immune system that can lead to allergic, cognitive, physical or emotional food sensitivity reactions.

9. Gluten grains contains compounds called exorphins which are addictive and leave many people in denial about negative impact these grains have on health and digestion.

10. Eating gluten causes inflammation which shuts down blood flow to the frontal cortex. This part of the brain that help us focus, plan, organize, manage emotions, and use our short term memory. This decreased blood supply to the brain is powerfully linked with depression, anxiety, and ADHD.

Action Steps: I recommend an elimination diet to take out all grains and gluten for 2-3 weeks and see if your energy, mood and digestion improves. Currently most gluten tests are unreliable and expensive. The normal tests at your doctor's office may not tell you about gluten intolerance until there is extreme gut damage. Ditch the gluten for just a few weeks and you will be sold on the benefits. If you need help shoot me an email.

Your question: Do you still consume foods that contain gluten? (post your comments below)

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About the Author: I am a nutritionist in San Francisco who loves to cook and eat. I am also a personal trainer with 6 years of experience helping women achieve their health goals. I help people workout in a smart and manageable way in shortest amount of time possible. I graduated from Bauman College as a Nutrition Consultant in 3/2012. I lost 80 lbs in 2001 and kept it off for 10 years so I have a lot of knowledge to share.

Read More: http://www.grassfedgirl.com

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