Gluten free diet is possible but may be difficult to start off with. Let’s start from the beginning. Gluten intolerance, otherwise known as Celiac disease, is when the villi in the small intestine become flattened from consuming gluten over time.
When the villi are flattened they can no longer absorb the nutrients and vitamins that they would normally absorb. This can result in malnutrition. This is where the Gluten free diet comes in. By consuming a diet that is free from gluten, it allows the villi to heal in the small intestine.
As previously mentioned, gluten free diet can be hard to get used to in the beginning. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Wheat and barley are found abundantly in the American diet. But have no fear! There are many foods available that are naturally gluten free. The ones you would want to avoid are the pre-packaged foods and commercially prepared foods.
There has been some discussion regarding prebiotic plant fiber. There are misconceptions that go along with the mindset that prebiotic plant fiber isn’t good. But that has been proven wrong. They are good. First, let’s define the difference between prebiotic and probiotic. Probiotic is beneficial bacteria taken by mouth and is present in yogurt and other dairy products and food. Prebiotic is necessary plant fibers that contain oligofructose and insulin. These are two fibers are main nourishment for the good bacteria in the gut.
These fibers are rich in Chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, leek, and asparagus. Some of the benefits are: increased calcium absorption, stronger bones with increased bone density, enhanced immunity, reduced allergies and asthma in infants and children, a lower triglyceride level, appetite and weight control, and lower cancer factors in the gut.
When it comes to purchasing food, you will want to stick with the fresh, whole foods and prepare them yourself. Vegetables are naturally gluten free. When you prepare your vegetables, you never want to fry in wheat flour. If you decide to put a sauce on your vegetables, be sure to scrutinize it for any hidden wheat or barley fillers or thickeners. You can cook your vegetables by sauté, steaming, stir fry, or fry without flour.
Some veggies that are gluten free are: Artichoke, asparagus, avocado, beans, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, celery, corn, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, kale, lettuce, mushroom, okra, onion, parsley, peas, peppers, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, spinach, squash and more.
Fruits are naturally gluten free also. Fruits like Acai, apple, apricot, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, carobs, cherries, cranberries, Currants, dates, figs grapes, guavas, honeydew melon, kiwi, kumquat, lemon, lime, mandarin, and many more. Meats and poultry are gluten free such as beef, buffalo, chicken, duck, goat, goose, lamb, pork, rabbit, turkey, quail, veal, and venison.
The good news is that as awareness of gluten intolerance becomes more widespread, more and more prepackaged foods are becoming available. The prognosis is good as well. Removing grains from your diet is the most important step in recovery. If you follow the diet strictly, you can expect to live a long healthy life as long as you catch the symptoms and disease before permanent damage can occur.