Gluten – traditional pizza, cookies, cakes, and pasta all contain one common ingredient: gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. The protein helps to bind breads, pasta, and desserts to create a denser product.
Recently, the gluten-avoidance phenomenon has become increasingly popular. However, avoiding this sometimes-troublesome protein may not be entirely necessary for everyone.
There are three conditions, in particular, for which a gluten-free lifestyle is necessary for optimal health.
- Celiac disease:
In the past several decades, more people have noticed that consuming bread products containing gluten has been related to gastrointestinal issues, such as nausea, stomach pains, diarrhea, and – in more severe cases – vomiting and progressive weight loss.
Medical professionals discovered that this is sometimes due to an autoimmune condition known as celiac disease. Upon consumption of gluten, those with celiac disease experience a progressive deterioration of the villi, or hairlike projections, within the small intestine. Villi help absorb vitamins and nutrients to nourish the body and sustain energy for everyday activities. Malabsorption can occur when these villi begin to flatten as a result of gluten consumption, causing anemia, irritability, weight loss, stomach pains, and other gastrointestinal complications.
Although there is no cure for celiac disease, one may adhere to a gluten-free diet to slowly reverse the damage in the small intestine. A gluten-free diet eliminates all forms of barley, wheat, and rye – even in the smallest amounts.
2. Gluten Sensitivity:
Gluten sensitivity is the most common gluten-related disorder. It’s estimated that gluten sensitivity affects up to 6% of the population, and although it’s difficult to say how many people actually have it, it seems to be on the rise. Individuals who have a gluten sensitivity experience symptoms when they consume gluten-containing foods but do not experience the same type of damage to the intestinal villi or develop the specific antibodies that are characteristic of celiac disease.
3. Wheat allergy:
Individuals with a wheat allergy have an allergic reaction to wheat. Unlike celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, adverse reactions occur almost immediately (less than two hours) and, in extreme cases, can be fatal. Individuals with a serious wheat allergy may experience symptoms by simply inhaling wheat. Unlike celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, individuals with a wheat allergy do not necessarily have to follow a gluten-free diet; all wheat should be avoided, but foods containing rye and barley may be acceptable. It is important to note that even if a product doesn’t contain wheat, it may be manufactured on equipment that is used to produce foods that contain wheat.
Gluten free Pancake Recipe
ca. 400g Gluten free flour ( rice flour/ buckwheat flour/ almond flour/ ..)
Soy milk/ almond milk/ regular milk
Gluten free is worth trying even if you don’t have any of the listed reactions.
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