Gluten is found primarily in rye, wheat, and barley, but also in other grains. Gluten is a protein that in the presence of water will form an elastic bond. People that suffer from celiac disease or other gastrointestinal intolerances are recommended to avoid at all costs consuming gluten products. But a lot of individuals are suffering from this intolerance without knowing. That is why more and more nutritionists and diet specialists recommend you to have a gluten-free diet. The first step in any diet should be removing gluten completely before cutting anything else.
What is gluten?
Gluten is made up of gliadin molecules and glutenin. Aside being found in rye, barley, and wheat, it can be fount in numerous processed foods. What is worse is that most of these processed foods have the gluten hidden under pseudonyms, such as:
- Texturized vegetable protein (TVP)
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
- Natural flavoring
How gluten can damage your health
The name "gluten" has its roots in the Latin word for glue. Gluten adhesives have properties that hold cakes and bread together. And even if gluten has such properties, some bread makers add extra gluten to make their products bigger, more appealing, and spongier in texture.
The sad part is that all the "binding" properties gluten has interfere with the body's ability to breakdown and absorb nutrients (even nutrients from other foods during the same meal). As a result, the food item you consume will be "glued" together making you suffer from constipation and improper digestion.
The undigested gluten will trigger the immune system to come to the small intestine to eliminate the problem, thus causing diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and nausea. In time, all the gastrointestinal problems generated by gluten will cause psychological or neurological problems. It is common for people to suffer from liver, skin, joint, and nervous system problems because of excessive gluten consumption.
Even if you think that if you eat only a piece of bread at the meal, gluten is hidden in many products. Most people consume more gluten than necessary without knowing.
How gluten will trigger a leaky gut
Some experts suggest that people can't digest gluten properly. This statement is based on the fact that people did not evolve eating gluten. It usually takes 5000 years for the human body to develop into being able to digest something completely. This also means that your body is not built to eat processed foods. Until 100 years ago, most foods were natural, with no genetic modifications, additives, curing agents and many others. The human body sees gluten as a foreign invader. As a result, the immune system is put into action, fighting the gluten you ingest.
Of course, not all people should avoid gluten. Some people can handle gluten without suffering any clinical consequences. But not all people are that lucky. Anyone suffering from an autoimmune disorder is at risk of developing complications.
Gluten stimulates a molecule located in your gut called zonulin. This protein triggers the opening between the cells in the stomach lining. This means that by consuming gluten, your gut becomes more permeable. As a result, food particles will escape into the bloodstream, causing inflammation, infections, and immune reactions.
You can try avoiding gluten for a couple of months and see the benefits of a gluten-free diet. In addition to this, having a gluten-free diet also helps losing weight. You can get the help of a nutritionist who knows how to create a custom diet without gluten, excess sugars, and other harmful ingredients.