Wheat makes up at least 20% of the world populations caloric intake. It’s the most commonly consumed protein in the world. Some people believe extra gluten is in wheat today. This seems to cause many people to have celiacs (coeliac) disease and wheat sensitivity.
What is gluten?
Almost all people in the US and now spreading through Europe, have heard of the “Gluten-Free” diet. Although not all people know what gluten truly is. Gluten is what holds wheat together. Its name is derived from the Latin word meaning “Glue.” It is found in all varieties of wheat, spelt, kamut, triticale, barley, and rye, and is a protein composite that gives the elasticity to dough and also helps it rise when making breads and pastries. All around the world people use gluten as a source of protein. Gluten is also an additive to other foods that are low in protein.
Oats are not in the same family as gluten-filled grains like the ones mentioned above. They do have one similar trait that they share. A storage protein in oats is the same as wheat, called “avenin.” There is speculation on whether this protein affects people with celiac disease the same way the proteins gliadin and glutenin do. Research has found that avenin is toxic to the intestinal mucosa. If you are looking to cook or bake with oats, make sure you find a “gluten-free” marked label before you buy.
For those with celiac disease, gluten is dangerous to ingest. After ingesting it, it makes its way to the small intestine, causing a loss of the lining. After losing the lining of the intestine, nutrients can no longer be absorbed, causing malnutrition which later leads to many other health problems.
Some symptoms commonly known as celiac is pain or bloating in the lower stomach (intestine), vomiting, digestive issues, intolerance to dairy. What many people do not know about celiac is that eating wheat alone can cause pain and discomfort, but mixed with dairy it can cause vomiting. Gluten intolerance, unlike celiac disease, does not destroy the lining of the small intestine. It can reveal itself in similar symptoms. There are many different types of symptoms. This includes digestive issues gas, bloating, diarrhea, (even constipation,) fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, hormonal imbalance, mood swings, headaches and many more.
You may not even realize if you have gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Unfortunately, when it goes undiagnosed, your body becomes damaged.
My challenge to you is to try going gluten free for one month. It may seem like a daunting task and almost impossible for those who rely on bread and other gluten-based products. If you go off it for one month you may not notice the difference immediately. I have heard from many, that once they ate it again and felt terrible, they realized they had a gluten sensitivity. Gluten-Free isn’t for everyone, but for those who are sensitive to it, it’s worth trying.