Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, barley and rye. The small intestine of people with celiac disease could not tolerate this plant protein. Increased sensitivity to gluten irritates the small intestine. The series of allergic reactions triggered by gluten intake damages the small intestine and impairs absorption of nutrients.
Apart from celiac disease, gluten sensitivity could trigger several other health disorders. Gluten sensitivity is linked to problems in menstrual cycle, poor dental health, skin problems such as rosacea, psoriasis, eczema and acne, canker sore, osteoporosis, muscle cramps, neurological problems and migraine. Celiac disease and gluten intolerance are incurable. A gluten free diet is the only solution for treating these health disorders.
As the name suggests, a gluten free diet does not contain food items that contain gluten. Food products containing wheat, barley and rye should be avoided by people with gluten sensitivity. Most cereals, grain and processed foods should be avoided. Breads, cakes, pastries, pasta, cookies, blue cheese and soy sauce should be eliminated from the diet.
People with gluten sensitivity should avoid whiskey and beer. However, alcoholic drinks that are not derived from wheat such as wine could be taken. Rice, potato, buckwheat, quinoa, corn and amaranth are the main sources of carbohydrate in a gluten free diet. Gluten free recipes use rice flour or bean flour instead of wheat flour. Small amounts of oat might be included in gluten free diets. However, before consuming oat products, make sure that the oat food item does not contain wheat gluten.
A nutritious gluten free diet could keep you in good health. It could provide your body all the essential vitamins and minerals needed for healthy living. Ideally, a healthy gluten free diet should be comprised of low glycemic food items. Fruits, vegetables, dairy products, poultry, fish and lean meats are the main sources of nutrients in a gluten free diet.
People with gluten sensitivity can consume adequate amounts of legumes, nuts and seeds. These food items are rich in nutrients that are usually found in wheat products. Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, walnut, almonds and black beans could be safely included in a gluten free diet.