If you are looking to live wheat free because of celiac disease, intolerance to gluten or if you just want to live a healthier life, you may find yourself wondering where to start. Many people think that living wheat free means giving up on food they love. This is not true! It is not difficult to live wheat free everyday. How do you keep eating the foods you love while avoiding wheat at the same time? Simple, you make replacements. For instance if you have whole wheat bread in the house, look to replace it with wheat free bread. There is a whole range of tasty, gluten-free bread options out there waiting to be discovered, it just takes a little time to do the research.
Wheat Intolerance Symptoms
What is wheat intolerance? Celiac disease is a genetic, auto-immune disorder. This physical trait can be carried from one generation to the next. With celiac disease the immune system literally attacks the food thats being consumed. As a result, the small intestinal lining gets damaged. Symptoms of wheat intolerance can include mild flatulence, fuzzy mindedness, irritability, bulky stools or an itchy rash to more serious symptoms such as stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and eczema. Long-term wheat intolerance symptoms can include chronic fatigue, weight loss, weakness, bone pain, impaired skin sensation, easily fractured bones, pot belly or painful bloating. Wheat intolerance has a delayed reaction of up to 3 days, making it difficult to diagnose.
Our prehistoric ancestors lived on a diet of meat, seafood, vegetables and fruit.
Humans only began consuming wheat following the invention of farming nearly 10,000 years ago. This is one reason why the human digestive system has difficulty digesting wheat. Wheat foods produce a chemical known as Zonulin. Zonulin lets toxins pass into the bloodstream along the intestinal wall, which can result in many health issues.
Wheat Free Shopping
Embarking on a wheat free lifestyle is certainly not an easy task. It is essential to learn more about gluten to ensure you always pick the right foods. The hardest part is getting started and when doing your weekly grocery shopping, you might hit a few snags and feel tempted to add whole wheat foods onto your list. Avoid this temptation and remind yourself that, as with any lifestyle choice, it can take time to fully replace old habits with new ones.
Smaller grocery stores and convenience stores might not sell wheat free foods but larger outlets invariably will. Indeed many of the larger department stores have a section specifically for people seeking wheat free products and so, if you are new to wheat-free living and arent sure what to buy, this is the best place to start looking.
You should also make sure to add fresh vegetables and fruits to your daily diet. Consider including rice as one of the main meals too. The dairy section is another place to add to your shopping list. The only way to live a satisfactory wheat free life is if you find replacement for the starches missing in the diet. Otherwise it can become a tad difficult as you might begin craving for whole wheat foods. Many of the products such as eggs, butter, milk, yogurt and cheese are wheat free.
Fish, meat and poultry are also gluten free, but ensure items that are seasoned, breaded or marinated are avoided at all costs. When first starting on the wheat free diet, purchase freshly cut, plain and unseasoned meat products. Wheat free products will almost always be displayed on the box, so dont forget to read the label. Be on the lookout for wheat or wheat-based additives listed under different names such as:
– Bread crumbs
– Enriched flour
– Wheat bran
– Semolina meal
– Vital gluten
– Cereal extract
– Wheat germ
– High gluten flour
More Wheat Free Foods
Other examples of gluten free foods include: vegetables, beans, legumes, brown rice, plain rice, peanut butter, jam, salad dressing, juice, soda, tomato sauce, canned tuna or fish, unflavored tea and coffee, plain nuts, rice cakes, potato chips and tortillas.
Benefits Of Living Wheat Free
A wheat free diet not only reduces allergy symptoms, it also offers several additional health benefits.
Wheat products can often hinder the digestive system, clogging the intestines and creating numerous health issues in the short and long term. A wheat free diet allows for easier digestion and a healthier digestive tract.
Prevents Weight Gain
A wheat free diet helps reduce weight. Whole wheat foods can linger in the body once the nutrients are extracted, leading to weight gain. Getting rid of wheat from the daily diet allows the natural metabolism of the body to work unimpeded.
When it comes to reducing the risk of brain-related illness there is nothing better than following a wheat free diet. Foods with excessive wheat can bring on seizures leading to permanent brain damage or even death. Wheat free foods are also recommended for those with Autism and Downs syndrome.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Wheat free foods help sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome. While a doctor must be always consulted in this regard, the exclusion of wheat food is ideal for individuals with this condition to help reduce ongoing symptoms.
Health of Blood
Certain blood types are unable to appropriately absorb wheat. This results in blood related conditions. In case of certain blood types it is vital that the individual switches from wheat foods to a wheat free diet. Once again it is recommended that you first consult with your doctor.
Reducing Joint Pain
Wheat has proven to be one of the causes of joint pain, because the bodys natural defenses are weakened by wheat foods. If there is a family history of arthritis, it may be altogether better for your joints to eliminate wheat foods from your daily diet.
In summary, even for those who do not suffer from wheat-related allergies, eliminating wheat from your everyday diet can still have an astounding effect on your overall health and wellbeing. Thankfully, these days, it isnt so hard to buy wheat or gluten-free food as it used to be and so your choice to live wheat free doesnt have to impact your day to day life.
In addition to wheat/gluten free foods, organic wheat/gluten free foods are another step towards great health.
Celiac.com is a great source of information on all things gluten.
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