More and more people are choosing to go gluten free. With so much information out there it can be difficult to know what to trust. Our coconut bread is naturally gluten free, so we asked our Nutritionist Cara Redpath to give us her expert opinion on gluten.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, spelt and rye grains. It is made of the amino acid’s gliadin and glutenin.
What is coeliac disease?
Traditionally a gluten free diet was reserved exclusively for individuals with coeliac disease. Coeliac disease is a genetic autoimmune condition whereby the immune system attacks the mucosal lining of the small intestine in response to the consumption of gluten. This causes the hair like projections in the small intestine that absorb our food to become dented and damaged.
I feel better when I eat gluten free, but I am not a coeliac?
Neither gliadin nor glutenin are digested by the human digestive system even without a coeliac diagnosis. However, that does not necessarily mean it is bad for us.
Humans have been eating gluten for hundreds of years with no adverse effects. The issues started to arise when foods containing gluten became our modern mono diet, meaning we ate gluten containing products for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. This constant assault to our digestive tracts has left many individuals with a condition called non- coeliac gluten sensitivity which symptoms mimic that of coeliac disease.
Should I eat gluten?
For those people who are coeliac or have non coeliac gluten sensitivity, gluten can cause a wide variety of digestive problems such as abdominal pain, bloating, nausea and vomiting. Coeliac disease and gluten sensitivity can also trigger extraintestinal health conditions such as migraines, sinus infections, brain fog, poor memory and muscle aches and pains.
It is however, important not to exclude a food group from your diet unless professionally directed as it can be hard to reintroduce and can limit nutrient intake for some individuals such as fibre and folic acid.
Keeping a food diary and noting any symptoms when they occur can be very helpful for making a connection as to whether symptoms are gluten related.
It can also be beneficial to remove gluten for two weeks and observe whether symptoms improve in this time.
If you are concerned that gluten adversely affects you speak to a registered nutritional therapist or your GP before excluding it completely.
What makes coconut flour such nourishing gluten free food?
Our coconut bread is naturally gluten free, plant based and high in prebiotic fibre providing the perfect nursery for beneficial bacteria to grow. Additionally, coconut flour is grain free and low in refined carbohydrates giving your gut a well-earned break.
This makes our bread a real wonder food for those on a gluten free diet and those looking for a low grain and carbohydrate free option.
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