11 Reasons To Get off the Gluten
If you’re suffering from bloating, food sensitivities, gas, fatigue, brain fog, auto-immune conditions, inflammation, body aches & pains or if you’re constantly getting sick… Then I have some important news for you.
According to leading integrative physicians like Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Josh Axe, Dr. Tom O’Bryan, Dr. William Davis and Dr. David Perlmutter, it’s likely your gut is out of balance which could be leading to gut dysbiosis, leaky gut and potentially an autoimmune condition.
And if you’re saying yes to any of those symptoms then there is one food that is likely at the root of your problems. Modern wheat and its infamous protein gluten.
Here are 11 reasons why you might want to give up Gluten for 21 days and see how you feel.
It Raises Your Blood Sugar and Makes You Fat
Modern industrial wheat flour is highly refined and contains what we call a super starch Amylopectin A which raises your blood sugar just as if you were eating white table sugar! This super starch is what makes bread light and fluffy. It also causes insulin spikes and contributes to Insulin resistance which drives inflammation in the body, leading to increased fat storage, increased carbohydrate cravings, and a slower metabolism.
Leading integrative physician Dr. Mark Hyman who features in our Transcendence docu-series says it best:
“Flour acts more like sugar in your body than a whole unprocessed grain. In fact, eating 2 slices of whole wheat bread raises your blood sugar more than eating 2 tablespoons of table sugar does.”
It Increases Inflammation in the Body Leading to Aches and Pain
The hybridization of modern wheat for increased yield and drought resistance has resulted in an increase in gliadin and gluten proteins that are inflammatory and increase the incidence of gluten sensitivity & celiac disease.
More recently, medical experts have begun to acknowledge the possible connection between gluten and non-pathologic joint pain—joint pain that is not explained by disease. When those with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity eat gluten, the immune system is triggered, and this causes inflammation. Whilst you may not notice the external signs of inflammation, like swelling and redness on your arm or leg, inflammation may present as join pain or aches.
Dr. William Davis, the author of Wheat Belly, describes, “The high-yield plant is a distant relative of the wheat our mothers used to bake muffins, genetically and biochemically light-years removed from wheat of just 40 years ago”.
Gluten Damages Gut Lining Which Contributes to Leaky Gut and Auto-Immune Conditions
When our bodies have an intolerance to gluten, it can cause the gut cells to release zonulin, a protein that can break the tight junctions of cells apart, causing ‘leaky gut’. A leaky gut can wreak havoc on your body and especially your bladder – where toxins, microbes, and undigested food particles escape from your intestines and travel through your bloodstream. Our immune system is designed to deal with bugs, parasites, viruses, molds, and fungus, so it gets overwhelmed by the toxicity of the world that we live in today.
Celiac disease can be a cause of gluten intolerance - but it’s also more than that. This condition is actually an autoimmune disease, where the gluten proteins can result in the breakdown of our intestinal wall triggering a misguided immune response, which leads to greater digestive concerns as it becomes more difficult for the body to absorb nutrients.
Every time your body is exposed to a dangerous invader, such as gluten, your immune system memorizes the structure so that it can recognize it in the future and develop an adequate defense to it. The most pressing issue is that the molecular structure of gluten proteins is similar to different tissues throughout the body, including the thyroid gland. When attempting to digest gluten, the antibodies recognize the thyroid tissue as the invader and the body begins to launch an attack on itself.
Dr. Tom O’Bryan explains that “Doctors Hollon and Fasano at Harvard published a study that shows when humans eat wheat, every human that eats wheat, not just the celiacs, but every human that eats wheat gets tears in the inside lining of the gut every time they’re exposed to wheat.”
Modern Wheat Is Sprayed with Toxic Cancer-Causing Chemicals
Glyphosate is a widely used herbicide and crop desiccant that is known to be detrimental to health. Glyphosate, an active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup has been linked to non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of cancer affecting white blood cells. Activists have long battled to ban this ingredient due to increasing reports denoting the chemical as a probable carcinogen. Finally, in 2015, The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a Group 2A substance – meaning that it is a probable human carcinogen.
Wheat is often sprayed with glyphosate containing Roundup at harvest. It is used to desiccate or dry the wheat so that it is easier to get the grains off.
As Cyndi O’Meara covers in the Food Matters podcast episode here, “This glyphosate is in the grain and is a train-wreak to the body. It destroys and disrupts our gut bacteria, its a type of antibiotic, it down-regulates the production of vitamins D, it collates with minerals, and stops liver detoxification”
It Negatively Impacts Brain Health
Dr. David Perlmutter, the author of Grain Brain, is a neurologist who advocates for gluten-free living. His research shows that people with lower blood sugar levels are at lower risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia. Dr. Perlmutter believes gluten increases blood sugar.
Even slight elevations of blood sugar increase your risk for brain degeneration. Researchers like Perlmutter are especially interested in a process known as glycation. It occurs when glucose binds to protein in the body. The result is an increased production of inflammatory chemicals.
Dr. Perlmutter and his colleagues say you can cut your risk for dementia by eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods and low in gluten and other carbohydrates. To learn more about this, listen to Dr. Perlmutter’s episode on the Food Matters Podcast here about how gluten could be destroying your brain and what to do about it.
It’s in Just about Everything Refined & Processed!
The problem is that gluten has permeated our lives in a myriad of ways. It’s not as simple as cutting out bread (though that’s a great start). From breakfast to after-dinner desserts and even Friday afternoon beers, gluten-containing grains such as wheat, barley, and rye have made it into just about everything we eat and drink!
Moreover, many of the below mentioned foods are ultra-processed, contain high amounts of sugar and are not a part of a healthy diet to begin with.
- Most bread, crackers, wraps, and bagels
- Breakfast cereals and granolas
- Baked goods such as cakes, cookies, pastries, and muffins
- Sweet treats like doughnuts, pancakes, and waffles
- Pasta, noodles, spaghetti, gnocchi, and dumplings
- Snacks like granola bars, pretzels, cereal bars, energy bars
- Sauces and condiments including soy sauce and gravy mixes
- And even beverages like beer!
It Negatively Affects Your Skin
Dry and itchy skin, rashes, eczema, psoriasis, acne and other skin conditions can occur due to gluten intolerance and leaky gut. The best approach to improving skin health is to avoid wheat and gluten altogether and to heal the gut lining.
We also recommend going back to basics. Whole foods and the nutrients they provide are crucial for healthy skin. No amount of skin cream can replace a poor diet. Increase your intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, quality protein, and nourishing fats. Reduce your intake of sugar, alcohol, and processed foods such as refined carbohydrates.
Dr. Tom O’Bryan covers how gluten affects our mood, skin & gut in an episode on the Food Matters Podcast here.
It Affects Your Mood & Contributes to Brain Fog
Science tells us that our brain, our gut, and our gut microbiome (the community of gut bugs living in our intestine) communicate with each other via the ‘microbiota-gut-brain axis’. With this being said, the state of our gut plays a massive role in the way we feel and our mood.
Given all we have learned about gluten and the harmful effects on the gut lining and microbiome, if you feel you are depressed, anxious or at risk for developing them, gluten should absolutely be one for you to avoid. Plus, given gluten is often present in many of the refined, high glycemic index foods, like breads, cakes, biscuits, pastas etc, you'll be avoiding the sugar spike that has its own cascade of negative effects on our hormones and mood.
It Increases Bloating & Gas
Bloating is a serious and debilitating ailment. It’s a sign from our body that something’s not quite right. One of the most common symptoms of gluten sensitivity is bloating and gas. You don't need to have celiac disease or a wheat allergy to feel the effects of gluten and that is because emerging research is suggesting that there is a group of people who are sensitive to gluten in the absence of the above mentioned diagnoses.
Bloating can also be a sign of a more severe illness. So If you suffer from constant bloating, ask your medical professional to rule out any chronic illnesses.
It Contributes to Food Sensitivities
Food allergies and intolerances are different types of reactions, but both are important to treat mindfully by excluding the reactive foods completely from the diet. Intolerances are more common, and often include lactose, gluten and fructose. If we continue to consume foods that cause a reaction in our body this can cause inflammation, gradually heighten the response to it, as well as potentially cause permanent damage to your digestive system. This can lead to intestinal permeability, or leaky gut, which may inhibit the ability to digest and absorb nutrients.
Approximately 20% of people have reported reactions to certain foods, although this seems to be on the rise - possibly due to a reduction in food quality, increase in preservatives, additives and insecticides, and food processing practices.
It’s a Common Food Allergen
With modern diets, overexposure to antibiotics, damaged gut bacteria and a constant bombardment of toxic chemicals, there is no wonder why allergies are becoming the fastest growing chronic condition within today’s society. It is estimated that more than 30% of adults and 40% of children in the United States suffer from an allergy such as asthma, food allergies, allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis.
Common food allergens include peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, soy, fish, corn, shellfish, wheat, some fruits, seeds, chocolate and artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. You read it... wheat and consequently gluten has made it into the spotlight yet again.
Identifying and removing your allergens is by far the most important step in relieving allergy symptoms. If you are unsure of what may be causing your allergic reactions, we recommend keeping a symptom diary to record the food you eat and the products you are exposed to in your daily life.
The solution? If you haven’t already, join our free global challenge at www.GetOffTheGluten.com to receive daily recipes & health tips, access to our private group for support and inspiration, plus before and after testing to track your progress in key areas of your life such as weight, sleep, bloating, skin-conditions, mental health and more!
Has getting off gluten improved your health?
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