Gluten-free diets have captured the attention of everyone. From the health and wellness world to restaurants and supermarkets, gluten-free options are everywhere. But what makes gluten-free so captivating?
What is a Gluten Free Diet?
Before solving the gluten-free puzzle, first let’s understand what is Gluten? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye and is responsible for the stretchy chewy texture of parathas and pizza. However, some people may find it hard to digest gluten due to various reasons. This is why people explore gluten-free options. People with celiac disease need to strictly avoid gluten however, others may be sensitive to gluten. Thus, gluten-free options are all over the market.
How Does a Gluten Free Diet Benefit Health?
Here are the top 3 reasons how switching to a gluten-free diet can be beneficial to you:
1. Weight Management:
Most of the processed foods in market from bread to sauces contain gluten. However, switching to a gluten-free diet means you naturally bid farewell to these gluten-laden processed foods. Processed foods are high in calories, refined carbs, and trans-fats. Thus, going gluten-free inadvertently steers you away from many unhealthy options that are commonly associated with inflammation and weight gain. This changes your daily meals leading to a healthier and more balanced diet improving your overall health and well-being.
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2. Improved Digestive Health:
Going gluten-free has a profound impact on digestive health especially for someone who has gluten intolerance, celiac disease, or other digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome, chronic bloating, improper bowel movements. Going gluten-free for a timed period helps to alleviate these symptoms and improve gut health. Additionally, digestive issues lead to other symptoms like fatigue and reduced energy levels. Thus, by improving the digestive symptoms, gluten-free diet also helps to improve energy & vitality. Improved digestive health also enhances mental health and decreases the risk of mental problems like irritability, frustration, anxiety, etc. Adopting a gluten-free diet often requires greater mindfulness around food choices. Mindful eating practices can promote a healthier relationship with food, reduce emotional eating, and foster a positive connection between food and well-being.
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3. Diversify your options:
Adopting a gluten-free diet opens a new world of culinary possibilities. Millets encourage you to explore a diverse range of nutrient-rich alternatives that might have been overlooked. By removing gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley, and rye, you make room for a variety of wholesome and nutrition-packed options such as millets, quinoa, lentils, and other gluten-free grains and seeds. These options diversify your plate encouraging consumption of various other grains, versatile legumes ensuring a broad spectrum of nutrients & antioxidants to achieve optimal health.
However, it’s essential to approach gluten-free diet with an informed decision and under correct guidance. While they offer benefits, going gluten-free may not be the right choice for everyone. Individuals with gut-related issues may benefit greatly from gluten-free diet if balanced properly.
In conclusion, the allure of gluten-free diets lies in their association with health-consciousness, the desire to cater to specific dietary needs, and the perceived benefits they offer.
Reference: Niland B, Cash BD. Health Benefits and Adverse Effects of a Gluten-Free Diet in Non-Celiac Disease Patients. Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2018 Feb;14(2):82-91. PMID: 29606920; PMCID: PMC5866307.