3 Health Benefits of a Gluten-Free Diet
A gluten-free diet tops the list of modern diet fads. From restaurants to supermarket stores, you’ll find many options labeled “gluten-free.” Simple as the name suggests, a gluten-free diet is one that does not include gluten, which is a type of protein present in barley, rye, wheat, and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). You see it most often in grains, bread, and cereals.
The good thing about removing gluten from your diet is that it helps you manage different medical conditions. These include celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and gluten ataxia, to name but a few. Even better, it changes your overall intake of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and other nutrients.
That means you don’t have to be suffering from any condition to enjoy the benefits of going gluten-free. In fact, everyone should try it. The benefits of gluten-free foods are really that impressive.
Here are three surprising benefits of avoiding gluten.
Reduces the Signs of Gluten Sensitivity
Gluten sensitivity or intolerance is a condition that causes a person to react after ingesting gluten. People suffering from this condition usually experience symptoms vary widely and can include gastrointestinal problems, joint pain, fatigue and depression.
For people with gluten sensitivity, it is advised to avoid gluten because even small trace amounts of gluten can cause digestive discomfort. Although the effects may appear to be short-term, eating gluten over and over again may cause severe long-term effects in the future.
Helps Control Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH)
Dermatitis Herpetiformis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition characterized by blisters. It causes an intensely itchy, bumpy rash that is very painful. Besides manifesting after consuming gluten, one visible sign of DH is an off-and-on skin rash that is often symmetrical. Meaning, if your right knee develops a rash, you’re likely going to have a similar rash on the left knee.
As soon as you are diagnosed with Dermatitis Herpetiformis, you need to remove gluten from your diet altogether. Introducing antibiotics into the mix will help to steer clear of the painful rashes. If DH victims continue to eat gluten, there’s a likelihood that they will develop intestinal cancer.
Improves Cholesterol Levels
Ingesting too much-saturated fat (found primarily in full-fat dairy products and red meat) is known to cause high cholesterol levels. High cholesterol increases the risk of heart attacks and heart disease.
Luckily for you, a heart-healthy gluten-free diet may just do the trick if you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol.
What to Do?
If you are ready to reap the benefits of a gluten-free diet, you’ll need to make a few changes in your meal programs. Choosing lean proteins, such as chicken and salmon, at every meal is an excellent place to start. You will also need to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. What’s more, go for low-fat dairy products, fish and shellfish, as well as lean cuts of meat and poultry. Whenever possible, take advantage of the fiber and phytochemicals in gluten-free whole grains.
You might also want to consider consuming plant based proteins such as nuts or beans and go “meatless” a few meals a week. Olive oil is an incredible source of added fat. The best way to use it is to drizzle on meats and vegetables to add flavor and improve your heart health. You can use it in baking, too.
Need a Meal Program to Match Your Lifestyle?
No matter what your dietary restrictions or nutritional needs are, Z.E.N. Foods is ready to help you. We can customize a plan and create a menu to help you eat healthily, lose weight, or gain lean muscle.