By Coach Miles
Everywhere you go, and everywhere you look someone is talking about GLUTEN. It has become a favorite nutrition topic as of late. Your family, friends, and co-workers are talking about it. You’ve seen it on restaurant menus and grocery store shelves. Flip open a page of your favorite magazine, and you’ll find a story about a celebrity going GLUTEN-FREE.
So, what’s going on here? Are all these people ditching gluten because its trendy? Or is there more to this new trend?
Let’s start by discussing what gluten exactly is. Gluten is a protein composite found in grains. Wheat is the most well-known gluten source, but you can also find it in rye, barley, spell, and all kinds of other grains too. Gluten is made up of two proteins: gliadin and glutenin. Gliadin is the one that gives people problems after they eat it. When you mix flour made from gluten-grains you get a sticky mixture. This is what helps the dough stretch and allows it to rise when you bake it.
Now, that doesn’t sound so terrible, so why is gluten getting so much attention?
Did you know that a scientific review published in the New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 diseases that can be caused by eating gluten? It’s true. There’s an incredible range of conditions; ranging from fatigue and canker sores to osteoporosis and inflammatory bowel disease. All of these conditions are associated with eating this seemingly innocent protein. Gluten causes trouble by making the body inflamed, resulting in effects all throughout the body. This means gluten can affect your brain just as well as it can affect your joints or digestive tract.
Most people struggling with inflammation-related conditions focus on treating them at the surface level. They take medications to minimize the symptoms of the condition, but they have to keep taking these medications because they never get to the root of the problem.
If you’re struggling with a chronic health issue, or even if you feel okay, eliminating gluten can have an incredible impact on your health. The Greek physician Hippocrates said, “let food be thy medicine.” And more and more scientific research is proving he was right. It might be time to change your “prescription.”
All you need to do to help your body is to look at your food you’re consuming. Labels are there for a reason. If it is gluten free, it will say so.