I’m very keen to share the gluten story as I see it. You of course will have to make your own mind up, but here’s my take on it. Do you remember white flour glue that we used to make when we were kids? Flour and water? Maybe you have to be a bit older to remember it, but we used to use it on school holidays to make paper mache’ and cover balloons – it held pretty well from what I remember. Now …. hold that gluey thought in your minds.
White flour is gluten rich. It irritates your gut and irritates your brain, and it can pretty much irritate any organ in your body. Your gut begins its life as a shag pile carpet – by “gut” I do mean your intestines (small intestines and large intestines) not your stomach. It has little villi – that you can imagine are tiny hairs, absorbing and utilizing the good nutrients you put in there. Over the years gluten “glues them up” irritates them and turns your healthy shag pile “villi” into berber carpet. Flat dull and useless. Berber carpet became fashionable in the 80’s but it’s never fashionable in your gut! When you have berber, your gut can’t absorb the nutrients your body needs to function optimally or even at all! So while you may be eating a fairly healthy diet, your body can’t use the nutrients your providing. Sometimes it even “costs you energy” to digest food that is nutrient poor and useless to your body. No wonder we feel tired some times. You can have a test for gluten intolerance but it only picks up a certain sensitivity. I will say that since I’ve cut out gluten – which means anything with wheat in it or anything processed – sounds pretty boring huh? I’ve lost body fat, noticing my clothes are too big, my mind is clearer, my body has stopped its smaller aches and pains, my skin is better and tonight my hairdresser told me my hair is healthier too! Bonus I think. Well I know its a bonus because I generally FEEL better. Its been about 3 months maybe 4, and I can’t see myself going back to consuming gluten in any way.
I recently read the book “Grain Brain” this book will tell scientifically how gluten can affect your brain health. To get a bit technical here when gluten is eaten with sugar – think pastries, white bread, muffins, chocolates, and just gluten in general, it causes inflammation in your body. Not just inflammation of your gastrointestinal tract but also your arteries and your brain, joints, and other organs. If you read Grain Brain – it will tell you that Gluten causes other issues in your brain as well. It has even been suggested gluten is a pre curser for alzheimer’s and parkinson’s, and thats just the beginning. The studies are still being done. ADHD children can also benefit from a gluten free diet. The book also suggests that the studies that are being carried out right now will take up to 17 years! yes 17 YEARS for the information to reach your GP let alone any specialists you may be seeing. So me, and my generation, may well miss out on this important point of view. Thats why I’m sharing this!
I know what you may be thinking. Gluten yeah yeah yeah – its a new fad, blah blah blah, Lo fat Hi Fat (more of this later) what are we supposed to eat right? I’m right there with you. I can’t quite believe the marketing out there and the ride that the larger companies are trying to sway us to get onto, with the gluten free message. I mean, it was bought to my notice the other day that even gelatin is advertised as “gluten free” – well it has to be gluten free its made from bones and bone marrow and hooves. So yes it’s – gluten free – bet your bottom dollar. I guess you have to use your own sense of whats right and wrong in regards to gluten but starting with wheat is the best way to recognize gluten. I would say give a gluten free diet a red hot go! What have you go to loose? If you notice you are fidgety, can’t settle, have jumpy legs, brain fog, arthritis creeping in, strong menopause and pre-menstrual issues, gut issues, poop issues, (yes that word is poop – too much or too little) – bloating etc. gluten may well be the little guy you DON’T need. As well in the past three months I’ve begun to include bone broths and more fat, which has also helped with my skin and hair, and joints. (Lets quietly hope – nope loudly hope! it builds good muscles for my bike riding too! – I’m expecting this!)
I’ll write some more about this in the next few days as its very close to my heart and I have so much knowledge floating around in my now non grain brain – that I need to share it. Little at a time as there is so much to absorb. I can say if you are considering going gluten free – start small, gluten is everywhere, and for some of us its easier to get rid of gluten than others. Start where it feels comfortable for you – I know you will feel a difference in time and your gut villi and your brain ? will become your very very best friends!
Always in love and warmth ….. Lynda