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Super Healthy Gluten-Free Foods and Its Health Benefits

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Gluten-free foods have become famous as a healthy food. Cutting out gluten from your diet may seem a little difficult task. Thankfully, there are many healthy and delicious options for natural gluten-free food.

What is gluten? 

Gluten is a protein which is present in food to maintain their shape, elasticity, and moisture. Gluten is present in almost all foods from bread and cereals to snacks and beverages. It is the only protein which indigestible by our body. After consuming this, it goes into the intestine in undigested form and may cause inflammation leads to some major diseases. Gluten has a glue-like sticky property that gives food a chewy texture to the food.

Is Gluten harmful to you?

No, not all people are allergic to gluten. Some people can eat gluten food without experiencing any side-effects. Besides this, some people may suffer from gluten intolerance or intestinal disorders where this gluten can be harmful.

Intestinal diseases like celiac disease or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be a triggering point to go with a gluten-free diet. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where gluten irritates your small intestine lining causes over activation of the immunity system leads to damage of the gut wall.

Also, some people without having intestinal disorders are sensitive to gluten. They feel uncomfortable after eating gluten.

Natural, gluten-free foods include grains, beans, seeds, and other starchy foods such as arrowroot, beans, cassava, chia, flax and gluten-free oats, millet, almond flour, sorghum, soy, and tapioca. I strongly recommend the consumption of these in regulated amounts for those dealing with stomach problems.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Also read: Honeynut Squash: A Deep Dive Into Its Nutritional Benefits And Culinary Uses

Gluten-free food to eat 

The most cost-effective and healthy way to follow the gluten-free diet is to seek out these naturally gluten-free food groups, which include:

  1. Gluten-free whole grain –

Whole grains are naturally gluten-free except few. They are an important part of our diet as it is full of fibers and carbohydrates. Always check a label before buying any gluten-free food. Here are some naturally gluten-free whole grains –

  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Corn
  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Oats (check label for gluten-free contents)
  1. Gluten-free fruits and vegetables 

All fresh vegetables and fruits are naturally gluten-free. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants. However, processed fruits and vegetables may contain gluten. If you are on a gluten-free diet, double-check the labeling before buy.

  1. Gluten-free meat, poultry foods, and seafood

Chicken, fish are naturally gluten-free with full of proteins in it. However, these foods may be filled with gluten-containing ingredients such as vinegar or flour for preservation. So, make sure before using it. Here is a list of gluten-free foods –

  • Red meat (beef, pork, lamb)
  • Chicken
  • Seafood (fresh fish, lobster, clams, shellfish)
  1. Gluten-free dairy products 

Most of the dairy products are gluten-free if they are unflavored and without preservatives. Always double-check the label for gluten.

  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Cream
  • Yogurt
  1. Gluten-free legumes, and nuts

They are loaded with proteins, fibers, and naturally gluten-free.

  • Legumes (lentils, beans, peas)
  • Nuts (almond, walnut)

A quick and easy gluten-free supper option is a winter kale salad with apples and nuts. Antioxidants found in pecans may help maintain heart health. According to research, pecan nuts may aid persons who are obese or overweight to lower their risk factors for heart disease.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: Ozempic Foods to Avoid: An Integrated Care Approach for Better Health

Benefits of a gluten-free diet 

There are many myths about the gluten-free diet but as the study suggests they offer tremendous health benefits for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Here are some major benefits –

1: Improving energy levels 

People who are suffering from gluten intolerance generally suffer from chronic fatigue. It is because impaired absorption of nutrients from the damaged intestinal wall. This impaired absorption may lead to developing iron-deficiency anemia which results in chronic debility. Switching to a gluten-free diet can help your intestines to heal and restore the absorption.

2: Promote digestive health 

If you are suffering from some chronic digestive problem then you must try a gluten-free diet. A gluten-free diet may ease your digestive symptoms by healing your intestine. This kind of diet can reduce your celiac disease symptoms bloating, diarrhea or constipation, fatigue, etc.

3: Promotes healthy weight gain

Due to chronic diarrhea or fatigue, you can lose a tremendous amount of weight. Most of the time this kind of symptoms remains undiagnosed leads to weight loss due to impaired nutrient absorption. A gluten-free diet will help you regain the lost weight as well as eliminate these nutritional deficiencies.

4: Improves autism symptoms

Though there is a lack of clinical data, many pediatricians are supposed that a gluten-free diet seems to help with improvement in behavior, social skills, and learning in children with autism.

5: Improves bone health 

Undiagnosed celiac disease cases may lead to calcium malabsorption. This calcium deficiency increases the risk of bone problems such as osteoporosis. The study suggests that a gluten-free diet may help to normalize calcium absorption and increase bone density.

6: Improves skin and hair health

Celiac disease patients are at higher risk for skin rashes, eczema, or hair fall. Following a gluten-free diet can help to improve your overall skin and hair health.

Also Read: Are Rice Noodles Gluten Free? A Guide to Gluten-Free Foods

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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