I am a full-time blogger who writes about diets and healthy eating.
You may have heard of the word gluten or the term gluten-free in the recent past. You probably wondered what it was all about.
In this article, you will learn about the four major benefits of eating gluten-free diets, what gluten is, and how you can optimize your diet to maximize the effects of going gluten-free.
Benefits of Going Gluten-Free
- Reduces inflammation
- Prevents disease
- Increases energy levels
- Causes weight loss
There is a significant number of people who do not have celiac disease, but have self-diagnosed themselves with gluten sensitivity after experiencing related symptoms. In addition, there is also a large number of people who have resorted to going gluten-free in order to reap the benefits of this diet, which include:
1. A Gluten-Free Diet Reduces Inflammation
Joint pains and inflammation are common symptoms for an estimated three million people in the U.S., who have been diagnosed with celiac disease, and for several other millions who have gluten sensitivity. As discussed above, gluten causes an autoimmune response in people who have celiac disease, and this leads to damage of the small intestines to the extent that they are no longer able to absorb nutrients. The damage is usually severe, since the inflammation of the small intestines accompanies it. This inflammation also comes with other problems outside the gut, such as anemia, infertility, fibromyalgia, headache, skin rashes, and joint pains.
Such are the health problems that lead to people being ineffective in their everyday life. You may also have encountered some of these symptoms regularly, and possibly attributed them to other foods you had consumed or activities you had taken part in.
If you usually experience these symptoms daily, then you should go gluten-free. You may, however, be required to visit a health consultant to find out if you have other underlying problems. If diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, then you will significantly reduce the inflammation by eliminating gluten-based foods from your diet.
2. This Diet Helps Prevent Disease
Another benefit of eating gluten-free is that one prevents the occurrence of several diseases. Research has established that there is a significant connection between consuming gluten-based foods and contracting diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. These diseases are known to cause the highest number of deaths on a global scale.
As much as going gluten-free may not seem like it has immediate benefits, in the long-term it minimizes the risk of you getting diseases or developing health conditions that can lead to your death.
3. This Diet Increases Your Energy Levels
Every time they eat foods containing gluten, a gluten-sensitive person regularly triggers their adrenal glands to release stress hormones. Due to this, the immune system is forced to work harder, as it shifts into a hyper-inflammatory mode, which consumes a lot of the body’s vital resources. When a gluten-sensitive person eats gluten, the raw materials that the body uses to generate energy for other processes end up being utilized by the digestive system, and this leads to chronic fatigue.
When one switches to a gluten-free diet, the adrenals remain calm, and the raw materials in the form of nutrients and nutritional compounds are used to provide more energy for the body to function optimally.
4. Healthy Weight Loss
As much as there has not been any scientific evidence to prove that eating gluten-free foods leads to a person losing weight, there have been several dietary connections that have been made. Most of the foods that contain gluten are responsible for causing weight gain in the people who consume these substances. Baked foods such as bread, cakes, and cookies contain many calories, which contribute to excessive body weight.
Swapping the foods that contain gluten with gluten-free foods can significantly minimize your calorie intake and eventually result in the loss of weight. You, however, need to ensure that the gluten-free foods you settle on consuming do not have excessive sugar or similar calorie content.
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a naturally occurring protein that is found in grains such as rye, barley, and wheat. This protein is responsible for the chewy and elastic quality of the foods that are made from grains that contain it. Bakers consider it an essential factor in the success of baking some products. It is also responsible for keeping food substances intact as they ferment.
What Is Gluten's Impact on Your Health?
An estimated 1 in 133 people in the United States have Celiac disease. When people who have this disease consume foods that have gluten, the gluten usually triggers an autoimmune response that attacks the lining of the small intestine. When this attack happens, the body is generally not able to absorb nutrients into the bloodstream in the proper way, leading to problems and conditions such as seizures, nerve damage, and osteoporosis.
There is also a related condition known as gluten sensitivity that generates symptoms that are similar to those of celiac disease (the difference is that there is no damage on the intestines). People who have this condition experience symptoms such as an itchy skin rash, fatigue, headache, and diarrhea.
In the past, celiac disease was diagnosed through a process of elimination. Today, scientists rely on blood tests and a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. For people with celiac disease, the only proven effective treatment is to follow a lifelong gluten-free diet.
Optimize the Benefits of Going Gluten-Free
If you intend to maximize the health benefits of going gluten-free, merely avoiding foods that have gluten will not help you gain the underlying benefits. You have to optimize your diets to get the desired results, which include losing weight.
Tips for Maximizing the Benefits of Going Gluten-Free
- Eat unprocessed foods: You should avoid highly processed foods.
- Increase your fiber intake: You can do this by eating fruits, vegetables, and exotic grains, such as millet, chia, and amaranth.
- Decrease the level of sugar: You can accomplish this by switching from sugary drinks to sparkling water.
- Minimize your fat intake: Do this by boiling foods, rather than frying foods.
- Improve your mineral and vitamin intake: Eating healthier gluten-free foods will provide you with more vitamins and minerals.
- Adda Bjarnadottir, MS. September 29, 2016. "The 14 Most Common Signs of Gluten Intolerance."
- Aaron Kandola. 6 June 2018. "What are the first signs of gluten intolerance?"
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 Glen Palo