Gluten-free foods are good for intestinal health. Gluten is a plant-derived protein present in certain cereals, including wheat, rye, and barley. The name originates from the Latin word for glue. Isolated gluten has a sticky consistency when mixed with water.
This protein is essential for the texture of wheat-based baked goods. However, it can cause gastrointestinal problems in some people. Especially in people with celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and other intestinal disorders. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system of our body synthesizes antibodies against this protein. It is estimated to affect 1% of the world's population. A gluten-free diet can relieve the symptoms of celiac disease.
What is gluten allergy?
The susceptibility of our body to release antibodies and histamines in response to the presence of gluten in our body can be confirmed using various blood tests. One such test is known as the tissue transglutaminase IgA (tTG-IgA) test. Celiac disease can also be confirmed by performing a biopsy of intestinal tissues. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is also a similar condition that occurs in people who do not suffer from celiac disease. The commonly observed symptoms are:
- stomach pain
- discomfort after a meal
- sudden loss of weight
- allergic rashes on the skin
- breathing difficulty
Best foods for a gluten-free diet
Gluten-free foods do not trigger allergic reactions in the gut. The following foods are safe to consume on a gluten-free diet.
1) Chia seeds
Chia seeds are gluten-free and are well known for their weight-loss properties. They are a rich source of fiber that might help people suffering from celiac disease or an allergy to gluten. These fibers can ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and prevent constipation by adding bulk to the diet and softening the stools.
Chia seeds can be taken along with yogurt, pudding, oatmeal, or baked goods such as cookies, cakes, and muffins. They can be sprinkled on fruit salads as well.
Broccoli can be used as a staple food in a gluten-free diet. It's versatile and beneficial for weight loss as well. It's rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C. This vegetable is known to prevent chronic diseases and reduce inflammation in the body. Broccoli contains several beneficial plant compounds that have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is among the best high-fiber foods to consume for better gut health.
Spinach is a green, leafy vegetable consumed all around the globe. It is naturally gluten-free and needs no introduction as a superfood. Spinach is generally added to dishes like soups, stews, and curries across different cuisines. It contains several vitamins and minerals, including iron and magnesium.
Spinach is also beneficial for red blood cells, bone metabolism, and nerve function. Apart from these benefits, it is also known to help lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the body.
Oats are better than expensive gluten-free products and are a rich source of dietary fiber as well. The fibers present in oats help in easing digestive issues, preventing constipation, and reducing bad LDL and VLDL cholesterol in the body. Oatmeal is among the best foods to help with constipation.
Oatmeal can also help in the regulation of blood glucose levels and thus help people struggling with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Lettuce is another leafy green that is ideal for people with gluten allergies. It is widely used in sandwiches and soups.
6) Nuts and seeds
Most nuts and seeds, including almonds, walnuts, and cashews, are naturally devoid of gluten. They can be added to yogurt, puddings, and fruit salads.
Yogurt is among the best probiotic-rich foods to include in the diet for better gut health. Plain yogurt and Greek yogurt are two superfoods with several amazing health benefits. Yogurt is prepared through a process known as the fermentation of milk. It is naturally gluten-free and can reduce the symptoms of celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
Gluten-free foods are ideal to include in the diet for people suffering from celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Grains like wheat and rye contain gluten and are not recommended for people with gluten allergies or with ulcerative colitis. People with severe allergic reactions should seek medical help during flare-ups.