Explaining Gluten & The Gluten-Free Diet

The gluten protein is composed of two proteins: gliadins and glutenins.  Gliadins are molecularly divided further– alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and omega-gliadins.  Glutenins are responsible for the elastic quality that gluten gives dough.

A FEW FOODS THAT NATURALLY CONTAIN GLUTEN
WHEAT, RYE, SPELT, KAMUT, BARLEY

Gluten-containing grains are the seeds of grasses and are pretty new to the modern diet.  These grains were rarely consumed until about 500 generations ago, which isn’t very long, in evolutionary terms.  Our genetic makeup hasn’t changed very much over the last 40,000 years.  Gluten proteins do not respond well to our digestive enzymes and we are not able to completely break them down.  When the body’s intestinal barriers are compromised (because of stress, pollution, or LOTS of other reasons) the large gluten proteins sometimes move past the naturally protective barrier in the digestive tract and into the bloodstream.  This condition is known as leaky gut.  The gluten itself can even cause or worsen intestinal permeability by compromising the work of zonulin, which is a chemical protein that modulates intestinal permeability. When/if  gluten DOES get through the protective barrier, it meets the immune system and causes an immune response.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF GLUTEN SENSITIVITY
Gluten can cause all kinds of unpleasant symptoms for people, which is our immune response.  This comes in many different forms and impacts many different systems in the body including gastrointestinal issues (gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, cramping and vomiting).  Sometimes I see gluten sensitivity via skin issues. Rashes and canker sores are very common with children and adult acne can be caused by gluten.

Gluten impacts the nervous system.  Common neurological manifestations of gluten sensitivity are a lack of coordination, tingling or loss of sensation in the hands or fingers, and muscle weakness.  Gluten sensitivity is also linked to ADHD, autism, and migraines.

COMMON FOODS THAT CONTAIN GLUTEN
Gluten is used in the US to make bread fluffy and elastic for a good texture so that you can slice bread without crumbling.  It is also used as a stabilizer, binder, flavor enhancer and thickener in foods and food processing.  Gluten is in breads, pastas, muffins, pizza, and baked goods.  It is also in many beers, sauces, gravies, imitation cheeses, soy sauce, condiments, pickles and LOTS of other processed foods including artificial coloring, malt extract, dextrins, food starches and more.  Gluten is the clarifying agent in the making of some wines.

TAKE GLUTEN OUT OF THE DIET
I coach clients on how to painlessly take gluten out of their diets.  If you suspect that gluten might be causing you some distress, simply stop eating sandwiches every day for lunch, and choose a salad.  Then, connect with me at www.HealthyNestNutrition.com and we will COMPLETELY eliminate gluten from your diets.  If you are reacting to gluten, you WILL feel better without it in your diet.  Taking gluten out of your diet is a relatively painless way to make life better!

Contact Robin@HealthyNestNutrition for more info or if you’d like to schedule a consult at Healthy Nest Nutrition.  Robin sees clients face-to-face in Denver, CO as well as phone and skype if that’s more convenient.

Hi! I’m Robin, the founder of Healthy Nest Nutrition. I am a board-certified holistic nutritionist in Denver, Colorado. My passion is helping people find the right diet for their bodies and then showing them how to make healthy nutrition doable and delicious!

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