The average person can consume a great deal of gluten without getting seriously ill. For other people though, this protein is nothing but bad news.
It used to be that giving up gluten, even for the right reasons, meant that you had to give up on a few of your favourite foods and drinks as well. These days, however, vendors like the Mornington Peninsula Breweries ensure that you can still enjoy a good beer without compromising your gluten levels.
Sometimes it’s Not a Choice
You might want to give up gluten as a means of getting healthier. But a gluten-free diet is the only option for people suffering from celiac disease. This disease causes severe gluten intolerance which causes damage to the small intestine. People that have this disease suffer from constant abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, fatigue, joint pain and even brain fog.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Since gluten makes up a great deal of the average person’s normal diet, it’s a big adjustment to go gluten-free.
Do You Have To Give Up On Your Favourite Foods and Drinks?
Giving up gluten doesn’t mean you have to give up a bunch of your favourite foods and drinks. Fortunately, many manufacturers are including gluten-free products in their ranges. Everything from your favourite craft beer to pizza or mac and cheese can be substituted for a gluten-free alternative.
How Going Gluten-Free Changes Your Body
A healthy diet should contain at least 60% of carbohydrates. Giving up this much fibre and iron contained in gluten can have lasting effects on your health. It’s important to replace the lost nutrients with supplements and other foods that will give your body the same amount of nutritional value. Let’s have a look at some of the ways your body will change when you cut out gluten.
You Might Feel More Hungry
One of the first changes people giving up gluten notice is that they feel hungrier. The reason for this is quite simple. If eating gluten makes you sick, you won’t feel hungry. Giving up gluten and eating something gluten-free will boost your appetite because you no longer feel sick when you eat.
The trick here is to not overindulge in sugary foods to compensate for the hungry feeling. Consulting a nutritionist is a good idea. This will help you understand which foods are better than others and it will provide you with a list of healthy snacks to curb the increased hunger.
If you’re cutting out gluten due to celiac, by giving it up immediately you may have some side effects. These side effects include leg cramps, nausea, fatigue and even headaches. It’s important to remember this is a form of detox for your body and perfectly normal.
If you’re merely cutting gluten out as a way to improve your general health, then phase it out as gradually. Doctors advise that the best way to overcome these withdrawal symptoms is to drink lots of water and take it easy while your body adjusts.
Decreased Overall Inflammation
People that have celiac disease often suffer from brain fog. This can be described as feeling lethargic. Scientific research has linked mental health to gut health so your brain fog can be a direct result of your body’s reaction to gluten.
Decreasing the levels of gluten in your body will automatically decrease the inflammation in your stomach and intestines. This in turn will help decrease it throughout your body and you might find yourself feeling better.
Spiked Energy Levels
In general, digestion uses a great deal of energy. It uses even more energy when your body tries to process something it can’t. Giving up gluten puts less strain on your digestive system and less energy will be required to digest your food.
This will cause your energy levels to shoot up and you’ll suddenly feel like doing a lot more. When your body has adjusted, it will be a great time to improve your cardio!
Decreased Food Allergies
It’s your small intestines’ job to produce an enzyme called lactase. This is the enzyme that aids milk digestion. Often people who suffer from celiac are also believed to be lactose intolerant and might even react to sugar.
This happens because gluten causes a great deal of damage to the small intestine and causes the organ to no longer produce the other enzymes. So, there is no lactose or sugar intolerance. Since gluten is the cause of all this, cutting it out allows the secondary enzymes to function properly and the other food allergies may disappear.
Fluctuating Weight Levels
Giving up your daily bread products might make you feel less full. That in turn might lead to indulge in other, not so healthy options to fill the void. This could lead you to pick up some weight.
The good news is, if you consult with a nutritionist, you will be able to set up a healthy diet, made up of healthy meals and snacks. It will take your body some time to adjust to its new meal plan. Once that happens, your weight will even out.
A Final Word about Giving up Gluten
Whether you’re giving up gluten as a way of managing your celiac or simply just to improve your overall health, there’s no reason to stop enjoying your favourite foods and drinks. Search for the gluten-free alternatives and enjoy your new lease on life!