All Aboard the Gluten-free Bandwagon

This post is inspired by Beauty FIT Beast's 5 for 15 Challenge. You can view my posts for the challenge here. Participants have cut out gluten, sugar, fake sugar, alcohol and preservatives. As the Nutrition Specialist for the challenge and for Beauty FIT Beast its my responsibility to inform and inspire participants during their 15-day challenge. This week it's all about gluten. 

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a special type of protein that is commonly found in rye, wheat and barely. Therefore, it is found in most types of packaged foods, cereals, energy bars and in many types of bread. Not all foods from the grain family contain gluten. Examples of grains that do not have gluten include brown rice, wild rice, corn, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, quinoa and oats.

For people with celiac disease (an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the small intestine) cutting gluten can relieve a host of symptoms, including bloating, cramps, nausea, anemia, irritability and depression. But many other people who haven't been diagnosed with the intolerance are jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon.

Here's why...

Tip: Try millet flour as a wheat flour substitute when baking.

Gluten-free Grains and their Benefits 

Brown Rice  and Wild Rice: High levels of B Vitamins and fiber can be found in both brown and wild rice. Brown rice products can be easily found not just in health food stores but major grocery stores as well. You will find a variety of pastas, breads, tortillas and chips all made with brown rice. My Favourite: Brown Rice Bio-Buds by: Sha Sha Bread Co

Corn: Shocking, I know.  Not all corn has been converted to ethanol. Not only can you eat corn, but you can eat anything made from corn flour.  Tip: Buy Certified Organic corn and corn products as corn crops are generally GMO and sprayed heavily with pesticides.

Buckwheat: Despite the name, buckwheat does not contain wheat. Buckwheat contains all 8 essential amino acids making it a complete protein. Good source of calcium, B Vitamins, iron and fiber. My Favourite: Buckwheat Soba Noodles by: Eden Foods

Millet: Considered one of the first cultivated grains, millet is a great source of magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and B-complex vitamins. My Favourite: Millet Puffs by: Natures Path

Amaranth: High in protein, Vitamin C, calcium and iron. Great source of fiber. Gluten-free. High level of lysine, an essential amino acid. I like: Organic Amaranth Flour from: Bulk Barn for baking as well as Millet Flour.

Quinoa: This is a nutty, rice-like grain from South America that can be used as a substitute side for rice, couscous and pasta. Quinoa contains all 8 essential amino acids making it a complete protein. Rich in iron, calcium and phosphorous. TIP: Instead of water, cook quinoa in chicken, beef or vegetable stock for added flavour.

Oats: There has been some debate as to whether people with the digestive intolerance can eat oats. Research in this area continues. What I know is that oats are delicious and insanely nutritious. Oats are known to lower bad cholesterol, are mildly laxative and contain excellent levels of protein, B vitamins and minerals. My NEW Favourite: Cavena- Naked Oats by: Wedge Farms

Top 5 Benefits of going Gluten-free

1) Weight loss as sugar and fat intake is drastically reduced.

2) Increase in energy levels, lower bad cholesterol levels and even assist the body’s digestive processes.

3) Eliminate symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating,  and excessive gas.

4) Decrease congestion, sinus and skin problems.

5) Since consuming processed foods will be virtually eliminated and replaced with fresh whole foods, overall health and well-being sky rockets!

Savory Grain-free Crackers by: Gluten-free Goddess

You can find many gluten-free recipes on-line. For the BEST source for delicious, inspiring gluten-free recipes visit Karina, The Gluten-free Goddess’ blog:

The information presented here is not intended to replace professional medical care when needed. Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner for disease diagnosis, therapy choice, medicine selection and dosage.


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