Why You Should Stay Away From Gluten

Are you experiencing issues with your gut, skin, energy levels or concentration? Overall inflammation, leaky gut, acne, eczema, fatigue and brain fog are all issues that can stem from one thing - gluten consumption. However, you don’t have to have celiac disease (a lifelong autoimmune disease that is characterised by severe reactions to gluten) to experience symptoms of gluten intolerance. The bottom line is that if you are aiming to reach optimal health, you should stay away from gluten.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in some grains such as wheat, barley and rye. Gluten acts like a glue, helping the food to hold its shape and form. It is important to keep in mind that gluten can be found in a variety of foods, even when unexpected. This means that, if you are trying to avoid gluten, it is always important to read the label of the food you are eating.

Benefits of Eating Gluten Free

A gluten free diet provides many benefits which extend well beyond the range of benefits for those with gluten sensitivity. Gluten can often lead to feeling tired and lethargic, as it can affect your ability to digest food and absorb nutrients properly. Therefore, cutting out gluten can result in increased energy levels. Furthermore, a gluten free diet is significantly more gut-friendly, and will certainly help in resolving any gut issues. In addition to this, a very common report made by those following a gluten free diet is that it leads to weight loss. Scientists have found that people without celiac disease who follow a gluten-free diet tend to lose weight. However, the exact reason for this weight loss is still not fully understood.

Gluten-Free Does Not Always Mean Healthy

It is also very important to remember that not all foods that are labelled ‘gluten free’ are healthy. All that a ‘gluten free’ label implies is that the product contains less than 20 ppm (part per million) of gluten. It does not automatically make the product a healthy alternative! We always suggest looking at the nutritional information to ensure you are not exposing yourself to any toxins or inflammatory ingredients.

The Problem with Gluten 

The lining of the intestines is only one cell thick, so the gluten in grain can loosen the tight junctions in the gut wall, causing leaky gut. If the wall becomes permeable, or ‘leaky’, undigested food fragments, bacteria and toxins can skip through the gut lining and into the bloodstream. As more foreign matter reaches the bloodstream, the condition worsens. Your body treats the gluten protein like any invading parasite, setting off an autoimmune reaction. This releases cytokines and chemokines (the chemical messengers of the immune system) which instruct killer T cells to attack the gut lining.

The result? Food sensitivities, rashes, joint pain & inflammation throughout the entire body. At this point there are so many poisons circulating the blood, many of which end up passing through the blood-brain barrier (a protective membrane designed to prevent toxins in the bloodstream from getting into the brain). The effects of leaky gut syndrome on the brain can be dramatic and far-reaching. Common symptoms include headaches, brain fog, poor concentration and short-term memory loss. This is also known as Endotoxemia, see our blog post on Endotoxemia - A Leaky Gut Worst Outcome for more information.

Some people will also experience anxiety and depression, while others become hyperactive, impulsive and short-tempered. The toxic load on the brain disables the higher circuits for love, beauty, creativity and joy. Through all of this, you struggle to understand why you’re moody or why you keep misplacing your cell phone.

The Solution

It is undeniable that gluten has a detrimental effect on the gut, causing inflammation and increased gut permeability and, in turn, autoimmune responses that lead to further health issues. So what can we do to fix these underlying problems?

The answer is clear - eliminate gluten from your diet completely. Although this sounds a lot more difficult than it truly is, you can count on Synergised for our full support!

Healthy alternatives to gluten include:

  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Buckwheat
  • Flax
  • Any gluten-free flour
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Sorghum
  • Soy
  • Tapioca
  • Teff

There is also a wonderful grain called Fonio that is delicious - check out our post on this superfood here.

You can also find over 200 delicious, anti-inflammatory recipes on the Synergised Membership, all of which are gluten free! Stop suffering in silence; cut out gluten and discover a new, happier and healthier you!

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