The term ‘gluten-free’ has been a buzzword for awhile now amongst health and nutrition enthusiasts. Previously, the most common reason to adopt a gluten-free diet was due to celiac disease, but people are becoming increasingly conscious of the reported health benefits of a reduced gluten intake. Wondering what these advantages are? Well, you’re in the right place, read on to discover the Top 5 Health Benefits of a Gluten-Free Diet!
1. Improved digestion
There are many factors which can affect the digestion of gluten such as not producing enough acid to break down this protein complex. If gluten is consumed in excess, it can aggravate and flatten the intestinal villi on the gut wall, and compromise overall digestion and absorption. Many people experience noticeable reprieve from digestive issues and other bowel symptoms when eating unprocessed, gluten-free foods as the damaged bowel lining, being less-aggravated has a chance to heal and become restored.
2. Increased energy
The common after effects of consuming foods containing gluten include sluggishness, bloating and fatigue. This can be due to gluten sensitivity, which affects optimal digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals, and can even cause slight malnutrition. Inflammation in the intestines from gluten consumption can also lead to the malabsorption of iron, resulting in tiredness. Instead of reaching for caffeine, try reducing or eliminating gluten to improve energy levels!
Should You Go Gluten-Free? – Dr. Josh Axe
3. Reduces bloating
In conjunction with reported improved digestion in those who adopt a gluten-free diet, there is also evidence that many people feel less bloated. Bloating is a very common side effect of gluten consumption, particularly wheat. Intolerance to gluten actually triggers an autoimmune response in the body which can lead to the intestines not digesting food very effectively. This results in unpleasant symptoms such as gas and bloating.
4. Helps weight control
One obvious reason why opting for a gluten-free diet may naturally aid weight loss is that many high-calorie junk foods are off limits, making fresh, low-calorie fruit and vegetables the easiest options to reach for in many situations. Keep in mind that foods packaged as ‘gluten-free’ are not automatically healthy and to maintain a healthy weight, it’s best to stick to fresh, homemade options as far as possible!
5. Helps prevent Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
One of the leading causes of IBS is overexposure to glutens. These complex proteins can induce nerve damage in the gut which then leads to negative digestive side effects. Researchers have discovered that wheat contains a carbohydrate called fructans which can aggravate digestive complaints. Those with IBS or related symptoms may well benefit from removing gluten from their diet entirely.
Although some argue that a gluten-free diet is only necessary for those with celiac disease, the number of reasons for reducing or removing gluten from your diet is growing. Whether you experience any of the issues mentioned in this article or want to see if gluten affects you, you may want to try an elimination test -you may well realise noticeable improvements without gluten. Want to share your thoughts or experience regarding gluten-free diets or lifestyles? Let us know below or @keepfitkingdom !