With the holidays coming up we will all be spending time with friends and family and of course we will be surrounded by lots of delicious foods and sweets. Unfortunately so many people these days and most especially children have so many food allergies and intolerances, gluten and dairy being one of the biggest culprits, it is hard for them to fully enjoy family gatherings, always being cautious about ingredients in the dinner feasts. For a lot of people with severe allergies or people who have celiac disease, staying away from gluten is a must. But even people who are not diagnosed as allergic or intolerant to gluten, cutting it out makes a huge different in the way they feel. A lot of people still don’t have a clear understanding of what gluten is, so here is a little inside to what really gluten is and what it does to your body.
Gluten is the protein that plants build into their seeds (grains) to support the next generation of plants. While all grains contain gluten, our bodies cannot break down the gluten contained in wheat, rye and barley because their composition is too tight. Over time, because our digestive system cannot break down the bacteria from gluten, it builds up in our system, causes inflammation of the intestines and eventually erodes the lining of the stomach. This can lead to a loss of immune tolerance and trigger autoimmune diseases like celiac disease.
The reason gluten is affecting us more than it did in the past is because the wheat we are eating is hybridized to the point where all vitamins, minerals and fiber are taken out of it (especially in white flour and white bread). Because the wheat is so refined through the processing, the gluten in it is stickier, thicker, and more elastic and the human digestive system simply cannot break it down.
Even if you don’t have a diagnosed intolerance to gluten, I recommend you cut it out for a while and see if you notice a difference in how you feel. You might find you have more energy and clearer thinking when you cut out the gluten from your diet.
These days it is easier to not eat gluten with so many gluten free products on the market, but again, aim to eat a whole foods and plant based diet for optimal health.
A lot of restaurants are offering many gluten free options these days and even delicious desserts, Bistro 41 being one of them. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, sweet potatoes are one of the main ingredients in many sides and dishes. But what about a sweet potato chocolate mousse, or a flourless chocolate cake with a sweet potato chocolate “buttercream” frosting? Decadent, delicious and nutritious. Do not let your allergies get in the way of enjoying the holidays. Stop in for dinner at Bistro 41 or Bayfront Bistro and try one of their gluten free, vegan dessert options, you will be surprised how sweet and decadent nutrition can taste.