Does going on to a gluten-free diet carry any real benefits? Should I go on a gluten-free diet even if I don’t have celiac disease? These are the sort of questions anybody can have if they have just become familiar with the much-talked “gluten”.
Gluten basically refers to a class of proteins that are found in most grains. Some of its common sources include wheat, barley, rye, and semolina. Gluten proteins are highly elastic and have been found to be resistant to protein-breaking enzymes and thus are difficult to digest. Incompletely digested, they cross the intestinal lining and have been known to cause celiac disease, an autoimmune disease. This disease causes symptoms of constipation, diarrhea, and flatulence.
However, going on a gluten-free diet not only benefits people with celiac disease but has also been shown to benefit people without celiac disease. In this piece, we will go over some of the common benefits of a gluten- free diet.
1. Improved Digestion
As hinted earlier, gluten is highly elastic and takes a lot to digest completely. Therefore, going on a gluten-free diet can improve digestion and ease out some of the digestive symptoms. Studies have shown improvement in digestive symptoms such as bloating, constipation, gas and diarrhea in people after shifting to a gluten-free diet.
2. Increased Energy and Better Mood
One of the benefits most people have confirmed after going on a gluten-free diet is improved energy. This is thought to stem from the fact that your body now needs less energy to digest food and the toll gluten takes on your gut is no longer there. Therefore, you will feel more energetic and less lethargic. Moreover, we now know that gut health has a major say in your mood and mental health, thanks to THE gut-brain axis. Therefore, you can expect a better mood and no more brain fog.
3. Aids in Weight Loss
Shifting to a gluten-free diet means quitting some of the classic snacks and junk foods like burgers and pizzas. Do I still need to say that this can help you lose weight? Most people say they lost weight rather effortlessly on gluten-free diet. That means they did not have to make any other change in their diet or lifestyle. Of course, you will still have to maintain a caloric deficit and not load up on gluten-free cakes and pastries.
4. Improved Skin and Hair Health
People with any level of gluten sensitivity are prone to dermatitis herpetiformis which is a skin condition that causes itchy bumps and blisters. These people are also more prone to rashes and acne. Therefore, eliminating gluten from the diet can help improve skin health. Moreover, as gluten causes malabsorption of some key nutrients, it has been linked with hair loss. Therefore, switching to a gluten-free diet can help improve hair health.
5. Can Help Cure Anemia
Because sensitivity to gluten damages gut lining, it hampers the absorption of key nutrients including iron. Iron is a key ingredient in the production of red blood cells and its deficiency can lead to iron deficiency anemia. Therefore, switching to a gluten-free diet should heal the gut lining and enhance iron absorption and result in better red blood cell levels.
There you go, the benefits of eating a gluten-free diet. It must be noted that just like any diet, a gluten-free diet also has its fair share of cons. These include causing nutrient deficiencies and lacking some key nutrients which grains are a great source of. However, if you can replace these nutrients from other sources, a gluten- free diet certainly has its benefits for everybody. Lean & Tasty is a meal prep delivery service in San Diego and can deliver gluten-feet food options at your doorstep.