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What you should know about gluten

 

 

Do you wake up wanting rye bread, crave pasta or hanker after a slice of wood-fired pizza… only to feel rubbish after eating it? Find out why gluten might be upsetting your stomach and your mood. 

Gluten is a mixture of proteins found in cereal grains – namely wheat, rye, barley and spelt. It’s addictive quality is caused by gluteomorphins – opiate like compounds produced during the digestion of gliadin, part of the gluten protein. While initially providing a high, the withdrawal symptoms from these gluteomorphins can leave you feeling anxious, irritable and moody.

Grain Brain

Our brain and gut are closely connected. In fact, there is a network of neurons lining our stomach which scientists have coined our ‘second brain.’ So what effect does eating gluten have on our health?

The latest research is showing that gluten may damage our intestinal wall. In one study researches found that gliadin, a protein in gluten, increased intestinal permeability[1]. ‘Gluten tears up the gastro intestinal tract,’ said cardiologist Dr Jack Wolfson on popular podcast Zestology recently.

When our gut becomes permeable it can lead to body-wide inflammation causing fatigue, joint pain, headaches, irritability, digestive problems and allergies according to studies.

So should you avoid gluten entirely? If you have coeliac disease or a gluten-intolerance the answer is yes. However if eating a bowl of spaghetti simply leaves you feeling sleepy, then enjoy it occasionally. Here at Honestly Healthy we believe in the 70/30 rule. Restricting yourself all the time is not only dull, but it’s unsustainable. So indulge now and again, knowing you’re probably preventing overdoing it later on.

[1] Visser, J(2010). Tight Junctions, Intestinal Permiability and Autoimmunity Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes Paradigms. PubMed

 

 

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