There is such a buzz about gluten right now and most people say what the heck is gluten and why do we want to be free of it?? Yes, gluten is one of the culprits. Gluten (from latin meaning “glue”) is a protein found in foods processed from wheat and related grains, including barley, rye, spelt, kamut and oats.
Gluten is what gives the elasticity to dough, helping it rise, keep it’s shape and gives it a chewy texture. The more gluten is refined the chewier the product such as pizza and bagels, while less refining yields tender baked goods such as pastry products.
Usually, gluten in wheat is associated with celiac disease, so wheat is overlooked as a possible source of other illnesses. Most of the time people just live with the symptoms, conditions that make life a bit unpleasant, like low grade flare ups that aggravate the stomach, intestines and colon, with bloating, cramps, a feeling of fullness, and bouts of diarrhea and constipation. Many just accepting their body’s state as a way of life without resolve. These are all indications that something is not acceptable to the complex, intricate, biochemical operation of our body. Gluten causes inflammation in 80% of the population. That is the big “MAY DAY” sign we get. Things start going wrong, maybe a little sign here and there, then bang ~ some major medical condition presents itself.
Gluten has been associated with cancer and other inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. BUT, and it’s a big BUT, there is more to this story and why being gluten free is not the only reason for being wheat free. Some believe there is actually a wicked villian in the story, Gliadin protein in wheat.
Wheat today is not the same wheat that our ancestors enjoyed, it was genetically recreated in the 60’s and 70’s with many new features that have major negative effects on everyone. Gliadin protein, which acts as an opiate, was genetically added. Gliadin, opioid peptides found in wheat are known to cause addiction to wheat and withdrawal symptoms can happen when removing wheat from the diet. Gliadin binds in the opiate receptors in your brain and stimulates appetite.
Eliminating wheat from the diet and going Gluten Free has given many people dramatic relief and recovery from diabetes, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, depression and arthritis.
Personally, I have been gluten free and therefore gliadin free for a long time. I feel so much better and have no problem controlling my weight. I didn’t have a disease but did have chronic stuffy nose and a chronic bloated stomach when I decided to remove it from my diet. The stuffy nose and puffy stomach went away with the wheat. Plus, I had read so many things about gluten over the years that I decided, why chance it. There are so many wonderful, gluten free products on the market now, it’s not the struggle that it use to be to make the change. Negative things about gluten and gliadin are very eye-opening, it’s worth eliminating them to have the best chance possible for complete wellness.