Why I recommend “gluten-free”-to reduce chronic inflammation

gluten free for mental health and energy
14 January, 2020

Is gluten free just a trend? Here I explain reasons why it isn’t.

Here I explain why I recommend to everyone in Australia and the U.S. to avoid wheat & gluten containing foods – if you have chronic inflammation.

Gluten is a glue-like substance that sticks your baking together.  It also gives food flavour and texture.  It is a cereal “protein” which 70% of people cannot digest due to genetic individuality. 

In everyone, no matter your genetics, gluten causes the release of a chemical in our digestive system called Zonulin.  An excess of Zonulin has been proven to open up the lining of the gut wall causing leaky gut (or intestinal permeability).  Leaky gut is a cause of chronic inflammation, auto-immunity, and contributes as the starting point for most health complaints and disease.  As part of a protocol to reduce chronic inflammation or as part of any gut repair program, it is important to remove ALL gluten out of the diet.

Gluten confuses our immune system
The ingested gluten protein molecule is also commonly mistaken by our immune cells for other cells in our body.  In other words, to our immune system, this gluten molecule looks similar to our own cells – in particular, our thyroid tissue/cells (which is why in thyroid disease I recommend strict gluten avoidance).  Therefore, when we eat gluten, depending on our gut health (which commonly isn’t good in most people to some degree), the gluten molecule travels across the leaky gut barrier and aggravates our immune cells – causing them to misfire and aim for our own cells instead of what might be the original aggravating source (in this case gluten).  Casein in milk products can also do this same molecular mimicking.    

Note: Molecular mimicry cross reactions occur in some people with oats, corn, sorgum, instant coffee and dairy products (where the body mistakes these foods as gluten).  Therefore, it may be important to avoid these products also if you are highly inflamed or if you have auto-immune conditions.

Australia’s wheat is genetically modified to contain more gluten
Another reason why I recommend avoiding gluten is that the main source of gluten in Australia is wheat.  In Australia & America (plus some other country’s), wheat is genetically modified to be a higher % in gluten (which is a protein) than it originally used to naturally be (someone thought having wheat that was higher in protein would be better for us).  However, our digestive system and our body hasn’t evolved or adapted to be able to cope with this man-made product.  The higher gluten content causes greater gut problems. 

Lectins in wheat & grains can aggravate chronic inflammation
Another reason why wheat can be a problem is that it is a source of “Lectins”…which is a chemical in the husk/skin of certain plants.  In large quantities, these also cause leaky gut.  Anyone with auto-immune complaints should avoid lectins to repair gut wall and reduce inflammation.  Talk to me specifically about Lectins for a complete list which is specific to yourself.

Wheat is drenched in Roundup – which is an antibiotic to the gut
The final reason I recommend to avoid gluten is that most of our crops and in particular wheat, is saturated with Glyphosate herbicide (or Roundup) just before it is harvested -to create higher yield.  This is a chemical which has been linked to many diseases – and interestingly it actually acts as an anti-biotic when we eat foods that it has been applied to.  Therefore, as an antibiotic, it negatively affects our gut microbiome every time we eat it (as we are majority bacteria), thus hindering our ability to truly support our gut and therefore our overall health and immune system (80% of our immune system is in our gut; and much of our mental health chemicals 70-80% are also made by the microorganisms within the gut). Glyphosate is readily applied to Wheat, Oats and Barley in Australia & America – which are gluten containing grains. 

Cross contamination 
Gluten is found mainly in our commonly eaten grains such as wheat, barley, rye – and in some cases oats.  Gluten is also present in some less commonly eaten grains such as spelt, triticale and kamut.  Unfortunately, most grains in Australia unless stated on the packaging, have been cross contaminated with wheat due to our manufacturing practices.  Most grains unless strictly organic, have Glyphosate on them.  Even organic farms can be near non-organic farms, so we just have to reduce exposure as much as possible, or reduce grains generally in severe health issues.

How do I start on a gluten free diet?

SLOWLY!  And by being patient and kind with yourself, as it can feel like a big change at first….by avoiding foods, drinks and sauces that contain gluten.  It may be important to do a trial also off oats to see if you react.  This can be re-introduced after one month of strict gluten free to see how you feel.    

It will be important to go back to a basic ancestral “cave man” type diet – consisting of minimal man-made convenience foods.  Aim for high amounts of vegetables, quality fruits, fish, meats of all kinds in moderation, nuts, seeds, good oils and wholegrain gluten free grains (as close the original grain as possible, rather than refined and tampered with by man and machine). To be honest, this is the food that our body is evolved enough to tolerate. Real food and mostly plants.

Hidden ingredients which contain gluten

Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), hydrolysed plant protein (HPP), soy sauce (unless tamari), vinegar (if malt based), modified food starch, vegetable starch or vegetable protein, gelantinized starch or pregelatinized starch, natural flavourings, malt and malt extract, maltodextrin, starch #1400 range, glutamates # 620, 621, 622, 623, 624, 625 (these are generally gluten free but some do contain wheat), amylases #1100.  Even corn chips are dusted in wheat flour! 

Categories: energy, gut, gluten free, brain gut connection, immunity, mental health, depression, anxiety, auto-immunity, auto-immune.

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