Gluten is the part of the grain that keeps the dough sticking together during the baking process. It’s mainly found in wheat, barley, oats and rye (if you read any of these ingredients on a label it contains gluten). Gluten-rich flour is widely used in the food manufacturing industry as a cheap cost-efficient thickener.
It can be found in items such as:
- instant pudding mixes
- root beer
- cold-cuts (meat)
- blue cheese
Consequences for Health
The majority of what we eat, including fats and vitamins, is absorbed through the surface of the small intestine via the villi. The villi are a layer in the small intestine that help the body absorb the nutrients. Gluten can be responsible for damaging the villi thus stopping them from properly absorbing the nutrients, potentially leading to Celiac’s disease.
Symptoms of Gluten and/or Wheat Sensitivity
People can be sensitive or allergic to gluten and wheat without even realizing it. Physical symptoms can include:
- slight or severe muscle stiffness
- redness and swelling of the joints
- chest pains
- stuffy nose
- swollen throat
- mucus build up
- skin rashes
- being bloated
- stomach cramps and pains
- swollen stomach.
If you experience some of these symptoms try a gluten free diet for a week and see how you feel. It may be more beneficial than you think!