Starting a gluten free diet is a lifestyle choice that individuals make for many reasons. Whether you're going gluten free to cut back on simple carbohydrates or recently discovered that you have celiac disease, there are several benefits of a gluten free diet. Gluten is present in a variety of foods ranging from bread and pasta to cereals and snacks. Gluten can even be hiding in your favorite condiments, beverages and shampoos. While avoiding gluten all together may seem like a challenging task, it's well worth the effort.
There are plenty of reasons to begin a gluten free diet. However, if you're someone suffering from a gluten allergy, this diet is a must. If you've chosen to start a gluten free lifestyle, it's helpful to learn about the many benefits it provides. Our Bob's Red Mill experts put together this list of the top ten gluten free diet benefits to help you stay motivated and on track. Continue reading to learn more.
Elevated Energy Levels
Have your energy levels been crashing lately? Or maybe you notice that your friends always have a bit more energy than you, even after eating the same meal. If this is your case, then a gluten sensitivity may be the cause of your grogginess. Individuals who are allergic to gluten often suffer from fatigue after eating gluten-filled meals. When consuming gluten, inflammation occurs and damages the intestines. These abnormal inflammation levels affect the absorption of many nutrients, including iron. Low levels of iron and other nutrients can keep your body from running as it should, causing you to feel less energized. By switching over to a gluten free diet, you can provide your body with the time it needs to repair itself, absorb more nutrients and boost energy levels.
Searching for a gluten free dish that's high in iron, try out this Easy Chickpea Flatbread With Vegetables.
Helps Maintain a Healthy Weight
With celiac disease comes many symptoms that can negatively impact your digestive system. Bloating, gas and fatigue are just a few of the many symptoms individuals sensitive to gluten may experience daily. This lack of nutrition, energy and impaired digestion can directly impact the overall function of your metabolism. By eating healthy, gluten free foods, you eliminate these stressors, helping your body to run how it should. As a result, your body can achieve a healthy metabolism and receive the nutrients it needs to function correctly.
For a metabolism-boosting gluten free dish, make these Spinach and Quinoa Bites.
We mentioned that bloating was a gluten intolerance symptom, but doesn't everyone experience bloating from time to time? Bloating is most commonly caused by excessive gas production. When you are gluten intolerant, you are much more likely to experience gas after eating foods rich in gluten. To combat this uncomfortable bloating, it's essential that you steer clear of these foods and stick to a gluten free diet. Upon going gluten free,you'll notice a difference in your digestive distress almost immediately, and your stomach will feel significantly better after each meal.
Want to banish bloating all together? Start by making this Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole.
Helps Ease Joint Pain
By now, you're aware that celiac disease and gluten intolerance significantly affect your digestive system. However, did you know that the unwanted inflammation doesn't stop there? Gluten allergy sets off an abnormal immune reaction. This is the main culprit of inflammation and affects your entire body. High levels of inflammation can cause significant pain in joints like the knees and wrists. So, if you've noticed your body a bit more achy than usual, it may be a sign to switch your diet asap. Starting a gluten free diet will help decrease this unwanted inflammation, easing up joint pain. However, you must stick with it! Even trace amounts of gluten can trigger inflammation and result in a recurrence of your symptoms.
For a recipe that will have your entire body feeling great, make this Gluten Free Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff.
Eliminates Unhealthy and Processed Foods From Your Diet
Going gluten free has many benefits, one of which is that it makes it easier to eliminate unhealthy and processed foods from your diet. By avoiding many common gluten-containing foods like breads, desserts and fried foods, you can seek healthier ways to satisfy the same cravings. Going gluten free but love breaded food? Fear now. This Five Ingredient Almond Chicken Tender recipe is just what you need.
Up Your Daily Intake of Fruits and Veggies
Not sure what foods are gluten free and which aren't? While useful guides like this Guide to Going Gluten Free will steer you in the right direction, it's essential to know that all fruits and vegetables are gluten free! This means that you can safely fill your plates with colorful produce without the risk of setting off any gluten associated symptoms. Incorporating a healthy amount of fruits and vegetables into your diet is a great way to boost your health and overall lifestyle.
For a gluten free and veggie-filled dish that you're bound to enjoy, make this Summer Quinoa Succotash Salad.
Going Gluten Free Can Improve Bone Health
We've talked about how gluten intolerance can impact your ability to receive specific vitamins and nutrients. Like iron, calcium is one of the nutrients that gluten sensitive individuals are often low in. Calcium plays a crucial role in bone health, and making sure that you get enough of it is essential for maintaining health. Luckily there are many gluten free foods loaded with calcium. Make it a goal to begin incorporating dishes like this Four Layer Millet Salad into your daily diet.
Boost your calcium intake safely with this gluten free Black Bean Quinoa Salad recipe.
Boost Creativity in the Kitchen
Do you feel like you've been in a bit of a rut when it comes to recipes? Beginning a gluten free lifestyle will quickly change that! Going gluten free doesn't mean you have to give up your favorite foods. However, it does mean that you'll have to make some swaps here and there. By searching for and trying out new gluten free recipes, you can improve your health and cooking skills at the same time. Get creative in the kitchen, test out a recipe you've never tried before, or search for a gluten free version of your favorite comfort food.
When it comes to comfort food, this gluten free Gluten Free Chicken Pot Pie recipe is one of our favorites.
Introduces You to New Foods
Much like going gluten free will introduce you to new recipes; it will also introduce you to an abundance of new foods. While there are several gluten free ingredients you can choose from, here are a couple of our favorites:
Swap Gluten Free Flour for Regular Flour
When baking gluten free items, you'll want to ditch the regular flour you've been using. Instead, use a gluten free flour like our Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. An easy way to continue making your favorite goods, this flour makes gluten free baking simple.
Make Your Own Gluten Free Pasta
Pasta is a typical gluten-filled dish that many individuals can't live without. The good news is that you don't have to. By following this recipe and making gluten free pasta at home, you can create a delicious bowl of your favorite comfort foods - entirely free of gluten! Even those that aren't gluten free will love it.
Stick to Homemade Broth
When it comes to going gluten free, it's important to read food labels. Canned soup is one of many foods that you may not think to check when choosing to eliminate gluten from your diet. Premade soup mixtures often contain a high amount of sodium and gluten in the seasonings and flavor. Making homemade broth at home will ensure that your soup is made with healthy, wholesome ingredients completely free of gluten! Make soup for your next meal, or create a big batch and freeze to enjoy throughout the week.
Clear up Brain Fog
While brain fog isn't a medically diagnosed symptom, those who experience it know exactly what it feels like. Brain fog sometimes occurs after eating a gluten-filled meal. If you've noticed that after eating, you feel a bit sluggish and generally out of it, then it's likely related to your diet. Gut health plays a large role in mental health, and eliminating gluten from your diet could help clear up that brain fog once and for all.
For most people, gluten isn't terrible. Their body can fully process the protein without experiencing any symptoms at all. However, for those with a gluten allergy or celiac disease, eating gluten-filled foods can negatively impact their daily life. The many benefits of being gluten free are well worth ditching this protein entirely for those sensitive to gluten. While it might not seem easy at first, as with anything, practice makes perfect, and before you know it, eating gluten free will come naturally to you! From everyone at Bob's Red Mill, we wish you the best on your gluten free journey!