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What is Gluten & How it Affects Your Body

September 07, 2021

What is Gluten & How it Affects Your Body

You may often hear nowadays that gluten is something that we must avoid. Why is that the case? One reason is that nowadays there are more people who are sensitive to gluten. That is why, for some people, cutting it out of their diet entirely  is better for them both physically & mentally. However, is gluten a harmful ingredient that we should all limit or avoid completely? Read on to learn more about what gluten is, how it affects your body, and whether you should include it in your diet.

 

What is Gluten?

First off, gluten is a group of proteins that are commonly found in wheat and barley. It's a binder, similar to glue that helps the food keep its shape. Foods that likely contain gluten include:


  • Beer
  • Pasta
  • Soups
  • Cereals
  • Dressing & Sauces
  • Baked Foods (eg. bread)

 


How Gluten Affects the Body

This will depend largely on each person's body type & whether you are sensitive to gluten. However, in general, when gluten is consumed, our body will break it down into gliadin, a component that usually causes an issue for those who are sensitive to gluten. Although this component cannot be digested by humans, those who do not suffer from sensitivity to gluten are able to easily remove gliadin through their waste. Those who have Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity may experience an autoimmune response which can significantly affect the body or cause them to experience other symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, gas, vomiting, constipation, abdominal pain, and so forth after consuming gluten-foods. As of now, researchers have not been able to identify why some people can or cannot consume gluten.

So whether or not gluten can be a part of your diet will really depend on whether you are sensitive to gluten or not.

 

How Much Gluten is Healthy to Consume?


For those who aren't gluten-sensitive, you can include gluten in your diet, just be mindful that foods containing gluten tend to be higher in carbs. So, if you're on a diet such as a keto diet, you may want to cut down on foods that contain gluten. In general though, how much gluten to consume really depends on each person. On average, we may eat about 10-20 grams of gluten a day. However, it's good to be balanced as any food that you consume too much of can become harmful to your body.

Also, many foods that are high in gluten are often unhealthy for the body if consumed in large amounts, so be balanced. Make sure to include healthy amounts of other categories of foods such as vegetables. If you have any underlying health concerns or issues, consult with your doctor to check and see what would consist a healthy amount of gluten for your body.

What Can Help Aid Your Body In Digesting Gluten?

Although those who don't have gluten-sensitivity can enjoy foods that contain gluten in their diet, this component may still be tough for the body to digest. The following are some tips on what you can do to help your body process gluten better:

 

Drink Water - Staying hydrated helps your body in digesting your foods! Having a hard time drinking enough water? Infuse your water with fruits & herbs to motivate you to drink more water!


Digestive Enzymes - These enzymes help support your body in breaking down those hard to digest foods. We recommend trying FarmHaven's Digestive Enzymes which contains 10 different enzymes & 12 probiotic strains to help support your digestion.


Chew Your Food - Proper digestion starts in the mouth when you chew. Your saliva helps to break down the food you consume.Some experts recommend chewing your food at least 40 times before swallowing each bite.