Gluten, is a sticky protein found in cereal grains, such as wheat, rye, and barley, that makes the goods light and fluffy, which is very desirable to those who enjoys it. Unfortunately it have been linked to many symptoms related to diseases and imbalances of the body such as celiac, heart conditions, skin disorders (i.e eczema), cystic fibrosis, autism, ADD, ADHD, weight gain, cravings, anxiety, confustion, PMS, acne, diabetes, headaches, numbness, restlessness, congestion, mental fogginess, and so many more.
Of the glutenous grains, wheat contains the highest concentration of gluten. There are 30 species of wheat; however, in countries such as the USA only three are being produced for human consumption: Durum (such as in pasta), common wheat (or bread wheat), and club wheat (similar to bread wheat). Over the past 2 or so decades the hybridization of these variety of wheat has greatly increased the gluten content.
The problem people run into is how much wheat they are exposed to daily. Wheat is often used as additives, fillers, or even as one of the main ingredient in many products and restaurant type meals that it is causing inflammation in the digestive tract of people who have become sensitive, or allergic to it. This inflammation causes tearing or separation of the lining in the small intestine. When this occurs larger food substances can enter the blood stream, which leads to many of the imbalances mentioned earlier. Another issue is that many of the products that normally don’t contain wheat or gluten, such as oatmeal and rice, are being manufactured in factories that are also producing wheat and gluten products so it is possible to have cross contamination.
Since everyone is biochemically different many people are not aware they are sensitive or allergic to wheat. Children are especially difficult to diagnose because so many of their favorite foods contains wheat, such as fried foods, sandwiches, pasta, mac and cheese, pizza, gravy, cookies, cake, ice cream cones, some candy, and many packaged foods found on the shelves in the grocery stores.
What can you do? The best way to avoid wheat and gluten is to feed your family meals made from fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts/seeds, fresh beans and high quality meats. If these are not convenient for you to prepare than it is important to learn to read the labels of any meals being purchased. For store bought meals manufacturers are now putting on the label if the product contains wheat or have been processed in factories where wheat/gluten is also being processed.
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Sandra Hurd has her Master’s degree Holistic Nutrition Consulting and specializes in helping parents find the most effective eczema treatments that stops their child from the constant scratching associated with eczema. You can sign up for her free Eczema Newsletter at http://www.stopmychildseczema.com
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