So I’ve talked to you all about cutting wheat from my diet, but why?
I know it’s asking a big thing to completely turn how you eat upside down. But would it be worth it if you felt better? Could you give up your bagels?
Most of you have probably heard about celiac disease, an autoimmune reaction triggered by even a tiny amount of gluten. It is imperative that a person with celiac avoid ALL gluten. And it’s hidden in lots of places.
So if you don’t have celiac’s, are you in the clear?
I’m afraid not.
Gluten is not the only issue with wheat.
A different family of proteins found in wheat and other grains—called amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) could also be causing problems. Researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University say that ATIs appear to cause inflammation, and may make chronic health conditions worse.
According to a health.com article, “ATI’s can trigger powerful immune responses in the gut that can affect other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, kidneys, spleen, and brain.
This reaction can worsen chronic conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, they say.
It also likely contributes to the development of a condition known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity, in which people test negative for celiac disease but still suffer gastrointestinal pain, fatigue, and other unpleasant symptoms after eating bread, pasta, and other wheat products.”
Any type of chronic inflammation is going to cause us a multitude of problems and inflammation in the gut is no different. It can contribute to a problem called intestinal permeability.
Our gut has a monitoring system that lets certain components from our digested food into the bloodstream while keeping everything else out. This is designed to help us “flush” the bad stuff away while allowing nutrients to get where they are needed.
Any inflammation in gut messes up that process. It loosens the junctions between cells in the gut wall so unwanted stuff can pass through. You may have heard of Leaky Gut — well, it means exactly that. Any by allowing unwanted, unneeded, and HARMFUL substances, we can set off a cascade of more inflammation, a confused immune system, and lots of chronic issues.
How does this actually confuse our immune system? With something called Molecular Mimicry. Our immune system is generally smart, and recognizes unwanted foreign substances (pathogens) and attacks them (if you want the science nerd version, check out this article), However, when our gut is leaky, our immune system begins to get overwhelmed and overworked, and can begin to confuse unwanted pathogens with our own good cells (i.e. autoimmune disease).
And to top it all off, this does a number on the health of our gut. The gut is the boss of our immune system, it influences hormone production, brain health, nutrient production, and a whole lot more. When our gut health is bad, our own overall health is bad.
SO. I hope that explains a bit about why I choose to avoid wheat. There’s actually a lot more to it than just the issues with gluten and ATI’s but I thought it would at least give you a little peak into why it’s worth going wheat/grain free for a least 30 days to see if it makes a difference for you.
And goodness. Take a probiotic please. Love your gut. FOR REALS.