To gluten or not to gluten? That's the question on everyone's mind these days. Wheat is the most commonly eaten grain in America. Consumption seems to cause problems for many - ranging from digestive problems to candida outbreaks, headaches and food allergies. Your body's relationship with gluten doesn't have to be mysterious. By following these simple guidelines, Ayurveda can help you determine whether or not to eliminate gluten from your diet.
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Step 1: Listen to your own body for wisdomBefore jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon, consider the physical and emotional effects you experience after a thick slice of bread or a bowl of pasta. How does it make you feel? Do you feel hot or cold after eating gluten? Tired or hyperactive? Do you experience any discomfort anywhere? Some people are allergic, others simply can't digest wheat (an intolerance only) because it is too heavy and gooey. If you have a...
Step 2: Experiment with eliminating wheat from your dietIf you're still unsure how your body reacts to wheat, try a wheat-free diet for 2 weeks. See if you feel a difference. Then, add it back, a little at a time. Sometimes, it seems that life without wheat is nearly impossible. When you start to wonder how you could possibly survive without wheat, keep in mind that 2/3's of the world subsists on rice, corn & potatoes.
Ayurveda is not against wheat or gluten. Traditional Indian Ayurvedic diet includes Rotis - whole wheat flour flatbread. However, like most foods in Ayurveda, a little bit can be medicine and a lot is often poison. Ayurveda favors a diet that includes a wide variety of grains, fruits and vegetables. A nice rule of thumb is to eat wheat at no more than one meal a day in order to keep variety in your diet. Variety is the spice of life! And and a secret to happy digestion! For more tips on figuring out your food intolerances, click here:
ConclusionBy following these steps, you can easily determine whether or not you need to remove gluten from your diet. Sometimes, you may be allergic to 2 or more foods in your diet. In that case you won't notice an improvement in your health by removing wheat alone.
What To Do If You Have an Allergy or Intolerance to WheatIf you have an allergy to wheat, you must remove wheat and products containing gluten from your diet. Gluten appears as an additive in many popular foods, sauces and condiments, so do your research.
You may purchase one of these guidelines for reducing allergy symptoms:
Sometimes gluten free alternatives are worse than wheat itself, especially when manufacturers try to make bread using highly processed ingredients to compensate for the absence of gluten. Examples include additives like xantham gum. If you have trouble digesting wheat, try the natural approach by simply eating a corn tortilla, or homefries instead. Here are some gluten free options:
Other Tips to Improve Your Tolerance to Wheat
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About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
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Very useful Information
Very interesting article adding some balanced info to the why or why not eat gluten. Is there a reason why the reaction to gluten (and dairy) is often a few days later? And why it can induce tiredness a few days later (is digestion still happening or should it be in the system by then?)?
Extremely clear and practical. Thank you!