Let’s face it, if you need to be gluten-free it can pose all kinds of challenges when cooking, baking and even simply buying ingredients. Not everyone needs to be gluten-free, and although it may help your health it can cause problems if you don’t do it right. Processed consumer foods definitely lack nutrition (and don’t usually taste like you’d expect them to) and even some gluten-free flour blends are so starch-laden they can cause constipation, stomach upset and weight gain. So, if you’re going to be gluten-free, remember you need nutrition that includes whole foods such as fruit and vegetables, ancient grains, superfoods all of which contain healthy fiber. Avoiding nutrient depleted ingredients as much as possible is a step in the right direction, regardless of whether you’re sensitive, allergic or intolerant to gluten.
There may be some advantages to being gluten-free (even occasionally) if you’re athletic. Traditional energy sources for athletes have been wheat-based in the past, however some top athletes of today are finding they perform better without wheat. More research needs to be done, but some say they have increased mental clarity, reduced bloat and fewer stomach issues. Gluten can create inflammation in the intestine (causes bloating) and is thought to contribute to a reduction in nutrient absorption. Remember to do your research and seek expert advice (your doctor) when making any serious changes to your diet.