Gluten-free- why is it beneficial?
Gluten-free options are everywhere and most of the population are jumping on the bandwagon thinking it as a new “diet fad”. It has become a hot topic. What most don’t realize is how transitioning to a gluten-free diet can be healing and life changing in many ways.
In functional medicine, we almost always recommend a gluten-free diet, but why?
Going gluten-free may improve how you feel. It can decrease overall inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the body's attempt to bring more nourishment and immune activity to a site of injury in the body. It's a healing response. The problem, however, is when inflammation persists without reason. Chronic inflammation is at the root of America's most popular illnesses – heart disease, cancer, mental illness such as depression, Alzheimer's disease and a whole host of autoimmune conditions including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Margaret Romero NP-C, an integrative nurse practitioner, says “because gluten creates inflammation in the body, when one has an allergy or sensitivity, a significant reduction in symptoms is noticed pretty quickly. These can include rashes, GI issues such as IBS, autoimmunity, and pain/fibromyalgia.”
Keep in mind that a gluten-free cookie is still a cookie, not a health food! It still has sugar and fat, among other things. Don’t be mislead by labels. It is important during healing to focus on nutrient dense foods vs. empty calories that won’t serve your body much good. If a gluten-free product has a long list of ingredients you are unable to pronounce, it might not be the best alternative. I have included a link below that will help you get started with dinner recipes!
On a personal note, I went gluten-free 2 years ago when my functional medicine practitioner told me I had Hashimoto’s disease and leaky gut. The transition helped my healing process and I am proud to say I no longer have leaky gut and best of all? My Hashimoto’s is in remission! Healing is possible!