July 16, 2018 6:45 am Leave your thoughts
We all need a break from our day-to-day life – that’s what holidays are for! But have you ever thought about giving your body – and in particular, your digestive system – a bit of an internal holiday too?
This week, we’re thinking about holidays from gluten: a complex protein found in wheat, rye and barley. About 1% of the population are estimated to be unable to digest gluten, in a condition known as coeliac disease. The gluten proteins cause a serious autoimmune reaction in the digestive system of coeliac sufferers, with painful side-effects and, in severe cases, instances of malnutrition.
At Naturally Good Food we sell a comprehensive range of gluten-free products for coeliacs. Increasingly, however, these products are being bought by people who aren’t actually allergic to gluten at all, but who would like to try out some alternatives. Some people find gluten hard to digest or say that it makes them feel bloated and short of energy. From time to time, they give their bodies a gluten-free holiday: perhaps you’d like to follow suit?
Gluten is all around us
It’s hard to escape gluten in the average Western diet. A menu consisting of toast for breakfast, couscous for lunch, and pasta for supper, with cakes, biscuits and scones for puddings and snacks, will result in a huge daily intake of gluten.
Some wise words on the subject can be found in the Foreword by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to the River Cottage book, River Cottage gluten free, written by Naomi Devlin. Hugh explains that for some time he has been eating less gluten than he used to, reducing his reliance on pastry, pasta and flour-thickened sauces. He makes a couple of simple statements that sum up the problem facing everyone:
‘The modern diet is stuffed, swollen and bound together with tonnes of this stuff; can that possibly be a good thing?… It makes sense to regard with some suspicion the monopoly that glutinous grains have over our diets. It simply isn’t wise to let any ingredient have a dominance in our systems.’
Hugh has enjoyed his gluten-free holiday. He says: ‘this shift has paid dividends. I have more energy; I feel better, sharper, healthier.’
What should you eat on your gluten-free holiday?
If you’ve decided to embark on a gluten-free holiday, your first port of call should really be Naturally Good Food’s vast gluten-free range. In particular, we’d highlight our products that are naturally gluten-free: the grains, like millet, rice and quinoa, that are wonderfully tasty and bursting with vitamins and minerals, and the flours, like coconut flour and ground almonds, that work fantastically well in baking and have no gluten in them whatsoever.
It’s also a good idea to incorporate as many fruit and vegetables as you can into your diet. If you’re consciously avoiding one particular product, make that an opportunity to expand your diet in other, healthier, areas.
Back to real life?
If you feel better for taking a short gluten-free holiday, you might want to consider making some longer-lasting changes to your diet. Don’t, however, cut out any foodstuffs altogether without researching the implications thoroughly and taking medical advice if necessary. Whatever you do, make sure you maintain a balanced diet – but perhaps one that includes some wonderful gluten-free products in it too.coconut flour, coeliac, free from, Gluten free, gluten-free holiday, ground almonds, holiday, Hugh Fearnl, millet, Naomi Devlin, quinoa, Rice, River Cottage gluten free
This post was written by Yzanne