The effects of gluten goes beyond just bloating and diarrhea. There are links between gluten and depression, eczema, weight gain and some autoimmune diseases. This all from a protein found in some types of grains, like rye, wheat and barley.
Gluten has a binding action, but also makes breads rise. Although gluten is a bit problematic, since as it moves down the digestive track it makes hundreds of small paper cuts and this causes inflammation. For most people this is not an issue, but for others can suffer from mild to serious health problems. The problems can range from gluten sensitivity, a leaking gut, to Celiac disease where the lining of the gut has been destroyed by gluten.
Luckily, there are gluten-free alternatives, which are not only healthier but you could still eat breads, pastas or pizzas made from these grains.
Sorghum, with its mild flavor, can be ground into flour for baking gluten-free goods, but it can also used for sorghum syrup, a type of sweetener. This grain is also used to make alcoholic beverages like beers. Sorghum can also be used as a substitute for barley.
This gluten-free grain contains plant compounds that are beneficial as they act as antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress, lower the risk of chronic disease and can reduce inflammation. Another healthy benefit of sorghum is that it is high in fiber. This can aid in reducing the absorption of sugar to maintain the blood sugar levels stable. In addition, sorghum is a rich source of iron and protein.
Quinoa one of the super foods from Peru, is a very versatile natural gluten-free grain. You can eat it cooked, or crushed into a flour to make pancakes or bread. It has a sweetcorn-like taste, and it is very tasty.
This grain is rich in fiber. Quinoa is also a pure protein, which means it contains all eight essential amino acids needed by our bodies. In fact, one cup of cooked quinoa contains 5 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein. This means that quinoa is ideal for people that want to lose a bit of weight. Plus, this super food is also packed with micro-nutrients such as magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. Moreover, it has a high amount of antioxidants, which is valuable in decreasing the risk of disease.
Oats are naturally gluten-free, but you should be careful as some brands contaminate their supplies by the way they farm and process it. Therefore, if your sensitivity toward gluten is severe, then you should make sure that the oats is labeled as certified gluten-free.
Still, oats is very healthy. It is a great source of beta-glucan, which is a type of soluble fiber. This fiber can lower bad cholesterol without disturbing your good cholesterol. This means oats, on a regular diet, is good for people with heart and cholesterol problems. Additionally, this fiber may decelerate the absorption of sugar and lower blood sugar, and insulin levels. Oats also contains a good amount of protein, and other micronutrients such as phosphorus, magnesium and B vitamins.
The buckwheat grain-like seed from Japan is naturally gluten-free and has not relation to wheat. You can enjoy it in a flour form, to make pancakes or look out for buckwheat pasta. Either way, this is a super healthy alternative to wheat.
It is packed with antioxidants, particularly rutin and quercetin. Rutin have been found to be beneficial in reducing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and quercetin has been shown to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Still, buckwheat has also been found to reduce the risk factors for heart disease. This is as it lowers the bad cholesterol and increases the good cholesterol. Buckwheat can also reduce your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Buckwheat is also a good source of protein, and has over 90% of your daily intake needs of magnesium, copper and manganese.
Teff it the world smallest grain, but packed with nutritional goodness. It is high in protein, which is excellent for weight management. It also boosts your metabolism, which means it is great for weight loss. This tiny grain is also a source of fiber. Nevertheless, it also has plenty of B vitamins, especially thiamin.
One of the cheapest of the alternatives to wheat is rice, particularly brown rice, and it is a healthy grain.
The difference between brown and white rice is that, white rice has had the bran and germ of the grain removed during processing.
Brown rice is full of fiber, and has many micro-nutrients. Moreover, it could lower your risk of diabetes, weight gain and heart problems. Brown rice also contains protein, magnesium and selenium.
Irrespective if you have celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten, or just a hipster that is following a gluten-free diet, eating this sort of diet can be extremely healthy. It is also a very challenging lifestyle to follow, if not expensive. Luckily, there are varieties of gluten-free alternatives to wheat available.
Most of these, if not all, are packed with health benefits that range wider than just been gluten-free, which can reduce your risk of disease, but could leave you slimmer and with clearer skin.