If you’re active on the internet or social media, you’ve probably heard of a gluten-free diet. While this diet has become trendy, there is scientific merit behind it. Gluten is a protein found in many grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye. While certain conditions such as celiac disease require a gluten-free diet, many people do it just for the health benefits.
Reduction of Gut Inflammation
One of the biggest benefits of limiting gluten in your diet is a reduction of gut inflammation. When this grain protein interacts with the membranes in the intestines, it can cause inflammation that leads to severe discomfort. Intestinal irritation can contribute to painful conditions such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. While these maladies don’t usually damage your overall health, they aren’t comfortable while they last. By limiting gluten in your diet, you can reduce the amount of inflammation in your GI tract.
If you have a condition like celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or irritable bowel syndrome, limiting your gluten intake could help reduce your symptoms. Because the common thread of these conditions is intestinal inflammation, reducing the swelling in your bowels will improve your overall health. Whether you need to restrict your gluten or eliminate it, opting for simple substitutions such as grain free flour can make the transition easy. Reducing the amount of gluten you eat can help control GI inflammation.
Promotion of Weight Loss
Another health benefit of a low-gluten diet is quicker weight loss. Whether you have gluten sensitivity or not, the sticky nature of the protein causes bloating. This bloating can lead to weight gain or difficulty losing weight when working out. By limiting gluten in your diet, you give yourself better chances for weight loss by reducing bloating. When you limit the amount of extra bloat in your gut, you can improve your overall digestion. Additionally, reducing bloating will help ensure you get the maximum amount of nutrients from your meals.
There’s another, more obvious way that limiting gluten can contribute to weight loss. Because gluten is a grain protein, it’s often found in high-carb and high-fat foods that aren’t that good for you. While carbs and fats are necessary for the body to function, a diet with too many can lead to weight gain and poor health. By reducing the amount of gluten in your diet, you’ll also decrease the number of unhealthy foods you eat. Whether you limit gluten or cut it out entirely, controlling your intake can lead to healthy weight loss.
Increased Energy Production
Finally, limiting gluten in your diet can lead to increased energy. For people who are sensitive to this protein, the body spends an immense amount of energy going through basic digestion. Because the gut can’t break down the grain protein, it just continues to try to process the food without success. This constant circulation takes a lot of energy from the body, which leads to chronic fatigue and brain fog in many people. By reducing gluten in your diet, you can make the digestive process easier on your body and increase your energy production.
People with gluten sensitivity also experience fatigue due to nutrient deficiencies. When the body is focused on processing what it views as a foreign molecule, it will often miss the nutrients in the meals you eat. Additionally, inflammation from the gluten can cause your GI tract to not work properly, leading to poor nutrient absorption. By reducing gluten intake, you can increase the amount of nutrients you get from your meals. These nutrients will fuel each system of your body, from your brain to your muscles. If you feel like you’re constantly exhausted despite sleeping plenty, it may be time for a dietary change.
Overall, there are some measured health benefits of limiting gluten in your diet. While it’s not a necessary dietary restriction for everyone, being conscientious of this molecule can lead to better overall health. If you’re curious about trying a gluten-free diet, talk to your doctor or nutritionist for some ideas about how.