In today's world, there's a dizzying array of products labeled Gluten Free. It's enough to make one HATE shopping because of the total confusion, a chore only undertaken when one absolutely must, rather than starve. But I digress.
I look quizzically at products like Orange Juice and Eggs, Potato Chips and Chicken, that suddenly are riding the branding wave by adding, 'Gluten Free' to their packaging. As if we didn't know that oranges don't contain gluten. It's amusing and enraging at the same time. I laugh out loud - "Let's try some of those Gluten Free Blueberries today..."
So, lets get out of the aisle and talk about Gluten, what it is and why some of us are intolerant to it.
Gluten. It's a sticky subject indeed. Actually the word comes from the French word for glue, (glutain) you know that binding product that sticks things together? Gluten is the protein that is responsible for the elasticity in dough and gives baked bread it's structure. It's also responsible for holding pasta together. The problem? A LOT of people are allergic to it! In fact as many as 18 MILLION people have some form of non-celiac gluten intolerance.
Stomach maladies and IBS type symptoms are the two most common effects of gluten intolerance, but did you know that there are a lot of surprising symptoms that you might not be aware of?
Here are a few more symptoms of gluten intolerance:
1. Depression and Anxiety - Studies now show that Celiac disease and gluten intolerance are linked to depression, anxiety and mood disorders.
2. Brain Fog - Being able to think clearly is important. Research has shown that in sensitive individuals, there can be significant intolerance of IgG Antibodies that can result in feeling 'spaced or foggy'.
3. Autoimmune Disease - Gluten Intolerance has been linked to several Autoimmune diseases, including Thyroid, Hashimoto's & Grave's disease.
4. Migraine Headaches and Skin Problems - Due to the ability of gluten to significantly increase inflammation in the body. Tissues become swollen, restricting blood flow to various areas. The University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research says that eating gluten free can relieve many symptoms of Chronic Migraine sufferers.
5. Achy Joints and Muscles - The Arthritis Foundation has found a significant link between gluten intake and flare up episodes of muscular aches and joint pain. This is due to gluten causing inflammation If you suffer from arthritis, achy joints or swelling, chance are that you can relieve at least part of your symptoms by cutting back on gluten or eliminating foods that contain it altogether. Another way to help stiff and achy joints is to add a Joint Pain Relief and Anti-Inflammatory Supplement that contains a few key essential ingredients: Chondroitin, Glucosamine, MSM and Tumeric. Tumeric is a major anti-inflamatory and strong antioxidant.
For additional tips, recipes and Gluten Free living resources, visit www.IslandBreezeSoups.com
Rocco Antonelli is the Chef and Owner of Award Winning, Island Breeze Soups. He writes about food, gluten free living and offers helpful tips on wellness and living a healthy lifestyle.