If you suffer from gas, bloating, indigestion, headaches, sinus pain, skin rashes, allergies, asthma or excess pounds that won't budge, it could be that you need to go gluten-free.
Gluten is a protein molecule found in wheat, rye and barley (beer drinkers, beware!).
America Now Wellness Expert Peggy Hall says "the problem is that humans do not digest gluten well because the gluten molecule is larger than what can be absorbed through your intestines. So, it bounces around in your digestive tract, causing irritation and inflammation and over time, damaging the lining of your small intestine to the point where other nutrients can't be absorbed."
Symptoms of gluten intolerance include sluggishness/fatigue, digestive problems, joint pain, thinning hair, and frequent congestion/sore throats/runny nose -- the body is trying to eliminate the irritant. Additional problems range from acid reflux to carb cravings, even to infertility.
So what's the good news?
Peggy says it's easy to get gluten out of your diet!
"For gluten-free foods, think of the acronym CROP: corn, rice, oats and potatoes," says Peggy. "Remember, gluten is found primarily in wheat, rye and barley. Just swap out those foods for gluten-free foods like corn, rice, potatoes, beans, oats and quinoa. Instead of wheat toast, have rice bread or rice crackers. For your morning cereal, have oatmeal or cream of rice. You can even make your own cookies and pies using gluten-free flours made from rice, ground almonds and other gluten-free starches."
But, she warns, don't get duped into wasting money on processed foods that say "gluten-free."
Ice cream, chocolate and potato chips are indeed gluten-free, but that doesn't mean they are necessarily good for you.
"Be smart about what you put into your body," Peggy says. "And your body will thank you for it in terms of increased energy and greater well-being!"
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