If you’re wondering… Is a gluten-free diet good for detox, you’re in the right place. I’ve always loved my carbs and pasta. Until I found out about the real effects of gluten. If you’re interested in living cleaner to improve your health, this is important information for you.
Gluten is the main protein in wheat (also in barley and rye). It’s the glue that holds dough together and our much-loved pasta. In fact, gluten is Latin for ‘glue’!
There are a few other proteins that cause us problems in wheat like wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) and zonulin. But we’ll focus on gluten since if you’re avoiding gluten and wheat, you’re also avoiding the other proteins.
A gluten-free diet is not a fad. It’s a real eating plan that is still delicious and satisfying since there are so many gluten-free foods available now. Even gluten-free bread and pasta!
Take a look at what gluten does to the body. You might decide it’s worth trying or re-confirm why you are gluten-free.
Side Effects of Eating Gluten
You’ve heard of celiac disease, an auto-immune disorder, and complete intolerance of gluten. The symptoms are severe.
But did you know scientists now know gluten is not good for anyone?1 Gluten causes inflammation in the body and is associated with several autoimmune disorders. I’ll get into this in more detail later.
Maybe you’ve noticed some of these symptoms and weren’t sure what was causing them:
- Brain Fog
- Abdominal Pain
- Lactose Intolerance
- Peripheral Neuropathy
- Leaky Gut
And there are more…
Some people just can’t lose that belly fat. Some can’t lose weight even after eating a low-fat diet and exercising. Or your labs might show some underlying inflammation markers.
Gluten can take you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. Anxiety, depression, moodiness.
Is any of this familiar?
Suggested: Thrive Market Review: Organic Foods and More
Wheat – An Old Staple
Just a brief history of how wheat got to be such a staple in our diets:
Humans didn’t start cultivating and harvesting wheat until about 9,000-10,000 years ago. In the grand scheme of things, that isn’t very long. Previously, humans survived on meat as hunters, then evolved to being gatherers of vegetables and fruits in addition to meats.
In the 1700s, automated production and milling came into play. Wheat was so easy to store and produce cheaply, so it became a staple. Strains were cross-bred and refined from the earlier ‘wild’ versions of wheat.
Wheat has been genetically modified in the last 50 years or so. This wheat we consume today is nothing like the wheat earlier man discovered. And our bodies were never equipped to handle today’s wheat and gluten.
Earlier man was lean and adaptable, able to walk for days. They didn’t have autoimmune diseases or the diabetes epidemic of today. Their biggest challenge for survival was outrunning predators and finding food, water, and shelter in winter. They were pretty healthy overall.
Gluten and Our Diet Today
In the last 60+ years, we know the medical community prescribed a high-carb, low-fat diet to lower cholesterol and prevent heart attacks. It was a good idea in theory. Unfortunately, it hasn’t stopped those or a lot of other problems. (We actually need more healthy fats in our diet, but that’s another article).
Wheat consumption has skyrocketed in the Western diet and has encroached on the diet in Asia and Africa (replacing rice). Oxford Nutrition Reviews2 gave these stats:
- In 2017, 750.1 million metric tons of wheat were produced worldwide.
- Wheat production has increased 5-fold since 1955. That is staggering!
With the increase of wheat (and gluten) in our diet, the incidence of celiac disease has also increased 5-fold. So have autoimmune diseases. And all the carbs from our beloved wheat products boost glucose in the system, which can lead to diabetes. Diabetes diagnoses are at an all-time high.
Rheumatic (arthritis), endocrinological (Hashimotos, for one), gastrointestinal (celiac, leaky gut), and neurological (autoimmune encephalitis, multiple sclerosis) autoimmune diseases have increased at an average annual rate by 3.7% to 7.1% between 1985 and 2015.
The cause is inflammation. And that’s next on our list of things to talk about.
Gluten and Inflammation
There is a difference between simple inflammation and chronic inflammation. Inflammation is just the body’s way of fighting any kind of intruder in our body.
When you catch a cold, your immune system will rev up and fight off those cold germs. When you cut your finger, the body sends in white blood cells to try and prevent infection.
But when your body has a continuous influx of something it thinks it needs to defend against, that creates chronic inflammation. Your body is trying to attack the invader.
Chronic inflammation can also cause cancer because of the pro-inflammatory actions and free radicals.
One of the ways the proteins in wheat (gluten, WGA, and zonulin) cause inflammation is they cause gut permeability, allowing dietary substances and toxins to sneak through the lining of the gut and go directly into the bloodstream3. That, of course, causes an immediate immune response and inflammation.
And it could be additional additives and pest control chemicals that make wheat and gluten a problem. See this video by Thomas DeLauer for even more info:
So, gluten (and wheat) can cause inflammation in everyone, not just those with celiac disease. And over a long period of time, even worse health conditions could arise. Even cancer.
If you are trying to live cleaner and healthier, it would be wise to consider a gluten-free diet.
Suggested: Thrive Market Review: Organic Foods and More
Is A Gluten-Free Diet Good For Detoxing the Body?
Many people, including me, have found they feel a lot better when eating gluten-free foods. Gluten and other proteins in wheat can cause inflammation, leading to autoimmune disorders, cancer, or even diabetes.
Is a gluten-free diet good for detoxing the body? Absolutely, yes!!
There are a great variety of gluten-free breads, pastas, and other foods available in your local grocery store. Give them a try and see how you feel.
Thank you for reading today. If you have any comments or questions, please do leave them in the Comments section below. I’ll answer ASAP. Thank you!
- Perlmutter, D. (2018). Grain Brain [book].
- Lerner, A. et. al. (2017). Adverse effects of gluten ingestion and advantages of gluten withdrawal in nonceliac autoimmune disease.
- de Punder, K and Pruimboom. (2013). The Dietary Intake of Wheat and other cereal Grains and Their Role in Inflammation.