Dairy-free and gluten-free diets are more common today than ever before. What you eat matters to the health of your gut. There are a number of foods that are known to cause sensitivities in people. Common culprits are dairy products and gluten, and intolerances to these foods can cause gastrointestinal problems.

Having a food intolerance means that any consumption of the specific food can cause a variety of ailments, from digestive discomfort to illness. Removing the culprit from your diet is the only way to maintain health, but sadly this means the elimination of many of your favorite items.

The good news, though, is that with gluten-free and dairy-free diets you’ll feel better, and there are plenty of great recipes out there to keep your taste buds happy, too.

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Benefits of Gluten-Free Eating

Cutting gluten from your diet will improve digestive health even if you only have a mild sensitivity to the protein. Those with celiac disease, or a strong intolerance, must follow a gluten-free diet to avoid serious health problems.

Regardless of the reason, reducing or cutting gluten from your diet can benefit your health in several ways.

Cholesterol levels improve because gluten is known to cause elevated cholesterol levels which can contribute to heart disease and other cardiovascular problems.

Digestion improves as less inflammation is triggered in response to the presence of gluten. Gluten can interfere with nutrient absorption in the intestines, so this will also improve when gluten is removed. You can even improve that absorption with the right probiotics.

Energy levels will increase as a result of reduced inflammation. Inflammation causes fatigue, and improper nutrient absorption can also interfere with energy levels. Removing gluten means your gut will function properly, which means energy will be more naturally sustained.

Reduced inflammation also reduces your risk for other serious diseases, such as diabetes and certain cancers.

Your immune system gets additional support as you can now absorb nutrients and beneficial minerals more efficiently. This ensures your immune system is stronger and better able to battle bacteria and viruses.

You will have better control over your weight for two reasons. Inflammation triggers fat storage, which increases obesity. By avoiding pre-packaged foods (known to contain gluten), you will naturally eat healthier and can lose weight.

Benefits to Dairy-Free Eating

Most people decide to cut lactose because they have an intolerance to this sugar. In fact, more people have an intolerance to lactose than they realize. If you notice that you frequently experience digestive discomfort after consuming dairy, it may be worth discussing with your doctor.

a group of glasses with milk and nuts

Because so many people have a small intolerance to dairy, avoiding it can lead to several health benefits.

♦ You'll feel less bloated. Lactose commonly causes gas and bloating which can be uncomfortable. Removing dairy from your diet is the best way to reduce this bloating, along with other common digestive issues like diarrhea and cramping.

♦ You can lose weight. Most dairy products contain a large amount of fat which contributes to weight gain. By replacing these fattier foods with leaner proteins and important prebiotic fibers, you will lose weight and maintain overall better health.

♦ You'll notice healthier skin as a result of cutting dairy. Lactose, along with fats in dairy products, can increase inflammation that causes skin irritations and acne. Studies have found links between dairy consumption and skin breakouts, and cutting dairy can be a natural way to resolve common skin issues.

♦ Your overall health will improve as cutting dairy allows for more efficient nutrient absorption in the gut. Sensitivity to lactose causes disruption to the digestive process, and you may miss out on essential vitamins and minerals from your food.

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Egg Roll in a Bowl


2 Tbsp. olive oil divided

1 lb. ground turkey

1.5 cup sweet onion finely diced

1 cup carrots shredded

½ tsp ginger minced

3 cloves garlic crushed

¼ cup chicken broth

5 cups cabbage cut into ¼-inch shreds

2 Tbsp. sauce, gluten-free

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

½ tsp. salt to taste

¼ tsp. pepper to taste

1 tsp. toasted sesame oil

Toasted sesame seeds optional

Green onions optional

a spoon in a bowl of food


1. In a large pan over medium heat, drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil and add ground turkey. Cook the turkey for 5-6 minutes or until turkey is almost cooked through. Push turkey to the side of the pan and add onion and another tablespoon of oil. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, then add shredded carrots, garlic, and ginger and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir the vegetables and turkey together.

2. Pour chicken broth in the pan and scrape the bottom of it to deglaze it. Add cabbage, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir well and cover with a lid. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until cabbage is cooked to your desired tenderness. Add toasted sesame oil, top with green onions and toasted sesame seeds, and serve with cauliflower rice.

3. Lactose intolerance and gluten sensitivity can be the cause for serious digestive discomfort and issues. From chronic diarrhea or constipation to gas, bloating, and even leaky gut syndrome, reactions to these foods can be bad news for your health. The best way to protect your gut and your health is to remove the culprits. With the recipe above you won’t have to feel like you’re giving up good food.

The Bottom Line

You should always speak with your doctor about possible food sensitivities. There is no need to cut food from your diet unless it interferes with your health. Gluten and lactose are common culprits for digestive issues, so consider these if you notice that you have frequent stomach upset and troubles.

The best way to identify a problem is to keep track of what you eat and make a note of symptoms. Once a particular food is identified as the source of a problem, you can work with your doctor to come up with a beneficial diet plan.