Following a gluten-free diet is becoming more popular as people begin to understand the damage that gluten can do to sufferers of Celiac Disease. While others may be jumping on the bandwagon, avoiding gluten can still be part of a healthy diet.
The problem is that replacing gluten in the diet can be a challenge. Thankfully, there are a few good recipes out there to keep you healthy and your taste buds satisfied.
There is no need to compromise great taste when you give up gluten. The black bean loaf recipe below is full of nutrition and taste, and there is no gluten anywhere in sight.
Gluten is a protein found in cereal grains, so you find it almost everywhere. Bread, pasta, cereal, baked goods, and even sauces all contain gluten. For those who have an intolerance or allergy, this little protein can wreak some real havoc.
Over time, exposure to gluten leads to inflammation throughout your intestines, causing serious damage to the lining of your gut. The result is uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, gas, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping.
Damage to your intestinal wall also means that the efficient absorption of nutrients is impaired, putting you in need of help bringing it back to full health. The more severe cases of gluten sensitivity or the development of Celiac disease will have a negative impact on your life.
The only way to confirm gluten sensitivity is with a blood test, but unfortunately, there is no cure at this time. Medications can help with symptom relief, but you ultimately end up having to live with the condition.
The best option you have when diagnosed with gluten intolerance is to change your diet. Going gluten-free removes the culprit from your diet, allowing the inflammation to cease and your gut to heal and resume regular activity.
Gluten-free diets are more popular today as the awareness of gluten sensitivity increases. Many alternatives to gluten foods are available in stores now and favorite recipes have been adapted to replace gluten.
In many cases, a gluten-free diet is followed by those without a tolerance simply because it offers a more digestive-friendly path.
You can benefit from a gluten-free diet without having any sensitivity to the protein. There are numerous benefits to your health with a gluten-free diet, making it a top option for anybody looking to promote their health and well-being.
Improves cholesterol levels: The gluten protein is one of the causes of high cholesterol levels, so removing it from your diet will keep cholesterol regulated. Lowering cholesterol in your blood will prevent high blood pressure as well as heart disease.
Fewer toxins: Gluten-free diets allow you to avoid processed foods. These unhealthy snacks and foods contain fats and sugars, as well as unnatural ingredients that clog your digestive system. The digestion of these processed foods increases the production of toxins and free radicals, which cause damage to the cells and tissues in your body.
Regulate blood sugar: By avoiding processed and high-sugar foods that are commonly associated with gluten, you decrease your overall sugar intake. Blood sugar spikes over time can contribute to the development of diabetes.
Gluten-free diets limit sugar by way of eliminating gluten snacks, thereby allowing your blood sugar levels to stay in balance.
Increased energy: Gluten-free diets mean you rely on a different source of energy. By burning healthy fats instead of carbohydrates and sugars, you get more sustained levels of energy.
Sugar produces bursts of energy followed by uncomfortable crashes. However, with gluten-free living, you get energy from healthy fats, fresh fruits, and vegetables, and there is no risk of a crash.
Improved digestion: The gluten protein and many of the foods it is in are not ideal for digestive processes. The gut bacteria in your intestine prefer natural foods, and the breakdown of carbohydrates and sugars only increases the number of harmful bacteria.
Along with damage to the intestinal lining, gluten-fed bacteria trigger inflammation, which impedes healthy digestion. To keep your gut microbiome happy and healthy, give them a gluten-free diet.
Enhanced immunity: A large portion of the bacteria in your gut are responsible for the actions of your immune system. That being said, a healthy bacterial balance in your gut will improve immunity. Gluten and inflammation can damage your intestines as well as other vital organs, so reducing intake protects your gut and provides support for an enhanced immune system.
3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 diced red bell pepper
1 shredded carrot
1 diced jalapeno
2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup finely diced cilantro
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup sweet corn (organic preferred)
1/2 cup gluten-free oats
1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
For the sauce:
1/3 cup green salsa
1/2 avocado, mashed
2 tablespoons finely diced cilantro
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In a bowl, mix the flaxseed meal and water and leave in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the loaf.
2. Over a medium heat, sauté onions, jalapenos, peppers, carrots, and garlic for about 6 or 7 minutes. Place in a bowl, stir in the cilantro, and set aside.
3. Blend one can of black beans in a food processor and then add it along with the other can to the bowl of vegetables. Mix in the corn, oats, oat flour, and flaxseed meal until thoroughly blended. Add salt, pepper, and spices to your desired taste.
4. Press the loaf into the pan and bake for 35 minutes. Blend the sauce ingredients in a blender and pour over the bean loaf once it has cooled.
Going gluten-free is more than a fad. As people learn about the dangers of gluten and the negative impact it can have on digestion as well as overall health, the more this diet makes sense.
Many of the tasty treats we love have gluten, but you can still get great taste with this beneficial diet. The recipe above shows how easy you can switch things up, living gluten-free and disease-free.