No matter where you live in the world you are hearing the word “gluten” a lot. Sadly, you are probably also seeing more wrong information on the topic than correct information.
Gluten damage, Celiac (Coeliac) Disease, and over a hundred other auto-immune disorders are rising faster than any other diseases we’ve ever seen. Obviously this is happening because our food supply has become so toxic and over-processed that it can’t even be called “food” anymore. These chemical concoctions are more like “food look-alikes”.
Your eyes might not see the difference, your palate might be so damaged you can’t taste the difference, but your body definitely knows the difference and is reacting. That “reaction” is exactly what an auto-immune disorder is: it is your immune system sensing a threat and reacting in an attempt to protect you.
So when I received a message from Nadia saying: “would you like to write a guest post for my blog about gluten? You are the expert in the field and I decided that it will best if you write about it” I was really happy to see it for 2 reasons:
1) Nadia is such a brilliant foodista and has been a favorite of mine for a long time
2) Raw food is actually the best answer to auto-immune disorders, so her real & live food is part of the solution (avoiding junk is the other part).
Let’s immediately clear up the most dangerous myths about gluten:
~ it affects everyone, not just people with Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease is just 1 out of 300 different disorders that have been scientifically linked to gluten
~ Celiac Disease does not affect 1% of the population, it affects over 30% – most susceptible are those of European descent and those who have a family member already diagnosed with gluten intolerance
~ it is not like a regular food allergy causing a little stomach pain or skin rash; it is much more deadly causing extremely higher risks to mortality (35-72% higher!), cancer, MS, autism, Alzheimer’s,… over 300 serious issues that we know of
~ Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitive people have been shown to have higher rates of mortality than even those who have Celiac Disease
~ you don’t need to have symptoms to be affected…
…I will expand on that last point: the most common symptoms are bloating, cramps, diarrhea, skin issues, depression, chronic fatigue, headaches, and migraines. But the fact is that even if you do not feel any symptoms at all, if you are gluten sensitive, the damage is still being done to your body. Which means a lot of “mystery illnesses” that pop up and your doctor will have no idea what caused it.
Gluten wears your body down little by little over a long period of time. Some people feel cramps and they mistake it for heartburn and take antacids – only to be dealing with stomach ulcers or pancreas failure or diabetes years later. Other feel no symptoms at all and just “suddenly” get diagnosed with cancer and no one realizes you never “get” cancer overnight. It’s not like getting a cold. Cancer develops over time and you never feel symptoms until there is devastating damage.
For others yet they suffer from depression (one of the most common issues with gluten) and they are on medication for years and years. This is a double threat because the gluten is still causing other damage while the medication is now creating new issues with its side effects. …not to mention the quality of life of that person drugged up and depressed for years.
It’s impossible to list out all the ways gluten affects the body in one article because it is a list literally hundreds of items long. So the bad news is that depending on each person’s particular DNA, they will react very differently and there’s no easy way to diagnose with symptoms.
Here is the good news: we might all get sick in different ways, but we heal exactly the same way. The healing formula:
~ do a genetic test for Celiac Disease (not just blood test) to find out exactly what you are dealing with
~ remove all toxic, over-processed, and chemically loaded foods from your diet
~ be careful where you get your information – gluten is a hot topic and as I said at the beginning, right now there is more bad information and myths being re-tweeted and re-posted than good information. Social media makes it easy for “misinformation wildfire” to happen and when people see that same bad information over and over, they start to believe it must be true
~ unless you are a 100% raw vegan, know that avoiding gluten isn’t as simple as “just stop eating bread and pasta”; gluten is in many more processed foods than you can ever imagine and it is in many medications, make-up, soap, even Play-Doh!
~ eat a lot of plant strong food to repair damaged cells, provide your body with valuable enzymes from raw food, and make sure you are eating as much raw organic food as possible to build back your immune system (this doesn’t mean you have to be all raw, just add as much raw as possible)
Going raw is not easy for those who are used to a fast food diet. It takes commitment, there are a lot of aspects involved depending on your environment and lifestyle – it is simply not a diet many people want to allocate the time to maintain and all of this is completely understood.
However, if you are suffering from cramps, bloating, any kind of pain, or any of the other unpleasant symptoms that accompany auto-immune diseases, here is my practical suggestion: go raw for 30-60 days in order to cleanse and hit the restart button for yourself.
Everyone can handle any kind of diet for a short period of time. This break will give your body a chance to rest from foods that are causing illness and help to regain balance in several ways. After those 30-60 days see how you feel and re-assess. You may be surprised at how you feel about making a little extra effort in the kitchen – the payoffs are well worth it.
Non-Celiacs and everyone in general: eating more raw foods doesn’t just slow down aging and provide excellent nourishment and energy, it brings your DNA back to where it belongs! The more raw you eat, the more results you will see – it is the ultimate cause/effect.
Jaqui Karr, C.S.N., C.V.D.