Gluten free

Gluten free 560_292This is Zazou.  What does Zazou have to do with the gluten free topic?

Zazou is different than other cats.

When a slice of bread (full of gluten) with a big hole is put above his head, no reaction whatsoever!

Any other cat would have run away.  

See the interrogative look on his face.

Zazou just wonders what gluten is all about.

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Ok, on a more serious note, did you know what happens in your gut when you eat gluten?

Even though a small portion of the population has a gluten allergy (6% with Celiac disease), studies are only starting to show a big percentage of people being sensitive to gluten (and grains in general as well).

Here is what Paleo Leap says about that statistic:

  • Gluten causes gut inflammation in at least 80% of the population and another 30% of the population develops antibodies against gluten proteins in the gut. Furthermore, 99% of the population has the genetic potential to develop antibodies against gluten. Antibodies acting in the gut can actually be good news, because when the body doesn’t react against gluten right away, gluten proteins can enter the blood stream more easily, especially if the gut is already leaky, and trigger immune reaction elsewhere in the body.  Since gliadin, the main problem-causing gluten protein, can be similar in structure to other proteins found in tissues of organs such as the thyroid or the pancreas, antibodies against gliadin can end up attacking those organs and ultimately cause autoimmune diseases like hypothyroidism and type 1 diabetes.

And you know what happens when the immune system reacts on a continuous basis?  You get chronic body inflammation.

Certain food types – like refined sugar and gluten – could confuse your immune system by passing through your gut barrier without being completely digested (that’s called gut permeability or leaky gut).  Anything that doesn’t belong where it’s found is seen as a threat.

It triggers your immune system  that starts defending you against external invaders.    In a very simple way to explain this, being confused, the immune system  is not able to distinguish what’s good from bad, therefore, responds aggressively on your own cells and organs as much as it does on the intruders.  That is what creates chronic inflammation.

Chronic inflammation is related to a lot of diseases, check this out…

Osteoarthritis, arthritis, gout, fibromyalgia, gingivitis, eczema, psoriasis, osteoporosis, sinusitis, type 1 and 2 diabetes, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, depression, ADHD, dermatitis, diverticulitis, migraine, lupus, high blood pressure, infertility, obesity, emphysema, gastroenteritis, esophageal reflux, allergies, asthma, chronic bursitis, poor blood circulation, heart diseases, hepatitis, etc.  (source It’s Starts With Foods, from Melissa and Dallas Hartwig)

In other words, it  affects your  QUALITY OF LIFE.

When you start educating yourself about what food does to your body, you will be amazed.  I was.

If there is one book that sums it up so well, it is It’s Starts With Foods.   Gluten is the tip of the iceberg, there is so much more in this book that you absolutely need to know about.

I refer to it every week.

So, Zazou….thanks for reminding us about not running away from gluten but instead, to learn more about it!

Happy reading!

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