The rate of autoimmune diseases has steadily risen over the past two decades, and scientists are working to understand why these diagnoses are increasing. Autoimmune diseases occur when the body’s immune system turns on itself, attacking normal function as an invasion. Some of the most common autoimmune diseases include Type 1 diabetes, lupus, Hashimoto’s, and celiac disease.
Celiac disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder in which the small intestine is damaged by the consumption of gluten, and this disease affects 1 in 100 individuals worldwide. May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month, so keep reading to learn more about celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, as well as how to live well with these conditions.
Foods That Trigger Gluten Sensitivity
Gluten is only found in wheat, malt, barley, rye, and a hybrid grain called triticale. However, these grains can go by many names on packaged food labels. If you have celiac or gluten sensitivity, you should educate yourself thoroughly to ensure gluten doesn’t sneak into your diet. Fortunately, it’s becoming easier than ever to manage gluten sensitivity and celiac disease with an increase in gluten-free foods as well as clear labelling by many brands.
A Balanced, Gluten-Free Diet
The best way to live well despite a gluten-sensitivity is to cook healthy, gluten-free foods at home. Although gluten-free crackers, granola bars, and pizzas are good to have on hand for busy nights, you shouldn’t rely on them for the bulk of your meals. It’s important to remember the just because wheat, barley, and rye are off the table doesn’t mean you need to do away with all grains. Many grains including oats, rice, potatoes, and quinoa can be part of a balanced, gluten-free diet.
Of course grains should only be a small portion of of our daily diet, whether we have a gluten sensitivity or not. Well-sourced proteins, healthy fats, fruits and veggies should be the bulk of our caloric intake. If you have celiac disease and are extremely sensitive, institute a gluten-free home and kitchen to avoid cross-contamination at all costs. Additionally, be sure check all of your spices and seasonings to be sure gluten isn’t being used as a filler or anti-caking agent.
Also keep in mind that some medications and beauty products may contain gluten too.
Supplements that Support Gluten Sensitivity
Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity may also need to take supplements to restore nutrients that are often depleted by absorption issues in the digestive system. These nutrients include iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin D, vitamins B6 & B12, and folate. We also recommend the following targeted supplements, designed to support your gluten-free lifestyle.
Raw Gluten Free Support by Garden of Life
Containing folate, B12, calcium, and iron, Raw Gluten Free Support by Garden of Life provides powerful digestive support from raw plant-enzymes. This supplement is designed to fill in the key nutrients you may lack, as well as provide digestive support in case of accidental gluten ingestion.
Catalyn GF by Standard Process
Designed to fill in the nutritional gaps left by a gluten-free diet, Catalyn GF Gluten-Free by Standard Process is a multi-food supplement with a combination of powerful nutrients including vitamins A, C, D, and B6.
What tips do you have for living and thriving on a gluten-free diet? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.