Wheat Causes Inflammation–Go Gluten-Free
|November 24, 2011||Posted by Christina under Health Tip, Nutrition|
Dr. William Davis, a Wisconsin-based cardiologist, has helped thousands of patients by doing one, simple thing: having them remove all wheat from their diets. He says the results are astounding, not only with the heart and circulatory problems, but also with a variety of other ailments like skin rashes, arthritis, insomnia, diabetes, dementia, brain damage, and myriad others. Holistic health practitioners have been saying this for a long time, and now an increasing number of medical doctors are saying the same because they notice that more and more people have developed wheat allergies or sensitivities. Most people are allergic, to some degree, to wheat and do not even realize it.
Why is wheat harmful? It wasn’t always. In the past, we had many, many different strains of wheat, but in modern times, in order to increase yield, agricultural scientists created two hybrid strains, and now more than 99% of the wheat grown worldwide comes from those two hybrid crops. There is so much to say about the perils of genetically modifying our food, but here I want to mention only the detrimental health effects of consuming unnatural substances that were created in a lab. Dr. Davis points out that the hybrid wheat strain shows only 95% of the same proteins as its parent wheat strains: the other 5% are completely unique. This, the creation of an entirely unique 5% of proteins, is effectively responsible for so many people’s wheat sensitivities. And it’s endemic; in fact, most everyone is allergic or sensitive to wheat.
Wheat has been promoted so much as a healthy grain, and now that people have realized that refined wheat is a nutritional nightmare, whole wheat is being promoted so much as a healthy grain. So much so that people eating copious amounts of wheat is the norm, and they even think they are doing their bodies a favor by eating whole wheat. The simple truth is this: wheat causes inflammation, and inflammation is the predecessor to disease. The effect on your body of continuously eating a substance that causes inflammation is severe.
Not every person has an allergy or sensitivity, but the vast, vast majority of people do. Most people tell me that they eat wheat all the time and they feel fine, but the problem with that argument is that they have not tried not eating wheat and then comparing how they feel. Almost always (in fact I have yet to see a case that contradicts this) people feel exceptionally better. They report such a wide variety of improvements, from better moods, sharper mental acuity, less bloating, less pain, weight loss, improved sleep, lower blood sugar levels, etc. Most people associate wheat allergy only with digestive upset, but roughly 70% of people who are sensitive to wheat have no digestive symptoms whatsoever. The effects tend to be things like mental fogginess, fatigue, acne/skin rashes, worsened moods, and always, always inflammation.
What does removing all wheat from your diet entail? Not giving up grains for the rest of your life. There are plenty of great and tasty other choices that nourish our bodies instead of creating inflammation and disease. The four best, completely gluten-free grains to eat are: millet, amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat. You can also eat rice, but the four previously mentioned grains do offer more nutrition. There are pastas and breads made from these grains, so I encourage you to switch. (Personally, my favorite bread is millet bread and my favorite grain to eat is quinoa.)
Also, you must read the ingredients list of everything you buy, which you should be doing already, because wheat hides everywhere. It’s even in soy sauce (but you can just get tamari, which is gluten-free and tastes exactly the same. There are always healthier, still tasty substitutions we can make.)
If you don’t want to remove all wheat from your diet, I highly encourage you to reduce the amount of wheat you consume. At least that will lessen the amount of inflammation in your body. Just remember that there are so many other nutritious and wonderful grains for us to consume—why use wheat when you could use those? Organic whole wheat, by the way, while a much better choice than refined wheat (e.g. white bread), is still wheat. Familiarize yourself with these other grains (quinoa, amaranth, millet, buckwheat, brown rice); you may see that you even like their taste more. And certainly you’ll like that you feel better.
If you’d like to read a bit more about this, here is a good article highlighting Dr. William Davis’ new book.