Gluten-free diet has become a rage these days owing to a rise in the number of people getting diagnosed with gluten intolerance and celiac disease. Gluten intolerance refers to a condition in which a person exhibits allergy symptoms after consuming a diet containing gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and some other grains like rye. The initial symptoms of gluten allergy range from bloating, indigestion, fatigue to some more serious symptoms like neurological problems, weight loss, skin issues and osteoporosis. For this reason it is imperative for those suffering from gluten intolerance to eliminate sources of gluten from one’s diet to lead a healthy life. Furthermore, following a gluten free diet has shown to improve the quality of health in people with no symptoms of gluten allergy.
Apart from all the benefits a gluten free diet offers, there is a flip side as going completely gluten-free also means loss of certain essential nutrients that are found aplenty in gluten rich foods. Hence, while planning out a gluten free diet, one should include lots of foods rich in those nutrients to curb the possibility of nutritional deficiencies.
Here Is A Checklist Of Some Foods One Should Consume While Following A Gluten Free Diet To Replace The Lost Nutrients:
1. Beans Seeds And Nuts:
Opt for unprocessed whole foods such as beans, seeds and nuts that are naturally rich in B vitamins, zinc, calcium, proteins and iron, also found in wheat . All these whole foods are great sources of fiber and magnesium as well, both of which are vital for healthy digestion. Beans. lentils, seeds and nuts are also great sources of protein and calcium for those on a dairy free non-gluten vegetarian diet.
Being a significant source of protein, iron, folic acid, zinc and some other vital nutrients meat, eggs and chicken should be included as a major portion of a gluten free diet . Regular intake of meat and poultry fixes any deficiencies that result from going gluten free. To be on a safer side it is advised to consume fresh meat instead of processed or frozen meat products as they may contain gluten hidden in the form of processing agents.
People with gluten intolerance and celiac disease are known to be deficient in vitamin D, which is needed for absorption of calcium in our body and if this deficiency is not met with in time, it may lead to development of osteoporosis in many people . Fish and other sea foods are particularly rich in this crucial vitamin and their regular intake can help in overcoming this deficiency to a large extent. Other than vitamin D, seafood is an abundant source of zinc, another vital nutrient that is found deficient in people sensitive to gluten.
4. Unprocessed Dairy:
A dominant source of calcium, dairy products are another gluten free food group to be included in your diet . Besides calcium, diary products also have a high content of B vitamins, protein and vitamin D. However, its important to note that one should look for unprocessed dairy items and also ensure that all dairy items are a by-product of grass fed cows to rule out any chance of the product being contaminated from unexpected gluten sources which might pose serious trouble for gluten intolerant people.
5. Gluten Free Grains:
No matter how worse your allergy to gluten may be, it is still unthinkable to completely remove flour based food items from your diet . The solution is to use flour made from gluten free grains like amaranth, rice, corn, buckwheat, soy, chickpeas, lentils, arrowroot, millet and tapioca for making breads and cakes instead of using wheat flour.
It is necessary to incorporate fresh vegetables in a gluten free diet to ensure that you derive the benefits of all essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants found in vegetables . Vegetables are also a good source of fiber and magnesium which are needed by our body for proper digestion and people who are allergic to gluten often suffer from an impaired digestion. Hence, it’s crucial for people with gluten sensitivity to up the intake of fresh vegetables. One must avoid consuming store bought vegetable sauces as they contain gluten hidden in the form of thickening agents.
Fruits are loaded with many healthful nutrients and are a great source of fiber . Consuming fruits in the form of salads and smoothies is a great way to tap on their many health benefits and curb any nutrient deficiencies. Being a rich source of anti-oxidants regular intake of fruits in moderate quantities also helps people with gluten intolerance ward off any infectious diseases by giving a boost to their immune system.