Healthy, gluten free grains

What makes a gluten free nutrition necessary?

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In one of our earlier articles we discussed the question whether to go gluten free or not. There is a significant difference between a wheat intolerance, an allergic reaction to gluten and a real gluten intolerance, i.e. celiac disease.

On diagnosing that condition a gluten free diet should be maintained. Gluten is a protein which is found in many grains, especially in wheat, oat and rye as well as their hybrids.

In a non perfect digestive system gluten can cause inflammations in the intestine. Investing some time, patience and creativity you will find out that there are many gluten free foods available, which you can enjoy if you have celiac disease.

Nutrition in detail

The shops have a vast choice of gluten free foods available nowadays. Surely, it is a good idea to consult a dietician in order to get on the right path to a healthy and balanced gluten free nutrition.

Many tasty and healthy foods are naturally gluten free:

  • beans, nuts and seeds (unprocessed)
  • fresh eggs
  • fresh meat, fish and poultry
  • fruits and vegetables
  • most milk products

Care for unprocessed food. Heavily processed products might contain gluten in grains, additives or preservatives. Many grains and starches can be included in a gluten free diet, such as:

  • amaranth
  • buckwheat
  • corn
  • arrowroot
  • linseeds
  • flour from rice, soy, corn or potato
  • millet
  • quinoa
  • rice
  • sorgum
  • soy (watch out for gf cultivation!)
  • tapioka

Avoid all foods and drinks with the following ingredients:

  • barley (malt, malt additives and malt vinegar)
  • rye
  • wheat
  • couscous
  • durum
  • bulgur
  • Einkorn
  • hybrids from wheat and rye
  • oat products like: semolina, kamut, spelt, semolina flour

Also avoid the following products if they are not labelled as „gluten free“ or made from corn, rice, soy or other gluten free grains:

  • beer
  • bread
  • cakes and tarts
  • all candies
  • cereals
  • cookies and crackers
  • french fries
  • thick gravies
  • „fake“ meat and seafood
  • pasta
  • heavily processed microwave or canteen food
  • instant salad sauce, soy sauce, instant sauces in general
  • snacks like rice snacks, chips etc.
  • instant soups
  • canned vegetables

Also be careful with food additives, medicine and vitamin supplements, contamination through gluten containing foods (e.g. during production), „can contain traces of…“ on food labels. Products, which are marked as wheat free can still contain gluten. Please read carefully the ingredients of products.

Contamination with gluten can happen at home as well if foods are prepared on common surfaces, containers and pots, which may not have been cleaned very carefully. It could happen in your toaster, using both kinds of products. The same applies at school and work.

Gluten from an Ayurvedic point of view

According to the traditional wisdom of Ayurveda grains help to build bone tissue and muscles and give bodily strength and endurance. Vegetarians and children need an adquate quantity of grains, which in combination with pulses or milk products become whole proteins. Various grains influence the doshas in different ways. Vata and Pitta types may eat relatively big quantities of grains, whereas Kapha should contain the amount of grains in order to avoid weight gain.

Following a list of grains and their influence on the Doshas (+ 0 balancing /- = disturbing):

-Wheat and wheat products (like bulgur, couscous, semolina, pasta and bread):

  •  Vata + : lubricates, provides energy, strengthens
  • Kapha -: weight gain, increases mucus, promotes colds and allergies

-Barley (whole grain) and barley products:

  • Kapha + : easy to digest, no production of mucus
  • Pitta + : good kidney function, balances weight

-Basmati Rice (do eat less frequently since cooling and heavy):

  • Vata +
  • Kapha +
  • Pitta +

-Puffed rice:

  • Kapha +: light and dry

-Brown Rice:

  • Vata –
  • Pitta –
  • Kapha +: warming and dry

-Quinoa:

  • Vata + (with a little olive oil or Ghee)
  • Pitta +
  • Kapha +

-Buckwheat:

  • Vata –
  • Kapha +

-Oats:

  • Vata +
  • Pitta +
  • Kapha –

-Millet, rye and corn:

  • Vata –
  • Pitta –
  • Kapha +

Do you want to learn more about ayurvedic nutrition?

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