Should I go gluten free?
First of all: what is gluten? Gluten is the „glue“ (a protein), which a grain sets free when being processed with water in order to make a dough gluey, sticky, fluffy and yet resistant. Most grains contain gluten, especially wheat, spelt and rye. Any pastry made from gluten free grain therefore appears denser and firmer.
What makes gluten unhealthy? A part of the gluten enhances the permeability of our intestine and leads to inflammations in the body; gluten changes our lymphatic tissue, makes our gut leaky and can lead to uneasiness, diarrhea, vomiting, depression as well as to serious conditions such as MS, Diabetes type 1, various morbus diseases, arthritis and other immunitary illnesses.
The ratio of allergies and intolerances, especially concerning food, is increasing alarmingly. A reason why so many choose the gluten free lifestyle.
But not everyone, who thinks to have celiac disease, really does suffer this condition. In between there is a vast grey zone, wheat intolerance – and then there are many people, who have no problem at all with digesting gluten. One thing is for sure: with a healthy stomach and intestine there are usually no issues digesting wheat and other foods, which cause problems to people with a disturbed digestive system or even make them sick.
Gluten itself in the end is not unhealthy. The question is our general nutrition and the health of our digestive system. Some nutritional approaches favour a general elimination of gluten. Unbalanced diets though usually do nothing to improve our health, but can in fact lead to shortages. The right quantity of every food as well as a diet suited to one’s individual body type (Dosha) pamper our digestive trackt and promote good health.
There are cases where people half of their life have eaten mainly fresh corn and bread and now, at a not very high age, suffer from heavy arthritis. Grain is full of vitamins and minerals, especially wholegrain contains many valuable vitamins of the E and B group. When the grain is soaked long enough, fermented well enough and baked in a considerate way, the bigger part of the gluten will be broken down. The problem with our bread is its fast and aggressive processing to bring it to store shelves as quickly as possible. If we give grain its right importance (as to any other food), take our time in processing it or use products from appropriate processing, if we are healthy and own a well-functioning digestion, grain consumed in moderation is not unhealthy.
Sourdough bread, which today has been widely forgotten, is a wonderful method of enjoying the benefits of wheat and gluten. Through the process of fermentation the gluten protein is largely broken down. Grain that has been soaked overnight also releases vegetable enzymes and the protein will be already „pre-digested“.
Gluten is a protein, which is being consumed in the whole world since 10.000 years. If not optimally digested by a disturbed digestive system it will lead to irritation and disease. The question „Should I go gluten free?“ therefore is irrelevant. What matters is the quality of our bread, of the grain we eat and the health of our bowel.
Find out what has weakened your digestion. There are many reasons: dehydration, clogged lymphatic system, thick bile, a congested liver, irritated intestinal villi or continuous stress.
A cleansing panchakarma cure surely is a good start to bring our stomach and intestine up to speed again.
Fact is: wheat and gluten were never meant to be eaten 3x/day on a daily base. Every digestive sooner or later will have problems processing such quantities.
A traditional, seasonal nutrition cycle always reveals that everything makes sense and – if eaten at the right time – is not harmful, but instead promotes our health. Equally important is a balanced nutrition and variety of grains instead of dispensing one single sort of grain.
In winter we eat more grains, which is a logical consequence from the fact that wheat and most other gluten containing grains are being harvested in autumn. Warm, humid grain rich in protein is perfect against the cold and dryness of winter. Also, our digestive fire is burning much higher in winter.
In springtime on the other hand, a humid, heavy and wet season, according to the natural harvest cycle these grains are not available, but spring blesses us with fat and gluten free harvests. During 6-8 weeks of gluten free nutrition the intestine villi recover and this season offers many possibilities to „recover“: green leafy vegetables give us new, healthy villi, bitter roots such as turmeric and dandelion clean the intestine from excessive mucus, berries and early cherries bring our lymphatic system up to speed. All this helps in the prevention of allergies caused by our lifestyle.