Last updated on September 23rd, 2023.
In this day and age, it seems like you can’t go anywhere without seeing gluten free options listed on a restaurant menu. Maybe you even have friends who eat gluten free, so you look for these restaurants in particular. But what is all this about? And why are so many people suddenly eating gluten free?
Surprisingly, even if you don’t have a disease where you can’t digest gluten, there are many benefits to eating a gluten free diet. This is because gluten does several things to your body and mind, and removing it from your diet can help you lead a happier and healthier life.
Whether you already eat gluten free, or it is just something you are considering, keep reading to find out all about gluten, what it does to your body, and how you can be better off without it.
What Does Gluten Do to Our Bodies?
Before you decide to make any major changes to your diet, it is important to know why you are making these changes. This is because a change won’t likely work if you don’t have a reason behind it.
You may not realize it, but eating gluten, even if you don’t have a disease like celiac, can be damaging to your body. It can cause conditions like leaky gut, as well as inflammation. And if you suffer from inflammation already, gluten in your diet is likely making it worse.
Gluten can cause leaky gut. Leaky gut sounds like a scary condition, and when you break it down, it most definitely is. Leaky gut is where the walls of the intestines no longer function as intended and let anything and everything through their walls. Your gut is supposed to block the toxins, only allowing the healthy nutrients into your blood, but with a leaky gut, this doesn’t happen.
Unfortunately, when anything can get into your bloodstream, this means that illness and disease are more common than they ever were before, and doctors have begun to look for reasons this may be occurring.
They have found that eating gluten, especially in a person sensitive to gluten, causes your body to produce a protein called Zonulin. And this protein leads to further breakdown in the walls of your gut, thus increasing permeability and leading to the leaky gut condition.
Inflammation is another common problem people experience when they eat gluten. And this is directly tied to the leaky gut condition mentioned above. This is because when anything is allowed to pass through your intestine walls, this means many toxins and large particles get into your blood—and your white blood cells are mobilized to attack.
These white blood cells often group in areas like joints, causing conditions like arthritis. They can also attack the skin, causing conditions like eczema and psoriasis. The main issue is that the gluten leaking into the bloodstream can also look like the thyroid, and this can lead to the white blood cells attacking your thyroid.
When left untreated, these levels of inflammation can reach dangerous levels to the point where they will destroy parts of your body. And this is what leads to many modern auto-immune diseases that most people end up having for the rest of their lives, or they end up dying from them.
What's the Top Benefit of Eating Gluten Free?
The top benefit of eating gluten free is that your body will stop producing Zonulin and leaky gut will reduce or possibly even stop. And when there are fewer toxins getting into your blood, you will have fewer issues with seasonal allergies, inflammation, and any other conditions that result from a leaky gut.
But this isn’t the only benefit, as besides causing a leaky gut, there are several other parts of your life that the gluten in your diet may be affecting that you haven’t noticed. And when you go gluten free, you will likely see a myriad of changes to your health and general well-being.
10 Benefits of Eating Gluten Free
Going gluten free really can change your life. This is because there are many different aspects of your health that are affected by the gluten in your diet. Below are some of the top ten benefits of eating a gluten free diet that you may see change in your life after removing gluten from your diet.
1. Increased Energy
One of the best benefits of a gluten free diet is that you will find yourself having more energy than ever before. This is because when you eat gluten, it is highly likely that your body isn’t getting enough of the required vitamins and minerals you need to survive. This can lead to malnutrition which leaves you feeling sleepy each afternoon.
Additionally, one of the main nutrients that aren’t absorbed is iron. And this can leave you feeling weak, and you may get out of breath just going up the stairs. When you remove the gluten, this will no longer be a problem, and you will be able to get into better shape, and you won’t feel so weak all of the time.
2. Better Digestion
Do you often experience digestive issues? These can range from a simple upset stomach after eating to gas, bloating, and even diarrhea. Most of these conditions are caused by gluten, and the complete elimination of the ingredient from your diet can lead to you having a better experience every time you eat.
Of course, this condition takes a while to improve, so to know if your digestive issues are related to gluten or something else, it is best to eliminate it from your diet for at least a period of two weeks and see if your symptoms improve at the same time. Gut health takes time but it’s worth it!
3. Better Mood
Did you know that eating gluten also affects your mood? This is because all those white blood cells being released due to your leaky gut condition can damage your brain and interfere with normal function.
Conditions that can be improved or disappear due to removing gluten from the diet are ADHD, headaches, migraines, muddled thinking, anxiety, and even depression. This is why people who embark on a gluten free diet often claim they feel so much better—because they now have mental clarity and are able to focus for longer periods of time.
4. Improved Cholesterol
Have you been told that you have unhealthy cholesterol levels? This is typically caused by unhealthy levels of trans fat in your diet. When you eliminate gluten from your diet, most of the bad foods that contain these unhealthy fats will have to go to. This means that you will naturally eat healthier, and your cholesterol will lower.
You can better reduce your cholesterol by replacing the wheat and gluten-laden foods in your life with fruits and vegetables. So instead of reaching for that bag of chips as a snack, grab a handful of strawberries instead.
5. Weight Loss
Losing weight can be difficult, and a gluten free diet is actually a natural way to help you lose weight. This is because many of the foods with high calorie counts also contain gluten in them. You will also be forced to read the labels of the items you are buying, and once you know what you are eating, you might be less likely to indulge.
For example, take the candy Skittles. Have you ever read the label? All they are is colored corn starch. Still, sound like a tasty treat? You’ll probably think twice before you impulse buy skittles on your next trip to the store!
6. Less Issues with Auto-Immune Diseases
Maybe you already suffer from an auto-immune disease, and this is no surprise, as almost one-third of Americans do, whether they realize it or not! Auto-immune diseases are almost directly tied to what you eat, and if your gut is leaking everything that you are eating into your body, then it’s no surprise you are having issues with your immune system!
Cutting out the gluten will lower the leaky gut, which will additionally give your white blood cells a chance to rest from constantly defending your body from intruders. This means your auto-immune disease will reduce or maybe even disappear altogether.
7. You Will Have Less Issues With Allergies
It is possible that you are allergic to something that isn’t gluten, but because gluten is allowing your gut to leak that ingredient into your bloodstream, it has made your other allergies worse.
Therefore if you cut gluten out of your diet, your gut will stop leaking, and you may find that you can once again enjoy foods that you used to be allergic to.
And it’s not just food allergies, but cutting out gluten can help with environmental allergies as well. This is because the mucus that comes from your nose drains into your stomach, where, in theory, it should be disposed of. But because of the leaky gut, this waste from your nose is getting into your bloodstream and causing a reaction to all those pollens you breathed in over the course of the day.
8. You Will Get Sick Less Often
Remember how leaky gut allows everything into your body? This means that viruses and germs can get in easier too. When you say no to gluten, lower your gut permeability, and stop all the bad particles from getting in your blood, this means you will get sick less often too. And who doesn’t want a winter filled with less colds and flu?
9. Lower Chance of Heart Disease and Diabetes
As a result of eating gluten, the white blood cells that are trying to save you by attacking all the particles that enter your blood also sometimes inadvertently put stress on your heart. Stress or inflammation of the heart is directly tied to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
This means that if you cut the gluten from your diet, not only will you notice immediate changes in your life, but you will likely set yourself up for a better and healthier future as well. This means a gluten free diet is like the gift that keeps on giving to your body.
10. Improves Your Food Education
As mentioned above, very few Americans know what is in their food. This means they have no idea what they are putting in their bodies and some of the chemicals these companies are feeding them. When you go gluten free, you will be forced to read labels and learn more about food.
Besides just avoiding gluten, you will need to learn certain chemicals and processed ingredients that are gluten-based. And when you learn about these, this will give you more power over the food companies to say no when you think a certain ingredient shouldn’t be put in your body. Who knows, one day you may decide to just dive into plant based nutrition as a beginner, or you may even become a certified ketogenic nutritionist.
Hopefully, now you are better educated about the damage an ingredient like gluten is currently doing to your body. And even if you don’t think you have gluten sensitivity, there are many benefits you can reap when you remove it from your diet.
Gluten is commonly found in most of the worst foods for you and almost never in fruits and vegetables. So when you embark on a gluten free diet, you will naturally eat healthier, which will make you feel better no matter where you are at in life. So don’t delay, and consider going gluten free right away!