As we have already told you on other occasions, at RealVegy we formulate all our products without allergens, including gluten, soy and lactose. And today we are going to talk about gluten: what exactly is it, how does it act in your body, what foods contain it and why is it so present in our food?
So if you have doubts about it, or simply want to learn more about nutrition, and to lead a healthier lifestyle, we recommend you to read this article.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in the seeds of many cereals such as wheat, barley, rye, triticale, spelt, some varieties of oats and their hybrids and derivatives.
The grains of these cereals naturally contain not only gluten, but also other parts such as starch, germ or bran, which can be used as ingredients in gluten-free foods if they are extracted by technical processes and strictly controlled.
How does gluten act in your body?
Broadly speaking, we can say that gluten is neither good nor bad for our body. It is just another protein among all those that exist, and in fact, it is not very nutritious.
But, there are some people intolerant to this protein, this can derive in:
– Celiac disease
– Intolerance to gluten
– Allergy to wheat
Although they may seem to be the same thing, in reality, they are different pathologies.
Here is an image in which you can clearly see the differences:
Why does the industry use gluten so much?
Gluten is responsible for the elasticity of the dough and gives bread and baked dough their consistency and spongy feel. It is therefore prized in food for its thickening capacity.
Many people cannot fully digest this protein because ingestion produces protein fragments, called prolamins, which are sometimes detected by the body as toxic, and the immune system is activated, triggering an adverse reaction.
As of today, this type of pathology has no known cure, in fact, the only treatment is to follow a strict gluten-free diet. This can be difficult because gluten is found in many common foods, such as bread, pasta, cereals and bakery products.
What foods are gluten-free?
Fortunately, there are many delicious and healthy gluten-free options. Here are some of the best foods, which you can introduce into your diet if you want to eliminate gluten:
Quinoa is a nutritious grain that is naturally gluten-free. It is a good source of fiber and protein, and is easy to cook. Quinoa can be used in place of rice or pasta in most recipes.
2. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a nutritious and versatile root vegetable. They can be baked, roasted or mashed, and are a great gluten-free alternative to starchy dishes like mashed potatoes.
3. Beans and legumes
Beans and legumes are a good source of protein and fiber. They are also gluten-free and can be substituted for meat in many recipes.
4. Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten-free and are an important part of a healthy diet. They are a good source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
5. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are a good source of healthy fats, protein and fiber. They are also gluten-free and can be used to add texture and flavor to foods.
Eggs are a nutritious and versatile food. They are a good source of protein and can be cooked in many different ways. Eggs are often used as a replacement for wheat flour in gluten-free recipes.
7. Dairy products
Dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, are a good source of protein and calcium. Most dairy products are naturally gluten-free, but you should check the label to be sure, as if they have undergone any industrial processing they may have added gluten.
8. Meat and poultry
Meat and poultry are a good source of protein and other nutrients. They are naturally gluten-free, but you should check the label to be sure.
9. Fish and seafood
Fish and seafood are a good source of protein, phosphorus and omega-3 fatty acids, which has numerous benefits for your body.
10. Gluten-free flours
There are many types of gluten-free flours, such as rice flour, almond flour and potato flour. These flours can be used to make gluten-free breads, pasta and other bakery products.
How should you deal with gluten?
At this point, once again, we remind you that the most important thing is to be a responsible consumer. Take the time to read the labeling of the products you buy and always opt for the healthiest and most beneficial options for your body.
Maintain a healthy and empowered lifestyle. If you have more information, you will be able to make better decisions regarding your nutrition and that of your family.
And of course, consume products from trusted brands such as RealVegy 😉