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How Well Do You Know Your Gluten-Free Grains?

With more and more people committing to a gluten-free diet, the question of which grains are gluten-free comes up a lot. Here’s a non-conclusive list of popular gluten-free grains:

Quinoa

Technically a seed, quinoa is a fabulous replacement for grains that may contain gluten. It’s also a good source of protein, making it ideal for those who have vegetarian and/or vegan diets. Quinoa boasts anti-inflammatory benefits and can help lower cholesterol.

Oats

Oats are gluten-free, but come with a disclaimer: many oat crops suffer from cross-pollination from neighbouring wheat fields, rendering them not gluten-free. To be sure the oats you’re eating are free of gluten, look specifically for a gluten-free label—these oats originate from fields nowhere close to wheat crops.

Buckwheat

Although ‘wheat’ is in the name, buckwheat contains no actual wheat. It’s gluten-free! (And technically a seed, like quinoa.) Its nutritional profile boasts high levels of vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, niacin, folate, thiamin and choline.

Millet

Often the main ingredient in bird seed, millet is very high in minerals (copper, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus) and a healthy alternative to grains containing gluten. Couscous, a Middle Eastern dish, is traditionally made with cracked millet.

Rice

Rice—especially sprouted brown rice—is a great grain to incorporate into any diet. It’s super versatile, and definitely gluten-free.

Grains that definitely DO contain gluten include wheat, barley, rye, and triticale. If you’re consuming a completely gluten-free diet, it’s best to avoid these ones.

9 Common Signs of Being Gluten-Intolerant

Gluten-free’ has become a very familiar term these days, and can be found lingering on restaurant menus, processed food labels, and on the lips of anyone even remotely health savvy.

So what’s the big deal about gluten?

In the past 20 years or so, we’ve discovered that there is a huge percentage of the population that is intolerant to gluten. Not to be confused with the inability to process this protein (Celiac disease is a diagnosed condition, in which the proteins in wheat and barley can create major damage to the body), an intolerance is much more common, and basically means your body is better off without. (It might not kill you, but your body would be a happier one if it didn’t have to try and process it regularly.)

So, what are some signs and symptoms of a gluten intolerance? Here are 9:

  1. You experience chronic digestive issues, especially after eating something that contains it.
  2. You commonly feel dizzy or have trouble keeping your balance.
  3. Your skin displays signs of Keratosis Pilaris—tiny red bumps that appear on the backs of your arms and other places.
  4. You feel very tired and foggy after eating something that contains gluten (think Turkey hangover, but with gluten).
  5. You have unexplained infertility and/or display signs of hormone imbalances, such as intense PMS or adrenal fatigue.
  6. You get chronic migraine headaches.
  7. You’ve been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.
  8. Your mood swings are intense, and frequent.
  9. You have chronic joint pain and inflammation, fibromyalgia, and/or arthritis.

And this list of 9 is not exhaustive. In fact, more than 50 diseases and disorders have been linked to gluten. If you think you may be intolerant or might have Celiac disease, we strongly suggest you visit your family doctor or a naturopath.

nutracleanse

The upside? NutraCleanse™ does not use any ingredients that contain gluten (but we are not officially gluten-free certified), and there are many other great food stuffs available to the general public that are also safe to eat if you’re avoiding it. If you’re interested in incorporating NutraCleanse™ in your diet, click HERE for a list of local vendors. Also, HERE is a guide to eating without gluten.

Take care!