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Could Grains & Gluten Be Your Problem?

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

With toast in the morning, a sandwich for lunch, and pasta for dinner, grain-based meals seem to be a staple in the standard American diet. If you walk into a school cafeteria odds are a large number of children would have sandwiches packed for lunch. The convenience of buying shelf-stable pasta to make for dinner or the quickness of making a piece of toast before heading to work in the morning makes grains a quick, easy, and tasty meal for the busy, working American.

In fact, in 2011 NPR reported that the average American eats 197 pounds of wheat and other grains per year- that's a lot of grains!

Grains have been getting more complex and challenging for the body to digest, as there is an estimated 40x more gluten in grains today, than 60 years ago. Today’s grain products are highly processed causing symptoms in those without sensitivity to wheat and gluten. Grains can wreak havoc on a system sensitive to them.

Check out these signs to look out for that could indicate you may be experiencing inflammation caused by grains. You really are "What you eat"!

#1: Acne

Acne and other skin reactions are common symptoms of grain intolerance. Dryness, itchiness, eczema, and more can be attributed to eating grains as the body seeks to rid itself of difficult-to-digest items, like grains. If you are experiencing skin-related issues, try eliminating grains from your diet for a little while to see if your skin improves.

#2: Anemia

In two slices of whole wheat bread, there is enough phytate to block up to 90 percent of your iron absorption. If grains are a huge part of your diet then it may be causing you to become anemic.

#3: Fatigue

After eating we produce beta-endorphins to help us relax and digest our food properly. For some, the digestion of milk and wheat products appears to produce a second, similar substance resulting in an overwhelming feeling of tiredness. If you don't want to eliminate grains completely but think they could be slowing you down during the day, limit grains to only at dinner and see if you notice a difference during the day.

#4: Brain Fog

Brain fog is a common sign of gluten sensitivity and celiac. Gluten causes enzymes to release zonulin, damaging the tight junctions of the stomach lining. This allows unwanted proteins to be released creating an immune response and symptoms like brain fog occur.

In relation to this, you may have heard the term "grain brain". Grain Brain refers to the inflammation that occurs in our brains when consuming a high carbohydrate/ sugar diet. Dementia, chronic headaches, depression, epilepsy, and Alzheimer's have been attributed to high carbohydrate diets.

As a matter of fact, a study published by the Mayo Clinic in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that people 70 and older with a high-carbohydrate diet face a risk of developing mild cognitive impairment 3.6 times higher than those who follow low-carb regimens. If you find that your diet is heavy in carbohydrates, you might want to replace the bread with some healthy fats and proteins!

Have you tried going grain-free?


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