What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye. Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with celiac disease. Eating a gluten-free diet helps people with celiac disease to control their signs and symptoms and prevent complications. Symptoms of celiac disease can range from the classic features, such as diarrhea, weight loss, and malnutrition, to latent symptoms such as isolated nutrient deficiencies but no gastrointestinal symptoms. The disease mostly affects people of European descent.
Gluten Free Diet
A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes foods containing gluten. Gluten-free food is normally seen as a diet for celiac disease, but people with a gluten allergy (an unrelated disease) should also avoid all other grains. The most frequently used gluten free foods are as follows:-
- Corn. Maize, known as corn in some countries is a staple food of people in America, Africa and Asia. Corn is a large grain plant domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. Corn is free from Cholesterol and rich in carbohydrates (about 24%).
- Potatoes. It is the most widely used vegetables in the world. Potatoes are grown on a variety of soils, but well-drained, light- and medium-textured soils with a pH range of 4.5-7.0 are more favorable for the plant. These are eaten boiled, mashed, stewed, fried, curried and so on. Potatoes are free of fats, about 5 % carbohydrates and rich in Vitamins A , Vitamin D and pottasium.
- Rice. Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza glaberrima (African rice). As a cereal grain, it is the most widely consumed staple food. The seeds of the rice plant are first milled using a rice huller to remove the chaff (the outer husks of the grain). At this point in the process, the product is called brown rice. The milling may be continued, removing the bran, i.e., the rest of the husk and the germ, thereby creating white rice. The rice has low fat and about 7% carbohydrates.
- Tapioca (derived from cassava). Tapioca is a starch extracted from Manioc (Manihot esculenta). This species is native to the Northeast of Brazil but spread throughout the South American continent it is used as a staple here. Like most roots it has a tough brown skin with a white interior flesh. It is sold both as flour and as pearls. The pearls are what give it the bubble look.
Other grains and starch sources generally considered suitable for gluten-free diets includes:-
- Amaranth. Amaranth is a Healthy Grain for Vegetarian Recipes, Amaranth (Amaranthus) has a colorful history, is highly nutritious. The protein in Amaranth is high in lysine, which accounts for 5% of total protein. It also has a very high “chemical score,” a calculated value in which the higher numbers are the more perfect match for ideal human nutrition. It should not be eaten raw, neither leaves, nor seed. Cooking, toasting, boiling eliminates most of the problems caused by eating it raw.
Arrowroot. The arrowroot plant is native to the tropics of South America. It has a long history of cultivation by native peoples, who developed an extensive treatment process for extracting the usable powder from the roots. The roots are washed, scraped, beaten, soaked, pulped, and finally forced through a sieve. Arrowroot is an easy to digest starch extracted from arrowroot plants; it is commonly used as a thickener. Arrowroot flour, or powder, is gluten free and can be eaten safely by people on a celiac diet.
- Millet. Millet is one of the oldest human foods and believed to be the first domesticated cereal grain. Pearl millet is a warm season annual grass crop that is best known in the U.S. as a forage crop. Millet has been used in Africa and India as a staple food for thousands of years and it was grown as early as 2700 BC in China where it was the prevalent grain before rice became the dominant staple. Millet is delicious as a cooked cereal and in casseroles, breads, soups, stews, soufflés, pilaf, and stuffing. It can be used as a side dish or served under sautéed vegetables or with beans and can be popped like corn for use as a snack or breakfast cereal.
- Montina. Montina Gluten Free Flour Blend makes great tasting bread and sandwich rolls. Can be used in place of wheat flour with most recipes, even in bread machines.
- Lupin. The legume seeds of lupins, commonly called lupin beans, were popular with the Romans, who cultivated the plants throughout the Roman Empire. Lupin beans are commonly sold in a salty solution in jars (like olives and pickles) and can be eaten with or without the skin.
Lupini dishes are most commonly found in Europe, especially in Portugal, Egypt, and Italy, and also in Brazil. The nutritionally-rich lupin flour can be used to enrich pastas, cake mixes, cereals, and other baked goods. Sweet lupin seeds lack trypsin inhibitors and can make a valuable contribution to dairy, beef, swine, sheep, and poultry rations at the farm since high temperature cooking to eliminate anti-nutritional factors is not needed.
- Quinoa. Quinoa is a seed that comes from the Andes Mountains of South America. Quinoa is very high in protein compared to grains, making it an excellent choice for vegetarians. Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain; an average of 16.2 percent, compared with 7.5 percent for rice, 9.9 percent for millet, and 14 percent for wheat. Some varieties of quinoa are more than 20 percent protein. It is also on the approved list for those on an alkaline diet as it is considered less acid than grains. Many people with gluten sensitivities substitute quinoa for wheat. When quinoa is rated on the glycemic index, it comes in at a very low 18, making it a great choice for people who are hypoglycemic, diabetic, or on a low-glycemic diet to lose weight.
Quinoa can be ground into flour and substituted for wheat flour in recipes for baked goods. The whole seed can be cooked just like rice.
- Sorghum (Jowar). Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants, either cultivated or as part of pasture. Sorghum flour, also known as jowar flour, is a common substitute for all-purpose flour in instances when a gluten-free food is necessary. It is an indigenous plant of Africa. The plant has a tendency to be grown in adverse climatic conditions. Its grains are rich in carbohydrate, protein, minerals and vitamin and hence provide cheap food.
- Taro. Taro is the root of the taro plant, which is grown in semi-tropical and tropical climates all over the world. Taro root is inedible raw and must be cooked thoroughly to leach out the calcium oxalate (associated with gout and kidney stones), preferably with a pinch of baking soda. Taro leaves should also be cooked before eating. It has almost three times the dietary fiber than potato, which is important for proper digestive health and regularity. Fiber can also fill you up and make you feel less hungry with fewer calories.
Taro root has a low Glycemic Index, means that taro effects blood sugar levels slowly. Eating taro can lead to kidney stones and gout as well as other health complications if it is not prepared properly by boiling for the recommended amount of time.
- Teff. Eragrostis tef, known as Xaafii, teff, taf, is an annual grass, a species of love grass native to the northern Ethiopian Highlands of East Africa. Teff is a gluten free grain that is a native of northern Ethiopia. It contains high levels of calcium, iron, fiber, and other important nutrients.
This food is very low in Saturated Fat and Sodium. It is also a good source of Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Manganese.
- Chia Seed. Chia seeds are native to South America and have been a staple in Mayan and Aztec diets for centuries. Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. The health benefits of chia seeds are numerous. Chia Seeds are a great source of fiber and have a lot of omega 3 fatty acids. When the chia seeds are mixed into water or any liquid it forms a gel. It is often used as a replacement for eggs in baking.
- Celiac Disease (CD) or Glutin Intolerance (www.healthinessbox.com)
- Best Foods for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) (www.healthinessbox.com)
- Diets and Foods Helpful for Typhoid Fever (www.healthinessbox.com)
- Foods Helpful for Gout (Gouty Arthritis) (www.healthinessbox.com)
- Foods Helpful for Kidney Disease (www.healthinessbox.com)
- Foods Helpful for Pneumonia Patients (www.healthinessbox.com)
- Foods that Fight Heart Disease (www.healthinessbox.com)
- Foods with High Uric Acid (www.healthinessbox.com)
- Top Foods that Trigger Food Allergy (www.healthinessbox.com)