What is Gluten? Gluten is a plant protein naturally found in Wheat, Rye and Barley.
Gluten provides stretchability to food products as prevalent in refined wheat flour. It is a fantastic binding agent and a boon in baking as it provides elasticity and a firm structure.
So, where it all got started?
With increasing Wheat demand owing to feeding the ever increasing global population, making it weather resilient and the choice to meet "one size fits all" approach / having multi-purpose refined wheat flour to cater to broad based cuisines across the globe, wheat got altered.
The usage of chemicals in grain cultivation along with the alteration of wheat led to increased instances of damaged gut flora in human population.
Refined flour is low in dietary fiber. Foods low in dietary fiber doesn’t provide enough roughage for the smooth evacuation of bowels leading to toxin buildup, unhealthy gut conditions, including bacterial imbalances. The undigested food particles for prolonged periods leads to imbalance in gut bacteria.
Recent research shows “Gluten” can increase intestinal permeability, which allows gut bacteria, toxins and undigested food particles to pass from the gut into regular bloodstream. This causes serious health conditions.
Impact on Villi:
Ingestion of gluten in some situations has the potential to damage intestinal Villi - tiny, hairlike projections, lining the small intestines.
The purpose of Villi is to absorb vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in ingested food. Damaged villi leads to malabsorption as body can't retain essential nutrients in ingested food.
Further, the body misconstrues such food particles as foreign invaders and activates the immune system by releasing histamines as a self- defense mechanism (referred as auto-immune disorder).
Body Signals / Symptoms
Human body sends us signals provided we are listening.
Constipation, Diarrhea, Bloating, abdominal pain are the common symptoms.
Causes of an unhealthy gut can be attributed to Food Intolerance, Allergy, Celiac, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth), excess Histamine levels....
We will cover causes in a different post. Stay tuned !!!