Gluten has always been a controversial topic. Some people swear it’s the devil. For others, it’s just part of a balanced diet. That’s why I included it in my fitness myths. But, who’s right? Are there gluten health benefits?
Gluten avoidance is one of the reasons why the paleo vegan diet isn’t my favorite. That said, many diets avoid gluten. That includes effective ones. After all, gluten can be bad for some people.
That’s not my point here. I’m talking about regular gluten intake and your average Joe or Jane. Is cutting gluten if you’re not allergic a good idea? Or, are you missing out on its benefits?
Let’s find out.
Is gluten good or bad for you?
The answer is quite complicated. Essentially, gluten can be harmful or beneficial depending on the individual.
By itself, gluten is a natural protein found in grains, like wheat and barley. It holds food together. Think of pizza’s consistency. It can stretch so much due to gluten. Without it, it falls apart.
According to research, gluten actually has several health benefits. In fact, avoiding might increase heart disease risk. Those who consume whole grains tend to lower their heart risks. Plus, gluten may act as a prebiotic. It may feed good bacteria in your body.
With that in mind, not everyone reacts in the same way. Some people have different reactions. For some, the body might sense gluten as a toxin. That can cause inflammation, fatigue, constipation, and more.
Unexpected gluten health benefits
As I mentioned, gluten does have some health benefits. According to MindBodyGreen, we can point out 5 gluten health benefits. I advise you to read the full article. But, let me summarize its main points:
- Consuming gluten may steer you away from toxic heavy metals. These can be found in rice and fish, among other foods.
- It can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- As mentioned, gluten appears to decrease heart disease’s likelihood.
- Whole grains, including gluten, can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
- Lastly, gluten-free diets tend to have more calories. So, they might make weight loss harder.
But, what does gluten do exactly?
So, what does gluten do to your body? Protease is an enzyme that breaks down proteins. But, it doesn’t work as effectively with gluten. Undigested gluten travels to the small intestine.
That’s where problems can arise.
Most people won’t experience side effects from undigested gluten. But, this buildup can trigger your immune response. The autoimmune response to gluten is known as “celiac disease:”
This autoimmune reaction can cause bloating, headaches, rashes, and diarrhea. This feeling of sickness comes after eating gluten. However, poorly digested carbs can also cause it. So, it’s necessary to ask your doctor before reaching conclusions.
Why do people take on gluten-free diets?
As you can see, gluten is mostly harmless. In most cases, it can be beneficial. Yet, some people can’t handle it. For them, a gluten-free diet might be necessary. But, what about people who don’t need it?
Can you benefit from gluten-free diets if it doesn’t harm you?
The benefits of a gluten-free diet relate to avoiding autoimmune responses. That might be beneficial for people without celiac disease. Other conditions also require you to avoid inflammation. In those cases, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Some people who shed gluten also report other benefits. For instance, some claim it has increased their energy levels. Avoiding gluten might also benefit autism’s behavioral problems.
When paired with other diets, avoiding gluten might help some lose weight. But, we must note that most of these benefits are testimonial evidence. So, take them with a grain of salt.
The holistic takeaway
A gluten-free diet might be necessary for many people. However, gluten itself isn’t harmful. Quite the opposite, gluten’s health benefits are fairly attractive. So, I’d advise against cutting gluten if not necessary.
That said, gluten digestion can be concerning for some. You could enjoy gluten’s benefits without it building up. That’s why I recommend Gluten Guardian. This supplement helps you dispose of gluten more effectively. So, it’s a fantastic way to improve your digestion.
Have you tried it? Let me know what you think!