Here at The Doctor’s Kitchen, we are big believers that food is medicine. Not only does the quality and nutritional density of the food we eat have a significant impact on our health; it also directly affects our mood. You have probably noticed this in action with a dark chocolate fix boosting those serotonin levels; while other foods (think bad fats and empty calories) can make us stressed, anxious, and cranky. While all foods impact our health, gluten and dairy are perhaps some of the most controversial foods when it comes to their perceived health value. That’s why The Doc is breaking down just how-gluten-and-dairy-impact-your-body.
Firstly, the combination of bacteria that is found in our gut (our gut microbiome) not only aids our digestion but is also closely linked to our immune system. This is because these bacterias help to produce micronutrients (like vitamins and antioxidants) from the food we eat; and break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to ease digestion. It is easy to see why we want our gut to be functioning properly! And, the number one way to do this is through our diet.
Good For You or Got To Go?
Gluten specifically can cause long-term changes in your gut bacteria; including reducing the number of certain types of important bacteria in your gut. Gluten can also affect your immune system, 80% of which resides in your gut.
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in grains including wheat, rye, and barley. It is what makes bread products elastic and fluffy. It’s also used as a stabilising agent in many processed foods, such as salad dressings and mayonnaise. It’s even used beyond food from beauty products to medications and supplements. However, it is also the only protein found in food that is indigestible. This is because it contains high amounts of the amino acid proline and glutamine, which means that all humans (not just those with a gluten intolerance or coeliac disease) are unable to digest gluten properly!
Gluten-free foods have continued to rise in popularity, but just because a food is gluten-free doesn’t necessarily make it healthy. Gluten-free foods, especially refined foods processed to make them gluten-free, cheat people out of the health benefits of whole grains and can be lacking in critical nutrients such as fiber, iron, zinc, and calcium.
A gluten-free diet is one that excludes gluten, and therefore, most grains. It is highly recommended for those who suffer from celiac disease or have a gluten intolerance. However, there is no one size fits all and there are a number of different reasons gluten may not be your friend.
If you’re eating foods that are naturally free of gluten, like fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats (like the meals available on our gluten-free menu) then you will be reaping the health benefits for your gut and beyond, including:
A happy bowel removing gluten from your diet will help restore any bowel lining that has been damaged while other bowel symptoms will likely ease as well.
Improved nutrient absorption your body will be able to better process what you are eating, and get more out of the good stuff.
Weight regulation eliminating gluten assists many sufferers return to their natural weight.
Reduced flatulence, belching and bloating need we say more?
Improved energy many people experience sluggishness after eating food containing gluten. If pasta makes you bloated and sleepy, try a gluten-free alternative and see if your symptoms ease.
There’s Something About Dairy
People opt for a dairy-free diet for an array of different reasons, but for an increasing number of people, they’re searching for relief from digestive issues, bloating, skin problems, and respiratory conditions that come hand in hand with eating dairy products.
A dairy-free diet includes foods that are free of milk and milk products. Whether you choose to simply reduce or completely eliminate these products from your diet your digestive system will thank you.
Less bloating bloating due to dairy is a common complaint, and is usually a digestive issue. This can be because of inadequate protein digestion, an inability to break down sugar and carbohydrates, and imbalances in gut bacteria. All of these factors can be due to dairy sensitivity!
Improved digestion sticking to a dairy-free diet guarantees that you avoid classic dairy symptoms including cramps, stomach pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and nausea.
On top of this, giving dairy the flick, means clearer skin, better respiratory health, and can also help to alleviate stress.
Cutting dairy out of your diet, however, can result in low potassium levels, magnesium deficiency and calcium deficiency. Luckily there are amazing dairy alternatives on the market that can help you get the nutrients you need, and keep your gut in check. Think goats milk, coconut milk, and almond milk to help you get your non-dairy, dairy fix.
The Doctor’s Kitchen provides healthy, nutritionally balanced meals for all diet and lifestyle choices including dairy and gluten-free options. We want to meet your body’s needs with tailored programs that focus on achieving and maintianing long-term good health. Book in with one of our Docs and start next Tuesday.
The Doctor’s Kitchen and our doctors service all Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and Toowoomba areas.
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