The word gluten comes from the Latin word meaning “glue.” It is a type of protein primarily found in the seeds of grains such as wheat, rye, spelt, and barley. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as an adhesive that holds the various ingredients in mixed foods together. For example, the naturally occurring gluten in wheat is what helps bread dough stick together and keep its shape as it is mixed, kneaded, risen, and baked.

Do you know someone with any of the following symptoms? 

•           Gas

•           Bloating

•           Abdominal discomfort

•           Fatigue

•           Allergies

•           Depression or anxiety

•           Metal fog

•           Iron-deficiency anemia

•           Constipation

•           Bone or joint pain

•           Arthritis

•           Osteoporosis

•           An itchy skin rash

•           Abdominal bloating and pain

•           Tingling numbness of hands & feet

•           Seizures or migraines

•           Missed menstrual periods

•           Infertility or recurrent miscarriage

•           Canker sores inside the mouth

•           Chronic diarrhea

•           Vomiting

•           Irritability and behavioral issues

•           Dental enamel defects

•           Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

•           Psychiatric disorders

•           Schizophrenia

•           Autoimmune disease

 Any one of these symptoms could be caused by celiac disease which can be traced back to the over consumption of gluten-containing foods.

Humans encounter several problems with the long-term over consumption of gluten containing foods. The enzymes necessary for the natural digestion of gluten is contained in the seed of the grain. However, these enzymes are very heat sensitive and are destroyed by the cooking process. The gluten protein is a bit more stable and is able to partially survive the application of heat. So, when we eat baked bread we are consuming a twisted gluten protein without the naturally occurring enzymes that are necessary for the digestion of gluten making it very difficult for the body to break it down and convert into usable nutrients.

The body tries to compensate for this lack of enzymes in baked bread by overproducing its’ own digestive enzymes. However, we cannot make these enzymes fast enough or long enough to make up for the habitual consumption of enzyme-less foods. Many years of the practice of eating baked bread eventually leads to a sensitivity or intolerance to gluten-containing products due to an accelerated depletion of the body’s own enzyme stores. 

Baked and cooked gluten-containing products are the most inflammatory foods that one could possibly consume! Undigested gluten acts like an adhesive in our digestive system and forms a sticky substance that literally glues together the tender villi that line the walls of our intestines. This blocks the absorption of nutrients and causes inflammation and damage to the small intestine. If baked gluten is not eliminated from the diet this can lead to wheat allergies, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and celiac disease.

The consumption of genetically modified (GMO) wheat greatly accelerates the onset of intestinal inflammation and celiac disease. Expecting mothers who have wheat allergies or celiac disease are much more likely to have given birth to children who have type I diabetes. If the consumption of gluten is continued this could ultimately contribute to the onset of crohns, colitis, or colon cancer.

The only way grains should be consumed is in the organic living sprouted form or as wheatgrass juice. Wheatgrass is still a baby vegetable at the time of harvesting and at this tender young stage it contains no gluten. In fact, wheatgrass juice is nature’s finest medicine! It is a master tonic full of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients such as chlorophyll, beta carotene and many others. It is also a powerful detoxifier, blood builder, and cleanser.

A healthier alternative to wheat bread products is to use svelte or kamut. An even healthier option to consuming any cooked and baked grains are dehydrated flax crackers. A dehydrator is an ultra-low temperature convection oven which gently removes the moisture in food while leaving most of the enzymes and other critical micronutrients intact. Dehydration concentrates the flavors in foods. I find that dehydrated flax crackers help to satiate my cravings for starchy carbohydrates like bread.

 

Here is a recipe for making flax crackers:

2 cups flaxseed (freshly ground in a coffee grinder)

3/4 cup water. Add more as needed to make a workable dough

½ cup chopped onion

½ cup chopped celery

½ cup chopped red bell pepper

2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary

2 Tbsp. Coconut aminos

1/2 tsp garlic powder

A pinch of Himalayan pink salt (optional)

 

Mix all ingredients by hand thoroughly in a large bowl. Spread evenly about 1/8-1/4 inch thick onto the dehydrator trays covered with parchment paper or teflex sheets. Dehydrate for 8-12 hours until crispy. Enjoy!

Article by Brian Hetrich

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