Gluten Free Diet with Berries
Gluten-free: the new buzzword in the health-conscious community. Whether you are diagnosed with coeliac disease, or simply reducing your gluten intake, knowing how to address such a change in your diet is essential to make the process smoother and brighter overall (both for you and your plate).
The basis of a healthy gluten-free diet, indeed, should be natural foods. Depending on your lifestyle, the intake of fruits and vegetables, dairy products and lean meats, seafood and fish, is definitely preferred to packaged 'gluten-free' alternatives. So, you may ask:
What are gluten and coeliac disease?
Gluten is a protein. It’s found in wheat, and it’s responsible for the fluffiness of the dough, helping your bread to rise and keep its shape. To dive deep into technical terms, gluten is a combination of gliadin and glutenin, which is joined with starch in various grains. Let’s not go any deeper there, as there is still so much confusion around the subject. But it’s important to address both topics of coeliac disease and gluten sensitivity.
When people with coeliac disease eat foods or use products containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the small intestine. This leads consequently to problems with nutrients being absorbed into the bloodstream, causing them to be malnourished.
The body cannot absorb vitamins and minerals from food, and instead excretes them. This can cause weight loss and vitamin deficiencies (especially vitamin D and calcium). It’s essential for people affected by coeliac disease to increase their intake of vitamins. One can go for multi-vitamin pills, but one can also access their natural counterpart.
The beauty of ready-to-eat ground berries, for instance, is that they are incredibly healthy and contain essential vitamins and nutrients. Blueberries, for example, contain vitamins A, C, E and K and are also a beneficial source of zinc, copper, potassium, magnesium, iron and manganese. Sea buckthorn takes the spotlight, though, with a plethora of vitamins: A, B1, B2, C, D, E, K.
Sipping for your skin
The sensitivity provoked by coeliac disease also affects the skin, causing irritation and inflammation. Having a source of antioxidants can help in relieving skin conditions such as psoriasis or dermatitis. Berries like lingonberry and cranberry helps to destroy free radicals before they cause damage to the body, and repairs inflamed skin.
What would be easier way to consume berries, than sipping a smoothie.
More and more people are now taking gluten out of their diet for reasons unrelated to being coeliac. People who are unaware they have a sensitivity to gluten can cause suffer from nutrient loss because their digestive tract doesn't absorb nutrients from their food properly, just like with coeliacs. For example, going gluten-free has proven to be beneficial for people struggling with inflammatory diseases and autoimmune disorders.
However, in 2005 the American Dietetic Association warned that gluten-free products tend to be low in a wide range of important nutrients, including B vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and fibre. Instead of being tempted by a slice of gluten-free bread, go for berries. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components of cranberries have been proven to develop the immune system so the body is well prepared to fight against infections and inflammation caused by gluten.
The best approach with a gluten-free diet, as with any diet, is to substitute the usual foods with vibrant, real foods which nourish you and that you enjoy. Swap your morning croissant or butter and jam toast with a smoothie bursting with energy. Roberts Berrie doesn’t just contain the berry juice, but the whole berry itself, which adds a lot of fibre, essential when cutting gluten from your diet.
A smoothie a day keeps the doctor away.