6 Easy Steps to Improved Digestion
People with gluten intolerance may experience alleviation of their digestive disorders through following a diet that avoids this substance, but can others benefit from this diet too?
Many who admit to not having a diagnosed gluten intolerance still claim to experience digestive improvements from following a similar diet. But it’s important to know which foods comprise a healthful gluten-free diet. In many cases, those with digestive disorders may need to go a step further and avoid foods categorized as FODMAPS (an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols). Here’s an easy-to-follow six-step guide to finding success on this diet.
Step 1: Avoid wheat
Because today’s wheat has been highly hybridized to achieve greater crop yields, it is dissimilar to the wheat our ancestors ate. These alterations that were beneficial to the agricultural industry have produced a product that has a downside in the area of health. It not only produces digestive disturbances in some individuals, but it can also increase the risk of diabetes and cause the condition referred to as wheat belly, which is weight gain in the waistline area.
Step 2: Eat safe grains while avoiding the problematic ones.
Aside from wheat, avoid gluten-containing grains such as barley, rye, spelt, kamut and oats, as well as bulgur and triticale. Whole grains are an essential part of a healthful diet, but choose those that are gluten-free, such as millet, buckwheat and amaranth, along with cornmeal, quinoa and rice.
Step 3: Try sprouted grain bread products.
You may want to try sprouted grain bread products to see if your system can tolerate them. Although sprouted wheat contains some gluten, it also has grain enzymes that break down much of the harmful ingredients of grains. It is more nutritious than bread made with non-sprouted grains. Health food stores carry Ezekiel sprouted grain breads, and some whole food bakeries make sprouted grain products as well.
Step 4: In addition to grains, eat other healthful foods.
Other foods permitted in the gluten-free diet include fruits and vegetables, in addition to beans, seeds and nuts. Eggs, fish, poultry, most dairy products, and healthful oils such as olive oil and coconut oil are also allowed.
Step 5: Avoid foods labeled “gluten-free.”
Some common ingredients in “gluten-free” foods spike blood sugar, which can eventually lead to conditions like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and belly fat. Such foods can be eaten as an occasional indulgence, but avoid making them a part of your daily diet.
Step 6: If symptoms persist, avoid FODMAPS
If you have eliminated gluten and your symptoms of celiac or inflammatory bowel disease persist, try avoiding foods categorized as FODMAPS. These are foods that contain short-chain carbohydrates that are incompletely absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and can be easily fermented by gut bacteria, producing gas and intestinal discomfort. Some of the items on this list are artificial sweeteners, which are unquestionably detrimental to health and should be avoided by everyone, regardless of the condition of their intestinal tract.
On the other hand, other items on the FODMAPS list are certain fruits and vegetables that can produce gas, such as cabbage, garlic and broccoli. It is important to note that these foods are nutrient-dense and extremely healthful. They should not be avoided unless you have an intestinal disorder that prevents you from tolerating them. You can view a complete list of these foods here.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.
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Article updated on: April 29th, 2013