Gluten Free Food Benefits

Gluten Free Food Benefits

To really understand why foods without gluten have specific benefits, you need to know what gluten is in the first place. Most people have a general idea, but the dictionary tells me that gluten is a general name for groups of proteins found in various types of wheat, rye, barley and triciale. It is a natural emulsifier and thickening agent, sort of like corn starch or eggs, and it acts as a kind of natural glue that helps foods to hold their shape and stay together. It’s present in every product that uses whole grains, and the majority of things made from flour contain gluten as well.

So what are some of the benefits to gluten free food? Well, there are some known benefits if you happen to suffer from celiac disease. That causes the body to attack its own small intestine when digesting gluten, and it can lead to inflammation, bleeding and other issues in the digestive tract. Some people don’t necessarily suffer from celiac disease, but they do still have a natural sensitivity to gluten, and it can cause digestive woes for them too. The benefit of gluten free food for these people should be immediately apparent – their bodies simply feel better if they don’t eat gluten.

For those without allergies, sensitivity or diseases which react violently to gluten, the benefits of gluten free food are less pronounced, but they do still exist. In many cases, avoiding foods with gluten in them leads to a reduction in the intake of cakes, cookies, pastries, breads and similar foods; eating less of these types of food is generally a good idea unless trying to put on weight with lots of empty calories. However, gluten free varieties of these foods will still have the same calorie counts, or they might even be higher thanks to adjusted ingredients to keep the food palatable.

So, you can’t just eat whatever you want. Who would have thought it? Besides watching your calorie intake, you need to make sure you get the right vitamins and minerals, even if you’re trying to go gluten free. It’s never a good idea to just cut out whole groups of foods from your diet, especially if you don’t have something to replace those items with. That just leaves a huge void in the nutrients your body is used to getting, and it might seem like a little thing, but you’ll feel the effects of that deprivation before you know it.

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My Favorite Gluten Free Recipes

My Favorite Gluten Free Recipes

Every cook out there has a handful of recipes they like to keep close and memorize, so they’ve always got a handful of different meals they can always make, which gives them the versatility to handle many different situations. As for me, my favorite gluten free recipes are things I’ve put together over time after trying many different combinations of foods, looking for something that was nutritionally sound and tasted great. I managed to do it, and if you follow these recipes, you’ll be able to do it too.

If I want something fast and easy, I go for soft tacos and a filling made with green chile peppers, special cilantro seasoned rice and eggs, or meat if I have some. Chicken, pork and beef all work well, but be sure to check the tortillas and make sure they’re gluten free as well. All of the other ingredients here are sound, and making these tacos is just like making other tacos, so pretty much anyone should be able to pull it off.

If I have more time or I’m really craving fish, I like to pan fry something, usually catfish. Serving that alongside some slaw and a hot, red pepper sauce makes for a refreshing meal that covers many nutritional bases. Carrots, cabbage, lettuce and beans on the side really help to satisfy, and there’s not a gram of gluten to be found anywhere in the meal.

I’m actually a big seafood fan, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’d have a scallop dish on this list too. Specifically, I love seared scallops next to a decent salad. There is a southwest salad I like to make using corn, tomatoes and beans, and it only takes a couple of minutes to make, so I can start cooking the scallops at the same time and have everything ready together. That convenience is great.

You can still eat some seriously unhealthy food while on a gluten free diet, and I absolutely love chicken-fried steak with mashed potatoes, asparagus spears and of course, some gravy. The best food is home grown if you ask me. That’s why I use a LED grow lighting system to grow fresh vegetables during the winter months when I can’t just grow outside. Fresh asparagus is the best, really. It helps to cut into the deep-fried greasy chunk of meat, too.

I’ll close out this list of favorite gluten free recipes with a soup, since everyone should know how to make at least one kind of soup. Me, I really like a specific sweet and spicy carrot soup, with lots of fresh carrots, habanero chili or maybe something a little less spicy if I’m cooking for others, a bit of ginger, a bit of onion and some brown sugar to mellow out all the acidic flavors. This is a surprisingly cheap dish to prepare, but it tastes much richer than it costs.

Whether I’m frying up fish, cooking steaks, filling tacos or stirring up some soup, I know quite a few tasty recipes that manage to completely cut gluten out of the equation. It’s not that hard to eat well, even without gluten in your diet.

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