What is gluten, where is it found, and what does it do to the body?

What is gluten, where is it found, and what does it do to the body?

Gluten is a glycoprotein found in wheat, barley, oats, and rye, providing nutrition to these germinating seeds. It is estimated than humans consume these cereals for approximately 10,000 years. Since then, gluten has been present in the diet of the human population.

 Not only wheat, barley, oats or rye contain gluten, but also their by-products (flour, semolina, semolina, starches, among others) and all products that contain them: pasta, bread, flour tortillas, beer, sauces such as ketchup, fried foods in batter, sausages such as sausages, coffee in capsules, snacks such as chips, cakes, cookies, muffins and the vast majority of candies and chocolates that contain sugar. In addition, 99% bulk-milled foods may contain gluten because they are ground in mills that also ground wheat.

What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is gluten intolerance. It is chronic and has the characteristics of an autoimmune disease, which causes lesions in the mucosa of the small intestine with atrophy in the intestinal villi, producing an inadequate absorption of nutrients such as proteins, fats, carbohydrates, mineral salts and vitamins.

Symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea may be due to an intestinal immune response to gluten consumption that can manifest hours or even days after ingestion. It used to be a little-known disease, underdiagnosed due to a lack of studies reporting the number of celiacs.

Gluten-free Diet

For those with celiac disease, following a gluten-free diet is essential to avoid symptoms and complications associated with the condition. But what foods can they include in their diet to ensure they're getting the nutrients they need?

A gluten-free diet is based on natural foods such as meat, fish, legumes, eggs, milk, vegetables, fruit and gluten-free cereals such as corn or rice.

Chia is an excellent option to include in the diet of those with coeliac disease due to its nutritional benefits and versatility in the kitchen. Chia is a small and round seed that has become popular in healthy eating for its nutritional benefits. It contains fiber, protein, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids, making it a superfood for people with celiac disease. Plus, chia is versatile and can easily be added to any dish, from smoothies to salads to desserts. Make sure to give it a try!

Currently, more and more people, even without being celiac, are inclined towards a diet free of this allergen. Check with your doctor or nutritionist which are the best foods for your body.