The term Gluten-free is really popular these days and many options are there in food choices for those who are gluten intolerant. Gluten is very common in foods and can become a serious threat and challenge to those who suffer from celiac disease and allergy from wheat. So, if you are looking for what grains are gluten free, worry no more and read this article.
Here is all you need to know about gluten intolerance as well as the list of grains and foods that are gluten-free and their benefits. What grains are Gluten free?
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is the main protein in wheat and some people find it hard to digest it. Gluten intolerance includes the celiac disease in which weight of a person increases and it includes other symptoms such as, skin rashes, headaches, depression, irritable bowel syndrome and other allergies.
If care is not taken, the allergies become really harsh and the immune system is unable to keep up which can lead to shutting down of body organs in severe cases.
Although wheat is a very important part of our diet and is the number one source of protein in developing countries, those who are gluten intolerant have to replace their diet with what grains are gluten free?. Around 1 to 2 percent of the population has the autoimmune form of gluten allergy.
What Grains Are Gluten-Free?
Unlike wheat, most of the grains are gluten-free. And they provide enough nutrition to the body as required. For those having gluten intolerance, here is a list gluten free grains.
This is a vegetable seed and is related to spinach. It is hence used in vegan diets as a staple and has a lot of health benefits and is enriched with magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, Vitamin E, protein, and fiber etc and is why it is a gluten-free grain.
This can be used in many recipes and is naturally gluten-free, promoting a healthy heart. It decreases cholesterol levels in the blood and provides manganese for the proper functioning of the body.
This is relatively easy to digest grain and is devoid of gluten. It maintains sugar level and alkalizes the body and has a balanced content of fiber and sugar. Millet also has a high concentration of antioxidants, vitamin B, phosphorous etc. and even its protein content is more than that of rice and corn.
This grain, which comes from rhubarb family, is beneficial for not only gluten intolerants but also for those who have diabetes. It maintains the sugar levels in blood and has flavonoids e.g. rutin. Adequate amounts of nutrients like zinc, manganese, iron, fiber, potassium, copper and antioxidants are also present in it.
This was the sacred food of Aztecs and contains a significant quantity of magnesium, phosphorous, fiber, calcium, Vitamin C. It has a nutty flavor that appears when it is toasted. It has a relatively higher protein content than other grains.
This is an expensive grain and is widely popular because it can be grown anywhere. It is traditionally used for breakfast and has amazing nutritious benefits. But care must be needed while purchasing oats as they are sometimes grown in the same areas as wheat and hence, can get contaminated with it. So make sure that the oats you are using are labeled as gluten-free.
This grain can be used by gluten intolerant people as a substitute for wheat, is high in antioxidants. It can also hinder the growth of cancer and maintain levels of cholesterol and sugars in the body. The sweet flavor makes it palatable and it has protein, vitamin B, iron etc. too.
This grain has the highest content of calcium than the others and also provides Vitamin C. It can be used in baked products and helps in regulating the circulation of blood in the body. One more benefit is that it can be sown in areas where other crops are hard to grow.
Montina: (Indian Rice)
The pure Indian Rice Grass has a high content of fiber and protein and tastes like wheat. It was used readily in Native the American diet in the early days.
Well, it is not just a snack to eat while watching movies, but it is also much underrated as a grain. It has high amounts of fiber, vitamins, and minerals like phosphorous, iron, zinc, and magnesium. The antioxidants in popcorn protect the body from heart diseases, cancer, early aging and maintains sugar level.
The corn grains like polenta are eaten mostly in porridge. It is a rich source of iron, complex carbohydrates and antioxidants. It can also be used to regularize anomalies in the digestive system and circulatory system, preventing high blood pressure and edema etc. Corn is mostly a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) and organic products should be used for better nutrition. Polenta can be used as an alternative to pizza crust if it is cooked.
Work and research are still being done on such gluten-free grains. As the amount of processed grains is cut down, better results and excellent nutrients are obtained by going gluten-free.
Gluten-Free Food List
The gluten-free diet does not include grains only but there are plenty of other foods as well that provide enough nourishment and nutrition to the body while being free of gluten. You can consume the following items.
Lettuce, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, mushrooms, alfalfa sprouts, kale, chard, water chestnuts, parsley, turnip, asparagus, garlic, radishes, artichoke etc.
Milk, Cream And Tea:
Cow’s milk can be used in dairy recipes as well as in coffee and tea. Yogurt and cottage cheese can be used as a topping.
These fruits are low in sugar. Lemons, eggplant, tomato, avocado, bell peppers, limes, pumpkin, cucumber. The sweet fruits that are gluten-free include berries, papaya, pineapple, mangos, and apricots.
Beans, peas, and lentils.
Sesame oil, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, ghee, organic butter, almond milk, seeds (flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds) etc.
Eggs, salmon, sardines, black cod, shrimp, lobster, clams, oysters, crab, fowl, poultry, beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, ostrich, duck etc.
Mustard, tapenade, and salsa can be eaten but special aye should be kept on the ingredients. Beware of processed seasonings and herbs.
Gluten-Free Diet Benefits
A Gluten-free diet is necessary for those suffering from celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, as there is no other way to combat such diseases. It is also helpful in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome due to the presence of low fermentable carbohydrates. The grains that have gluten can lead to cramping and diarrhea so it is advisable to not use such food materials. There are a number of other benefits of such a diet and some of them are as follow:
- Maintenance of cholesterol levels
- Promotion of healthy weight loss along with the provision of complete nutrients
- Improvement in digestive health
- Unhealthy food that is not required by our body is eliminated
- Decreases the risk of germs and viral infections as a healthy diet full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants is consumed
- More amount of fruits and vegetables are added to the diet
- Energy levels are increased. You will feel energetic.
- Awareness about foods is obtained
- New research suggests that giving a gluten-free diet to children suffering from autism can have a significant effect on their health and improves behavioral disorders
- It can help to avoid inflammation especially in the patients with celiac disease and can prevent severe health consequences.
Where to get gluten free food?
As mentioned above, gluten-free is quite common these days and a wide range of companies make such foods and products. Here is a list of stores and shopping forums from where you can get gluten-free grains and foods.
- Gluten Solutions
- Amazing Grains
- Arrowhead Mills
- Cream Hill Estates
- Mom’s Place Gluten Free
- Canyon Bakehouse
- Legacy Valley
- Enjoy Life Natural Brands
- Gifts of Nature
- Gluten Free
- The Teff Company
- Pamela’s Products
- Twin Valley Mills
- GF Harvest/Gluten Free Oats
Here are some sites for additional help about gluten intolerance.
- The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness / Celiac Central
- University of Chicago Celiac Disease Program
- The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Furthermore, there are a huge variety of foods available on the market that are made especially for a gluten allergy. As the number of the people suffering from this disorder is very high, more and more companies seek ways to develop gluten-free products. You must have a better idea now about what grains are gluten-free and what is not. Not only does such food prevent allergies but it also has a beneficial impact on the general human health.