Unveiling The Facts About Gluten

Facts About Gluten

Gluten is basically a naturally occurring protein that is found in the endosperm of various grass-related grains such as wheat, barley, rye, oat etc.it is primarily made up of two different combination of proteins that is  gliadin and glutenin, which gives the  food the property of elasticity  and the the ability to rise during the process of  baking,

Activation of gluten

Gluten is the natural proteins found in some grains most commonly in wheat, gluten molecules are activated when water is mixed with the flour of the wheat or any grain (having gluten) and kneaded, the glutens being elastic in nature gives shape to the dough without breaking or tearing even though it is stretched to any extent.

Importance of  gluten in certain foods

It is because of presence of gluten, it becomes possible to bake certain food items .it gives shape, texture, elasticity, structure and chewiness to the food products such as cookies, breads, pastas and other food items made from dough.

When the flour is moistened the  glutens in it is activated through the kneading or mixing process, forming tiny bubbly sought of air  pockets that get inflated by the gases released by the leavening agent. When these air pockets inflate, the dough stretches or rises. Gluten being a protein becomes hard on heating when we cook it. This hardening nature of the gluten molecules is what makes the bread to get into shape, giving a precise and firm texture.

Grains that contain gluten

Wheat, rye, barley, wheat germ, semolina, farina, graham flour, triticale, spelt and couscous are some of the grains that contain gluten

Foods that contain gluten

cookies, breads, pastas, French fries, malt vinegar, soya sauce, salads, ketchup, baked beans, broths, hot dogs, ice creams, burgers, marinades, meatballs, cearals, gravy, cheese, dairy products etc

Gluten diet may be bad for some people

  • certain people who are allergic to gluten loaded foods such as wheat can have adverse effect on their digestive tract when exposed to gluten, as the cells of the immune system mistakenly attack gluten molecules believing it to be some sort of harmful bacteria, causing damage of the intestinal wall, which leads to nutrient deficiencies, various digestive issues, anaemia, fatigue, and increased risk of many serious diseases.
  • People suffering from Celiac disease ( autoimmune disorder ) when consume gluten rich diet are at risk for many serious illnesses such as anaemia, osteoporosis and infertility., the immune system in such cases is triggered to   attack the lining of the small intestine making it impossible to absorb certain nutrients, including iron, calcium, vitamin D and folate. Symptoms are stomach pain, diarrhoea, weight loss, chronic fatigue and neurological problems. Gluten has negative effects on the patients suffering from celiac disease, the best way to prevent this is to maintain a gluten free diet for life long.
  • Gluten is also known to worsen the condition of those people already suffering from Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) that involves various digestive issues.
  • It is very obvious that people sensitive to gluten, need to stay away from gluten loaded diet as it has shown to have negative effect on health especially digestive tract .

Watch for these symptoms of gluten intolerance

Most common symptoms of gluten intolerance

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • cramps
  • diarrhoea/constipation
  • headaches
  • joint pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Feeling extremely tired
  • Depression
  • numbness and tingling in your legs, arms and hands
  • difficulty thinking
  • mental fatigue
  • forgetfulness

If you experience the above mentioned symptoms frequently as soon as you consume gluten diet, consult you’re a doctor and discard gluten foods from your diet to observe how your body reacts to gluten free diet.