Trends in Food and Cooking: Gluten-Free Recipes2013 Jan 15 | Written by: Katherine Cortes | Tags: Gluten-Free Recipes
The Benefits of Gluten-Free Recipes
If you’re allergic to gluten, have been diagnosed with Celiac disease or have other health conditions attributed to gluten intake, have no fear – you can still enjoy your favorite casserole or sample a homemade pizza, all with gluten-free ingredients!
Gluten-free food has become all the rage, what with its being pushed by Hollywood personalities and fitness experts who bank on the health benefits and weight-loss properties of gluten-free diets. One online search for gluten-free recipes is bound to turn up thousands of ways to cook dishes with gluten-free ingredients.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a type of protein found in some kinds of grain, wheat, cereals and other similar food items, but can also be found in blue cheese, beer, licorice, soy sauce, flavoured coffee and even health and beauty products. Gluten is what makes bread “springy,” and acts as a kind of elastic bond to keep food from getting too sticky.
When people are gluten-intolerant, their bodies cannot properly absorb gluten and other nutrients. Celiac disease is a more severe form of gluten intolerance which is characterized by bloating, fatigue, joint pain and stomach cramps. The solution to this is to maintain a gluten-free diet, which basically means that fatty, fried, processed and pre-packaged foods are out of the question, which in turn means a healthier diet. This is why gluten-free food has become a trend.
What are the benefits of a gluten-free diet?
Gluten-free diets lower cholesterol levels, decrease your sugar intake, give you better digestion, raise energy levels, and helps you lose weight. Other health problems such as Parkinson’s Disease, Down’s Syndrome, seizures, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, anaemia, arthritis and ataxia can benefit from gluten-free foods, too.
Because of the restrictions on fast food and processed food, you tend to eat more fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products and gluten-free grains, all of which contain vitamins, minerals and nutrients that you wouldn’t otherwise get.
How to begin on a gluten-free diet?
If you have been exhibiting signs and symptoms of gluten intolerance or Celiac disease, it’s best to go to a doctor and get yourself diagnosed first. But if you’re going on a gluten-free diet for health reasons, you can always start at home.
Look for gluten-free recipes or search for alternative ingredients to your favourite recipes so that you can keep enjoying the dishes you love most. Try cooking new things as recommended by others – if you’ve never used a pizza maker before, there are recipes for gluten-free pizza dough that you can try. Start off bit by bit, don’t shock your system all at once and have a drink to commemorate your gluten-free diet!