Written by our resident Nutrition Guru – Sarah Messervey
“Wheat Kings and pretty things, wait and see what tomorrow brings…” G.D.
We Canadians are known around the globe for our seemingly endless fields of golden wheat that grow across the prairies. If you visit the prairies it’s hard to go anywhere without the tell-tale grain elevators and combine harvesters nestled amongst the sea of yellow grass. Wheat is a staple in the Standard American Diet as it is the main ingredient in foods like pasta, pizza, bread, cereal, cakes and even liquorice. It is often snuck into sauces as thickeners and foods as texture enhances, so READ YOUR LABELS! Wheat is a popular grain because it has a protein in it called gluten. Gluten is a gummy substance found in grains (barley, rye, wheat, spelt and non-certified gluten-free oats) that causes the dough to be more elastic making the goodies soft and chewy ….think Wonder Bread! If you’ve tried gluten-free breads, which are usually crumbly and dense, you’ll know very quickly that gluten is what is actually holding your sandwich together!
Although extremely palatable, gluten causes some serious issues:
- 1. Celiac’s Disease: This is an auto-immune condition where gluten triggers the body to attack its own small intestine cells leading to a whole host of problems from cramping to malnutrition and death. Avoidance of all gluten is necessary!
- 2. It is an Irritant: Glutenous grains, and to a slightly lesser degree gluten-free grains, contain substances, like lectins, phytates and Amylase Trypsin Inhibitors (ATIs) that are extremely irritating to the gut and can cause celiac-type symptoms in people who don’t have celiacs disease. Do you have cramps or bloating at the end of the day? Frequent headaches? It could be the grains in your diet!
- 3. Leaky-Gut Syndrome: Leaky -gut is a condition where the cells that are supposed to makes up the tight intestinal wall, open up to create small pores. Gluten is an irritant and it is also a fairly large molecule. When the gut is irritated by the grain, it becomes inflamed and the cells swell and pull apart leaving open pores in the intestinal tract. The gluten protein, and other potentially harmful substances like pathogens, then passes directly into the blood stream causing an immune reaction and possibly…
- 4. Auto-Immune Disease: Yes, it has been shown that grains can trigger auto-immune diseases like MS, Parkinson’s, ALS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, etc. Bacteria and Viruses are built of large proteins. When the body sees an undigested gluten protein in the bloodstream, it signals to our immune system to attack. The problem is that gluten has a similar structure to some of our own body tissues and therefore triggers an auto-immune attack on our healthy tissue. In Multiple Sclerosis, for example, the myelin sheath that coats the nerve is confused for a gluten-like protein and the body attacks it causing tremors, pain, weakness, etc.
- 5. Other Issues include: headaches or migraines, issues with the gut microbiome, inflammation, cramps, bloating, diarrhea and/ or constipation, fatigue, poor memory, brain fog, acnes, psoriasis, eczema, runny nose or sinus issues, etc. The problem with gluten is that not everyone has an immediate reaction. An immediate reaction is called an IgE reaction but many people experience a delayed reaction to foods called an IgG. It can take up to FOUR DAYS to notice the full effects of a food. A gluten intolerance can also be confused for another food intolerance, like lactose, because you continue to eat foods between consumption of gluten and the symptoms.
So, was our beloved Gord Downie years ahead of the nutrition game when, in 1992, he sang “Wheat Kings and pretty things, let’s just see what TOMORROW brings.” Take gluten out of your diet for 4 days and test whether you feel better or not. If you do, add back in gluten-free grains and see how you do for 4 days. If you react to those, then you’ll just have to join me on the Paleo side of life.. for at least 3 months and then you may try to re-introduce them slowly. Having trouble? Come chat with me!
Until next time, Keep Smiling!
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
5 Rounds for Max Reps
Bench Press @ BW
5 Rounds for Max Reps
Bench Press @ 75% BW
Pull Ups (Band)
5 Rounds for Max Reps
Bench Press 50% or less BW
Perfect Plank RingRows
Strict weighted pull ups 35/20
Check back each night at 8pm for the next days WOD
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