What is a mysterious gluten – get to know your enemy!
Gluten is a naturally occurring protein found in wheat, barley and life. It is also often found in oats and oat products. However, we find it there due to pollution, which occurs at the stage of growing this grain or obtaining flour in mills or the production of oat products.
Gluten is the ingredient responsible for giving viscosity, elasticity and cohesiveness to food products. It makes the cake „doughy”, stretchable and can be kneaded and rolled.
The negative effect of gluten on the body’s health.
Celiac disease is relatively common today, but our attention is neglected by the fact that an excess of gluten in the diet harms practically everyone, not only people with celiac disease or gluten allergy.
Diseases associated with gluten
Celiac disease is the basic disease entity associated with gluten. It is an immunological reaction to α-gliadin (one of the gluten protein fractions). Celiac disease, or gluten-induced enteropathy, is manifested by inflammation of the intestines, disappearance of intestinal villi, leads to overwhelming abdominal cramps and diarrhea, but also malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies (vitamins and minerals). It requires a diet that completely eliminates products containing gluten.
Allergic reactions – allergic to gluten and other proteins (non-gluten) in wheat, oats, barley and life. They manifest themselves in a rash or even anaphylactic shock, occurring after the ingestion of allergenic proteins. In this group, allergy type III is also distinguished (the so-called delayed reaction to foods), the symptoms of which are unspecific and may occur even up to 3 days after consumption of the product.
Addiction and reactions from the nervous system. Wheat w floats on the brain triggering reactions similar to … opiates. After eliminating it from the diet, you usually observe improvement of mood, improvement of concentration, resolution of sleep problems and chronic fatigue. It is also suspected that it intensifies the symptoms of schizophrenia. What’s more, gluten also causes intensification of symptoms from the autism spectrum and in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
How to explain such a wide impact of gluten on behavior? It has been proven that polypeptides, which are released from gluten by digestion, pass through a barrier that is designed to separate the bloodstream from the brain. By combining the brain with the receptors for morphine, they cause drug-like effects such as cocaine.
These polypeptides were called exorphins, i.e. exogenous (external) morphine-like compounds.
What’s more, this cereal is responsible for the hunger pangs. The rapid increase in sugar in the blood leads to satiety, which occurs alternately with the sensation of hunger. Gluten stimulates the appetite and desire for products that contain it, as well as any other. In a simple way, this condition leads to overweight and obesity, which is difficult to fight, let alone win when the basis for rational weight loss are „whole grain cereal products”!
High glucose levels, after ingestion of wheat-containing products, may eventually lead to insulin resistance, diabetes and related overweight disease, and further obesity.
Please note that wheat has a higher glycemic index than white sugar!
Why so much gluten in our daily diet?
First of all, flour products are the basis of our everyday consumption, and the food industry, especially baking and confectionery widely uses the properties of gluten, which in the reaction with yeast leaven gives the cake fluffiness. Gluten is also a great carrier of flavors in spices, hence it is present in virtually every type of food.
Wheat wheat uneven. How wheat has changed over the centuries!
Finally, it is worth asking why the cereal that has accompanied man since the dawn of history is only now suspected of having such a negative impact on our health.
In response, it should be emphasized that wheat, which is currently the basis of our diet, is a genetic modification of the wheat of our ancestors. In the Neolithic times, our ancestors began to grow wild grass – a scavenger. Certainly, it was not suitable for baking bread in its present form, especially bread rolls or cookies. On the way of crossing wheat in order to increase the yield, we obtained a hybrid with the characteristics we desired. The cereals that make it, whose cultivation is relatively cheap, and the use in the food processing very wide.