5 Dietary Tips for Gluten Intolerance

Are you in constant search for gluten-free dishes everytime you go to a fancy restaurant with your friends and family, and are you frustrated by the fact that you're not being able to enjoy a delicious meal? If you’re living in constant fear of suffering from an unpleasant intestinal pain after earing a gluten meal, you're not alone. According to a research, more than 6% of the US population have gluten intolerance. In recent years, many people have been diagnosing with having gluten intolerance. Before learning about this health condition, let us understand what gluten is. It is nothing but a type of protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley.

A person with gluten intolerance may experience discomfort after consuming foods made with gluten. Some symptoms include bloating, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, and tiredness. In some cases, people sensitive to gluten may also experience numbness, skin rash, joint pain, muscle pain, anxiety, headache and confusion. It’s always best to consult your physician for a correct diagnosis.

Although there is no correct treatment to prevent this condition, the symptoms can surely be reduced by following some of these dietary tips. One of the only ways to reduce the symptoms of gluten intolerance is to keep an eye on your diet and make a few simple lifestyle changes.

1. Replace gluten-free substitutes- One of the most important steps to reduce the symptoms of this condition is to replace foods high in gluten with gluten-free substitutes. There are plenty of  gluten-free options for pasta, bread, crackers, and cereals available in the market.

2. Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet- One of the best foods to eat for people sensitive to gluten are fresh fruits and vegetables. There are plenty of benefits associated with consuming fruits and vegetables. Apart from these, other foods to eat include eggs, meat, fish and chicken.

3. Mental and physical fitness is vital- Along with maintaining a strict gluten free diet, it is very essential to make sure you are healthy, both mentally and physically. One of the best ways to maintain good health is to exercise on a daily basis. Practicing yoga and meditation is also very helpful for a good mental balance.

4. Read food labels- When you're buying processed food, you must check labels in order to determine if they contain gluten or not. Check for labels like wheat, rye, barley, triticale; these are the ones that should be avoided. Foods that are gluten-free will be labelled as naturally gluten-free, foods that are not cross contaminated with gluten containing ingredients, and foods processed to remove gluten. Try to avoid processed and baked foods.

5. Eat gluten-free at home- Prepare gluten-free meals at home as much as possible. Apart from fruits and vegetables, you should increase the intake of nuts, legumes, avocados, yogurt, olive oil, quinoa, millets, oats, corn, and brown rice. While cooking it's important to keep your cooking utensils and storage clean to avoid any cross contamination. In case you happen to eat outside then it's good to read the restaurant menu ahead of time, just to make sure you have options to eat.

-Akhila
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