Grain or not a grain….

Lets clear up some confusion:

Amaranth, a grain an Aztec staple, does NOT contain gluten.

Barley. Grown by the Egyptians, has a lot of fiber and needs long cooking. Pearl barley is more refined and cooks more quickly-it is a grain and does contain gluten.

Buckwheat groat, a cousin of Rhubarb, NOT A GRAIN, Gluten FREE. Buckwheat contains the antioxidant rutin and is famous as a flour for pancakes, soba noodles, and roasted groats is Kasha!

Kamut, an ancient wheat with large yellow sweet grains- contains gluten. Kamut is a trade mark for Khorasan wheat grown under specific conditions.

Millet, a small round grain with a delicate nutty flavor. A staple in India-considered gluten free.

Oats, rolled oats or steel cut in some camps are not considered to contain gluten (check label to verify GF). This is because of how it is farmed, stored or packaged/processed. Be sure to use gluten free oats.

Quinoa, NOT A GRAIN, a member of the beet family, high in protein. Said to be a good food for male fertility. does not contain gluten

Rice-grain, brown, red, black are preferred over white for nutrition purposes. gluten free

Rye is a gluten containing grain 🙁

Triticale is a hybrid of rye and wheat-also containing gluten

Spelt, An ancient wheat, more protein than wheat, possibly tolerated by those who are sensitive to wheat. Does contain gluten

Teff, a kind of millet is a gluten free grain. Teff flour is used to make the Tortilla like bread you see in Ethiopian restaurants. Like millet or amaranth can be used as a breakfast cereal or for baking.

Malt and Malt extract (usually made from Barley) contains gluten

Semolina flour is the endosperm of a hard spring wheat called Durum-this is what most pastas are made from and it is a high gluten product

GLUTEN…. (daunting piano music)

You probably hear other doctors/practitioners/nutritionists and your eccentric Aunt Ethel all talk about gluten sensitivity. I am very aware of society acting like sheep and following the herd-when something becomes a fad and “everyone’s doing it” I usually get a smarmy look on my face and roll my eyes. Gluten intolerance and ill health is not one of these fads. We deal with such a barrage of toxins affecting our health everyday – this is a big one we can voluntarily do something about. I tell my new patients to cut out wheat and sugar for at least the first 6 weeks of starting a new treatment protocol. This gives the body a reprieve from at least having to deal with the possibilities of ill effects of these “foods” and allows for an easier healing process to begin. If something as simple as eliminating a reactive food from the body encourages a healing reaction in itself – that to me is a no brainer! Gluten is also also used as a food additive in most processed foods- for instance, to make breads more stretchy, so be wary and know what your eating. You might question why a lot of food on the shelves in this country could be harmful to our health. Wouldn’t we all be sick? Unfortunately, it has become mainstream to have a chronic illness of some kind such as heart disease, cancer, auto immune, adrenal fatigue etc…This is why we really have to take care of our selves and be extra mindful what we put in our mouths. Choose wisely. Take back your health! Get informed. I’m including information taken from one of my favorite books I keep in my waiting room about what to expect once wheat/gluten is eliminated from the diet. From eliminating mood swings to symptoms of MS, gluten elimination can benefit the whole family.

1. Improved mood

Once the depression that can accompany withdrawal is past, there is typically a substantial lifting of mood. This develops due to the removal of gliadin and other prolamin protein-derived exorphins, as well as increased levels of brain serotonin. People are happier and more optimistic, and they become better engaged with the people and activities of their lives.

2. Reduced anxiety

Many people are plagued by constant low-level anxiety, the sort of pointless and unwarranted unease that makes daily life an unpleasant experience. Typically, such anxieties recede with grain removal. For some, the effect can be dramatic and life changing, sometimes even providing relief from years of phobias such as agoraphobia or claustrophobia. For others, it may be a more subtle change, with relief from frequent or pervasive anxieties that darkened your life. Like suicidal thoughts, anxiety is easily re-provoked with any grain exposure, so avoidance is key.

3. Lifting of mind fog

Like the lifting of mood, a lifting of mind fog is also a common grain-free experience. People report that they are better able to concentrate for prolonged periods and are able to think more clearly, make decisions more easily, and speak more effectively.

Writers are able to write for longer periods; artists are able to draw, paint, or compose more easily; businesspeople can engage in discussion, perform at meetings, and prepare documents more effectively; and athletes are able to sustain concentration for a longer time and become less reliant on performance crutches such as energy drinks and protein bars.

This effect applies to children just as much as adults. Some of the most dramatic stories I’ve heard have come from parents who report that their children’s school performance skyrocketed when they were freed from the fogginess of grain consumption.

4. Enhanced learning

Restoration of the capacity for prolonged concentration, clearer thinking, and reduced distractibility add up to an enhanced ability to learn. People listen more effectively, retain more with reading, acquire and synthesize data and concepts with greater ease, and enjoy enhanced recall. They are more focused, more creative, and more effective.

5. Reversal of seizures

As seizures have been associated with grain consumption, especially consumption of wheat, removal of grains can be associated with relief from seizures if grains were the initiating cause. Most commonly, sufferers of temporal lobe seizures experience a marked reduction or complete relief from these episodes.

Although the causal association between grains and grand mal seizures is more tenuous, I am hearing from more and more people who have experienced marked relief from these dangerous events, as well.

6. Reversal of neurological impairment

People with cerebellar ataxia usually experience a slow, gradual improvement in coordination, balance, capacity to walk, and bladder control, or at least experience no further deterioration, after grains are eliminated. Because the nervous system is slow to heal and may do so imperfectly, the process can take months to years, so a long-term commitment is required to gauge improvement.

Even multiple sclerosis, which results from autoimmune destruction of the myelin covering of nerve tissue, can slowly improve or reverse.

7. Prevention of dementia

High blood sugars that occur day in and day out, many times per day, due to habitual grain consumption are reversed when grains are removed. Clinical trials have demonstrated the powerful association between blood sugars that are around 110 mg/dl — which is below the cutoffs for prediabetes and diabetes and considered just above normal — and the development of dementia, with even higher risk presented by the higher blood sugar levels of prediabetes and diabetes.

Grain elimination is a powerful means of reversing high fasting and aftermeal blood sugars. Some people are also prone to the autoimmune process triggered by the gliadin and prolamin proteins that leads to dementia; it is likewise turned off with elimination of the inciting grains.

Excerpt from Wheat Belly Total Health, by Dr. William Davis. Published by Rodale Books, in 2014.

Enjoy this enchanting season, empower yourself! Take back your health