I've been gluten free for six years now and have seen this trend picking up momentum ever since. 

But why and how has this become such a thing, in what seems a very short amount of time? Why is gluten causing so many problems for so many people? Issues such as brain fog, digestive and absorption issues, joint pains, skin problems and fatigue often present themselves as random and without cause. Until we dig a little deeper...

The way I see it, is that it's not wheat or gluten containing grains per se that are the problem, rather the food industry and industrialised food manufacture. 

Wheat has been highly hybridised to create super gluey, sticky proteins which are fantastic for use in baked goods, but this super sticky protein sticks to the walls of out intestines creating intestinal permeability, otherwise known as 'leaky gut'. The epithelial lining of our digestive system is amazing and incredibly quick to heal; however, I find that wheat is added to almost every processed food from sauces to crisps and have even seen it added to dark chocolate! This constant exposure to a very sticky substance doesn't allow the intestine to heal itself, therefore undigested food particles and toxins are able to pass through the lining of the gut into our blood stream where an immune reaction occurs and a cascade of events can be triggered. 

The other issue we are facing when discussing gluten grains is the pesticides they are sprayed with which are toxic to the human body and additionally cause numerous symptoms. 

What can we do?

While I encourage a 28 day break from gluten grains during the 28 Day Mind & Body Reset to allow the body time to do some much needed maintenance and repairs, if you don't suffer from a specific condition where gluten really causes problems, then I recommend moderation. For those of you who are lucky enough to fit into this category, avoiding processed foods, choosing organic and ancient grain stains you should be able to enjoy some home baked cakes or lovingly crafted loafs of bread without any issues. My reason for avoiding gluten is that it causes my immune system to react and cause flare ups in my rheumatoid arthritis, so for some of us, completely avoiding gluten is the only way. 

When I really fancy a sandwich or something to dip in my soup, this is my go to loaf because it's really easy and quick to make plus it has an awesome nutrition profile. Tons of fibre which aids digestion and removal of toxins from the colon, proteins essential for maintenance and repairs in the body and healthy fats, in particular omega 3 fatty acids available from flax and chia seeds which are anti-inflammatory, beneficial for brain health and the nervous system.  

Flax and Chia Loaf

  • 220g group flaxseeds
  • 30g chia seeds
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2tsp bicarb
  • 1tsp apple cider vinegar
  • generous pinch of sea salt

Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine well.

Line a small bread tin with parchment paper and tip the mixture in. Bake in a medium heat oven for 25-30 minutes until firm to touch. Test it’s cooked through by inserting a knife through the middle of the loaf. If it comes out clean, it is cooked.