What is gluten?
The term gluten refers to a specific protein that is commonly found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale, as well as related species of grains. Gluten proteins act like glue, giving bread and cereal products made from these grains their texture. While gluten isn’t essential for health, many of the products made from grains containing gluten are a staple part of the Asian diet.
Gluten-free diet would be the exclusion of gluten from all types of sources. Usually people with gluten intolerances/allergy or celiac disease are required to practise a gluten-free diet. Generally healthy individuals are not required to exclude gluten as it does not cause any health impact at all.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that affects the small intestines or gut. When people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, their bodies’ immune systems mistakenly identify the chemical composition of gluten proteins as an invader in the body. The immune system is the defense against invaders — it’s how your body wards off bacteria and viruses. In the case of people with celiac disease, the body sends out its attack force and targets the gluten proteins. Over time, this will result in damage to the lining of their intestines or gut.
Read more about celiac disease on our medical tips section here.
Gluten Intolerance or allergy
Another condition that may make individuals unable to eat gluten is due to gluten intolerance. Your body may still have trouble digesting gluten proteins or may have an allergy to wheat. It is advised to take a blood test to make sure if any discomfort or symptoms occur after being exposed to gluten.
Aside from celiac disease, people who have gluten allergy/intolerance are recommended to consume prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics that will help in balancing your gut microbiome such as YourGutt.