9 Facts About Going Gluten-Free with a Paleo or Primal Diet
Even beyond the wonderful community of people who have chosen to follow a primal or paleo kind of diet, there is a rising trend of people in the world who are going gluten-free in order to improve their health. We have been gluten-free for a while, as we are on a primal/paleo-type diet.
A primal or paleo diet is a diet that is centred around eating whole foods like meat, nuts, seeds, and vegetables, and discourages the intake of processed sugars and foods, vegetable oils, and grains. The primal diet allows the intake of full-fat dairy, while the paleo diet does not.
Both the primal and paleo diets are naturally free of gluten, and teach you how to eat in a way that will allow you to avoid it without too much effort. Gluten is found in foods made with white flours, such as bread, pasta, and cakes, as well as a lot of processed foods and spices.
Gluten Can Make You Feel More Tired Throughout the Day
Giving up gluten has been shown to reduce fatigue and increase energy levels in those who are sensitive to it. Having more energy will mean fewer sugar cravings, as you will not need an afternoon sugar fix to bring your energy up. This could also be because going on a gluten-free diet forces you to eat more nutritional food.
A paleo or primal diet focuses on nutrient-dense foods, which makes it easier to give your body everything it needs.
Gluten Can Contribute to Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
Neurotransmitters (which are chemical messengers) help signals move properly between neurons in the body. Low amounts of neurotransmitters have been linked to depression and anxiety symptoms. Digestive issues, which are possibly caused by a gluten sensitivity can lead to the malabsorption of nutrients, including those that help produce your body to neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which are all important for brain and mental health.
Gluten is Bad for Gut Health
Gluten can disrupt your digestive system, which can lead to weight gain, bloat, cramping, the malabsorption of nutrients, etc. This is because gluten breaks open your cell walls, causing them the become permeable, thereby allowing various food particles and proteins to enter the bloodstream that should not be there.
The body sees them as foreign substances, and launches an attack. In order for the nutrients from your food to be absorbed properly, you need to sort out your digestive system by cutting out gluten and other processed foods and eating to heal your gut lining.
A primal diet or paleo-type diet is highly beneficial for your gut health, as you are encouraged to consume foods that promote gut health, such as high-fibre fruit, nuts, seeds, and vegetables, and it discourages the intake of foods that damage your gut health, such as processed sugar, gluten, and chemicals.
After a few months of cutting out gluten and following a primal diet, your gut health could be a lot better, and your body might be able to more easily tolerate certain foods that caused irritation to your system before you cut out gluten.
Cutting Gluten Helps You Follow a Healthy Primal/Paleo Diet
If you cut out sugar and gluten, you are also cutting out foods that are high in calories and offer little nutritional value, such as pizza and doughnuts. I call them empty calories. Going gluten-free will also help you stay away from highly processed foods that increase blood pressure, cause water retention and bloating, and negatively affect glucose levels.
Going Gluten-Free and Primal/Paleo Can Help Hormones
Gluten sensitivity could affect hormonal imbalances. Many women with PCOS struggle with weight gain and have trouble losing weight. Quitting gluten could help correct these imbalances and make weight loss easier.
Going Gluten-Free and Primal/Paleo Reduces Inflammation
Going gluten-free can help improve sports injuries and speed up recovery, as it can reduce inflammation. A gluten-free diet can also help with muscle aches due to lower inflammation.
Gluten Can Cause Unhealthy Skin
Gluten can cause digestive issues and inflammation, which shows up on your skin. Acne is inflammation. Gluten causes inflammation, which can cause acne, especially on the forehead, cheeks, and chin. It also causes other inflammatory skin issues, such as eczema and psoriasis, and increases the chances of developing skin pigmentation. Cutting gluten could mean less inflammation and less need for makeup.
A gluten sensitivity can make you look puffy and bloated. It also speeds up glycation, which is a process that can be described as the breakdown and damage of protein fibres, such as collagen, and leads to wrinkles.
Gluten Can Lead to Hair Loss
Gluten can cause the malabsorption of nutrients, due to damage caused to the gut lining, which could lead to hair loss. This is because your body does not absorb essential nutrients like iron, amino acids, and biotin that are needed for hair growth as well as it should.
Depression and anxiety can be signs of gluten sensitivity.
Gluten Can Make You Feel Gloomy and Drowsy
The regular consumption of gluten has also been linked to adrenal fatigue. Fatigue does not feel good. The increase in energy from cutting out gluten can help prevent you from feeling low.
Gluten can make your brain feel foggy. So, cutting gluten could help improve mental clarity as well.
If you want to improve your health, cutting gluten can help you greatly. Going on a paleo or primal-type diet makes it a lot easier to eat healthily and cut out gluten. It is still okay if you have it in moderation and follow the 80/20 rule (eat healthily 80% of the time).
But hopefully, in knowing what some of the side effects of eating gluten are, you will decide to limit your consumption and choose to put the health of your body and your goals first. It is not that difficult to cut out gluten, you will just have to read a lot of labels at first, but it becomes easier over time.