If you have been seeing headlines about grain-free diets recently, you may be wondering if there are any good reasons to eliminate grains from your diet. After all, grains are a staple food around the world, and whole grains are said to be very healthy. Why would people bother going grain-free? It turns out, there are very good reasons to eliminate grains. While eliminating grains isn’t for everyone, some people have benefited greatly from going grain-free, especially if they have certain health problems.
1. Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is a disease that results from the body reacting to gluten. It causes damage and inflammation in the small intestines and can result in poor absorption of nutrients. People with celiac disease are told to avoid gluten-containing grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. However, some people with celiac disease do better when they eliminate all grains. All grains contain gliadin, which is protein similar to gluten and can provoke the same damaging response in some people with celiac disease. In addition to helping celiac disease, there are other health reasons to eliminate grains.
2. Crohn’s Disease
An inflammatory autoimmune condition of the gastrointestinal tract, Crohn’s disease can cause diarrhea, rectal bleeding, pain, and constipation. Crohn’s is terrible disease that causes a lot of suffering, and people are often put on very powerful medications to control the disease. Interestingly, going grain-free can be very beneficial for people with Crohn’s. Grains can trigger autoimmune responses, like Crohn’s, and eliminating them can decrease or eliminate symptoms completely.
Lupus is another autoimmune disease that is responsive to a grain-free diet for some people. Lupus is characterized by the body attacking connective tissues in the body, which means any part of the body can be attacked. It can be very painful and make people very sick. Because grains can trigger autoimmune responses, eliminating grains helps some people with Lupus decrease symptoms and limit the number of Lupus attacks they have.
4. Chronic Pain
Chronic debilitating pain is very miserable, and regardless of the cause of a person’s pain, people have found pain relief by eliminating grains from their diet. This is because there are proteins in grains that can irritate nerve signals. Also, in the case of autoimmune diseases that cause pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis, going grain-free removes a food that can result in an autoimmune response. Not everyone with chronic pain is helped by going grain-free, but some do receive relief.
5. Digestive Problems
People who have digestive problems such as bloating, stomach cramps, constipation, and diarrhea can benefit from going grain-free. Grains are very irritating to the intestinal lining, which means they can cause a host of digestive problems. Some people are very sensitive to the gliadin protein in grains, and, while they do not have celiac or Crohn’s, they still get problems when they eat grains. If you have gastrointestinal problems, it may be worth seeing if eliminating grains helps.
While grains contain many healthy nutrients, they also contain phytic acid, which blocks the body’s ability to absorb important minerals. As a result, it is possible to develop nutrient deficiencies when you consume a lot of grains. If you have concerns about absorbing nutrients, you may want to consider eliminating grains.
Lectins are molecules in food that cause allergies, sensitivities, inflammation, and autoimmune responses. Certain foods are high in lectins, like grains. While not everyone has trouble with lectins, many people have problems from eating high lectin foods. Since grains are especially high in lectins, eliminating them can often help people who suffer from allergies, sensitivities, inflammation, and autoimmune responses.
Grains have long been considered to be part of a healthy diet, and for many people they can be. However, there are many individuals who suffer from problems that are helped by eliminating grains. Have you ever considered going grain-free?