Gluten sensitivity has been increasingly in popularity over the years. A gluten free diet is not the preferred “health food diet” for people trying to lose weight, however it is a great diet to adopt if you have regular sensitivities and intolerances to some foods. Gluten free diets can also be preferred as they usually contain less processed ingredients that are healthy and good for gut health. It is good to note that just because a product does claim to be gluten free does not necessarily mean it is healthy, some of these foods contain preservatives, gums and sugars that are highly processed.
Gluten is naturally present in some cereal grains such as wheat, rye, barley and oats. The optimum gluten free diet is pretty simple, it should contain a mixture of fresh vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds and olive oil.
Our Top 5 gluten free foods include:
FLAXSEEDS + CHIA:
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, B complex vitamins, calcium, manganese, magnesium and fibre. Flaxseeds and chia are high in both insoluble and soluble fibre, which helps to promote gut motility and regular bowel movements. They are both great prebiotics and nourish our good gut bacteria. They are one of the richest sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, eliciting anti-inflammatory properties.
My fridge is filled with antioxidant rich bundles of broccoli, carrots, pumpkin, zucchini, leeks and Tuscan kale. Perfect for making into nourishing soups or warm salads, which I make on a daily basis as a quick healthy dinner. Broccoli for instance is a wonderful super food, loaded with cancer-protective glucosinolates (a type of phytonutrient) and antioxidants, including vitamin C, E and Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).
Fruits are extremely high in antioxidants and fibre that help to fight free radicals in the body, reducing the risk of disease. Choose colourful seasonal fruits, such as berries, kiwi fruit, citrus, apples, pears, pomegranates, pineapple and papaya . Use fresh fruit to sweeten your recipes such as desserts, cakes, cookies, smoothies and juices. It’s amazing how something as pure as a grated apple or smashed banana can add natural sweetness to your recipes and add a lovely depth of flavour, texture and delicious nutrient boost.
These little crunchy bits of goodness are packed with protein that keeps your body sustained for hours. Adding nuts to your diet will also have a stabilising effect on blood sugar and keep you satisfied and energised. Almonds are one of my favourite nuts, as they are packed full of protein + heart healthy fats that are kind to your arteries and can help lower cholesterol as well as keep blood sugars stable. They are great in baking as almond meal because they offer a beautiful rich and nutty flavour and texture.
Quinoa is a versatile gluten free grain that has a low GI of 53. Quinoa is also a complete protein which means that it contains all the essential amino acids that the body needs for repair and a healthy immune system. Quinoa can be soaked overnight and then cooked to be used as quinoa flour for baking.