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Here’s Why You Should Try A Gluten-Free Diet

Here’s Why You Should Try A Gluten-Free Diet

Gluten-free eating is the new health fad nowadays. While there is debate on whether gluten-free diets are necessary for people who aren’t suffering from a disease which is directly correlated to gluten, like celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, people are adopting the diet nonetheless.

There are anti-gluten arguments that opine it can be detrimental to your health if you eat too much gluten. For that reason, gluten-free foods have been springing up all over the place in order to promote a healthier alternative. Anyone, whether they are suffering a gluten-induced disorder, can benefit from a gluten-free diet.

There are others who oppose this logic because they feel ridding your diet of gluten is not a healthy step to take. There are vital nutrients in gluten that can’t be replaced with non-gluten foods. Additionally, the gluten-free foods in stores, especially the snacks, are often filled with more sugar than foods containing gluten. So realistically they might not be a healthier alternative.

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Despite the support for gluten, there seems to be a lot one can gain from undertaking a gluten-free diet. It is also important to remember that many people who have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease don’t always display the symptoms right away.

Before you begin a gluten-free diet, it is important to make sure you test yourself for the various gluten disorders. Do your homework and ensure that your new diet won’t lack the beneficial nutrients found in gluten. Here are five reasons you should consider going on a gluten-free diet.

Celiac Disease

More people are being affected by celiac disease, although currently only 1% of people suffer from the affliction. People who have celiac disease are unable to eat foods that contain the protein composite without serious issues. People with celiac disease who are exposed to gluten will experience an attack from their immune systems against the gluten proteins, but they also experience an additional attack against the intestinal wall. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which the intestinal wall is broken down if gluten is consumed. The effects of this disease are most apparent in the stomach region.

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Even though only 1% of the population is affected, there are many people who have gone undiagnosed because they don’t have serious symptoms. Over time, eating gluten can be very damaging to the intestinal wall. So, it is important to get tested for the disease if you suffer any unusual stomach ailments. You can also experiment with a gluten-free diet to see if it has a positive effect.

Gluten Sensitivity

Perhaps you don’t have celiac disease but your body still reacts adversely after eating gluten products. If you have bouts of diarrhea, stomach pain, or bloating after eating gluten, then you may have a sensitivity to gluten. In this case, you should change your eating habits and introduce more gluten-free foods into your diet.

Keratosis Pilaris

This is a skin condition, also known as chicken skin, which is common in many people, especially adolescents. It has been reported that as many as 50% of adults and 80% of adolescents have this condition that is very difficult to treat. It often appears on the arms in the form of small bumps that look similar to acne. The bumps are usually white, not red, and in most cases, they aren’t painful and they don’t itch.

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Many people who have been afflicted with this condition have tried gluten-free diets with a lot of success. It might be worth a shot to try a gluten-free diet if you suffer from this skin condition or another one like it.

Autoimmune Diseases

Besides the ones already listed, there is a growing problem with autoimmune diseases. Whether it is cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, osteoporosis, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or even multiple sclerosis, gluten is linked to these afflictions. Dr. Mark Hyman, a leading doctor in this field, warns about the dangers of the diseases which are directly related to the foods you are eating — which are most likely loaded with gluten. He argues that the effect gluten has on autoimmune diseases is rapid and needs to be ratified immediately. Americans in particular are killing themselves with gluten because there is such a high level of gluten used to produce bread, bagels, donuts, and other gluten products.

Not every autoimmune disease is caused by gluten. If your diet is high in gluten and you are experiencing any kind of unusual ailments, try testing out a gluten-free diet for a couple of weeks. Observe how you feel. Then go back and eat gluten to see if there is an effect. This is the best way to determine if you have an autoimmune disease caused by gluten.

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Neurological Diseases

If autoimmune diseases weren’t enough to be concerned with, Hyman also believes that many neurological diseases, such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, dementia, and epilepsy, can be linked to gluten. Introducing a gluten-free diet could be a preventive measure against these kinds of diseases, especially if the link between them is strong.

Featured photo credit: Ed Greory via stokpic.com

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Mike Oppland

Mike is the Creator of Carpe Diem Motivation. He aspires to inspire individuals who are seeking a little extra boost in their lives.

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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