by Margaret Durst: Healthy
Habits for Happy and Healthy YearstoCome
If you are
still searching for a great health-related New Year’s resolution,
consider giving up white flour and products made from it. You might
be amazed at how much better you feel.
made from refined wheat is one of the most common food allergens
today. Almost everybody who lives in the United States has some
sensitivity to white flour and/or wheat.
to be considered the staff of life, but now, thanks to processing,
it is a dead and detrimental food. When you compare white flour
to the wheat berry, processing removes 66 percent of the B vitamins,
70 percent of the minerals, 79 percent of the fiber, and 19 percent
of the protein.
What is left
is a “food” that forces the body to rob itself of essential
minerals in order to be digested. Once these mineral stores are
depleted, the “food” will ferment into the perfect environment
for yeast, bacteria and parasites to grow, leading to indigestion,
gas and bloating.
One of the
biggest reasons to not eat white flour and products made from white
flour is that it tends to cause inflammation in the intestinal tract
which leads to a condition known as leaky gut. Leaky gut is the
precursor to many of the autoimmune disorders that are becoming
more common. These include chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia –
both of which have been shown to improve when wheat is excluded
from the diet.
and acid indigestion are some other conditions that can improve
greatly when wheat is removed from the diet. Allergies from airborne
substances such as pollen, dust and pet dander also benefit from
restricting wheat as do conditions such as eczema and diverticulitis.
If you suffer
from any of these conditions, remove wheat from your diet for one
month and see how you feel. Also, add some omega 3 oils to your
diet. Your body needs these oils to metabolize wheat and if you
have never supplemented these oils, chances are that you are deficient
with removing wheat from the diet is simple. What else is there
to eat? Believe it or not, there are many good alternatives. Spelt
is my favorite. Spelt is an ancient grain that substitutes well
in recipes calling for wheat flour. For bread, the sprouted grain
breads such as the Ezekial or Essene bread are good choices. For
cereal or grain dishes, there is oatmeal, rice and many grains that
are becoming popular such as amaranth, millet and quinoa.
If you really
have trouble either cutting back or removing wheat from your diet,
you might want to look at some of the popular diet books for ideas
of what to eat. Diets such as the Maker’s Diet, Sugar Busters,
South Beach and the latest version of Atkins all allow “healthy
carbohydrates” from unrefined sources.
Durst owns The
Green House, a vitamin, herb and health food store in Mason,