Health

Tips for a Healthy Gluten-Free Lifestyle

Get Rid Of Your Headaches If you have been experiencing many headaches, you might be interested to know that there is a connection between gut health… Trista - November 8, 2020
There is a proven link between gut health and headaches, and researchers are working to find out more about this correlation. Shutterstock.

Get Rid Of Your Headaches

If you have been experiencing many headaches, you might be interested to know that there is a connection between gut health and the brain. People who have gluten intolerance or celiac disease are more prone to migraine headaches. 

It is possible to reduce these headaches by adopting a gluten-free lifestyle. Consult your doctor if the problems persist, but this could be the solution to your debilitating headaches that prevent you from carrying on with your day. 

Removing gluten from your diet can impact your mental health if you are going through depression. Shutterstock.

Gluten-Free Can Improve Depression

Another benefit of eating gluten-free is to do with depression. People who have celiac disease are more likely to suffer from depression than those who are not affected by this gluten intolerance and an autoimmune condition. 

Research has shown that when these patients go on a gluten-free diet, it has a significant effect on their depression, and the symptoms are reduced. It can help in making their quality of life a lot better, thus improving their mental health. 

Gluten intolerance can be affecting your skin and your hair health because of nutritional deficiencies. Shutterstock.

Look Forward To Good Skin And Hair

Last but not least, it can do wonders for your skin and your hair. People who have gluten intolerance are at a higher risk of skin conditions such as rashes, eczema, and psoriasis. Eating gluten-free can help to improve your skin and reduce these issues. 

When you suffer from gluten intolerance, you have nutritional deficiencies, which can lead to hair loss. Moving towards a gluten-free lifestyle can help to reverse this and improve your hair density as well as the texture. 

Ease yourself into the gluten-free lifestyle by sorting through your pantry and fridge and donating what you can’t eat. Shutterstock.

Taking Steps Towards Gluten-Free Life

If you’ve decided to go gluten-free, for whatever your reason, there are some steps you can take to make this transition work for you. The first thing you’re going to need to do is to clean out and organize your pantry. 

You need to turn this into a gluten-free space, and everybody loves a good spring clean now and then. Get a cardboard box and start to put all the gluten-containing items into the box – you can donate these to a charity or a friend. 

This sorting process will help you understand what you need to look for alternatives so that you are still satisfied. Shutterstock.

Start Making Your Shopping List

You can also take note of the things that you feel like you are going to miss. This concept will help you to start making your gluten-free shopping list. In your pantry, set aside an area that will be entirely gluten free, this is important if you’re the only one doing this in your home. 

If everyone in your household is making the change, the whole pantry can become a gluten-free zone. If it’s just you, you don’t want someone tucking into your gluten-free food and then feeling like you’re stuck without a snack and resorting to eating something with gluten. 

Labels are sometimes hard to read, so make sure you understand what each word means and what is ok to eat. Shutterstock.

Learn To Read Food Labels

The next thing goes alongside your pantry cleanout. You’re going to have to learn to be a label reader of all food items to avoid products that contain gluten. When cleaning out the pantry, take the time to read the labels and learn the terminology. 

You should also learn the alternative names for gluten sources. This addition can include malt vinegar, thickeners, starches, and even flavorings. You’ll also need to learn the differences between kinds of wheat so you know what you can and can’t buy. 

Stock up on flour so that you can make gluten-free versions of all your favorite treats and dinners. Shutterstock.

Make Sure You Are Stocked Up

When you start cooking in the gluten-free style, you’ll notice that your ingredient list is about double the usual things you will cook. Don’t let this put you off – it’s just an adjustment, and you will get used to it very soon. 

So, what’s one of the best tips for this? Make sure that you get a big bag of gluten-free all-purpose flour. This purchase means that you have plenty of flour to help you bake some amazing and yummy treats and any recipes that need flour. 

Gluten-free doesn’t mean it has to taste like cardboard, research some recipes and try them out this weekend. Shutterstock.

It’s Just As Tasty

The yummy taste will help you realize that gluten-free cooking is easy and also just as delicious as food that had gluten in it. You can even try your hand at making some pasta if you’re a pasta lover instead of buying a store-bought pasta. 

It may take more time, but it will be worth it. There’s nothing like fresh pasta, and having fresh pasta without the worry about a gluten-intolerance flare-up is even better. There are so many yummy recipes available online, so give one a try this weekend. 

It’s time to buy a new toaster to enjoy toasting items without worrying about having gluten on your food. Shutterstock.

What You Should Replace

Some items you might want to replace are not even food. They are appliances, like your toaster. Cleaning a toaster is near impossible, and there is always going to be one lingering crumb that will be stuck in there forever. 

Luckily, toasters are affordable, and going gluten-free also means it’s a great time to invest in a new toaster. You don’t want your new gluten free bread or others to get gluten on them and then have a flare-up for this reason. 

Make sure that no one else uses the toaster that you have bought; otherwise, it will be back to square one. Shutterstock.

Say Goodbye To Your Toaster, Too

If you are the only one in the household who will be eating gluten-free, make sure that no one else uses your new toaster. An easy way to do this is to label your toaster with stickers or another identifiable label. 

Keep the other toaster when you need it for other family members or even guests who aren’t going to be eating the same type of food as you. It’s the little changes like this that make all the difference and make it easier to transition. 

Treat yourself to a new set of kitchen pans as you start your gluten-free journey. Shutterstock.

Replace Your Kitchen Pans

Another kitchen item that should be replaced is your pans. This idea might seem strange, but did you know that your worn-out pots retain the gluten from food items that have been cooked in them?

You should treat yourself to a new set of pots and pans and use these for your gluten-free meals. You might even want to invest in your own utensils used explicitly for this type of cooking. 

It is essential to care for your pans if you are unable to buy new ones that don’t store gluten. Shutterstock.

Wash Them Carefully

This step is not essential, but if you have the budget, it’s something that you should consider. You might also not have the storage space to get even more pans, and if you don’t, just make sure to clean your pans as best as you can. 

If you want to replace them, look through your pans, and watch for any worn-out surfaces, scratches, or dents as it is these areas that can keep the gluten locked into the pots. You can mark the handles of these individual pans too. 

Double-dipping in the peanut butter jar could lead to you having some unwanted bread crumbs in your gluten-free meal. Shutterstock.

Eliminate Double-Dipping

You’re also going to need to be very aware of the dreaded double-dipping! This unwanted action is a common way that gluten is spread to gluten-free products. You need to establish a strict house rule about only one dip into a jar with a utensil. 

Gone are the days when you can dip into the peanut butter jar a few times when putting the spread on your sandwich. The breadcrumbs will enjoy their new home in the peanut butter and make its way onto the gluten-free products the next time it is used.

The solution for this issue is easy – buy squeeze bottles, so there is no need for a double-dipping accident. Shutterstock.

Go For Squeeze Bottles Instead

A great and easy way to avoid this is to buy condiments and spreads that come in a squeeze bottle. You can quickly put this onto gluten or gluten-free products without having to worry about cross-contamination of gluten. 

If this isn’t possible, and people are still double-dipping, consider buying two separate items and storing the gluten-free ones in your area of the pantry and letting others enjoy their double-dipping of utensils with another jar. 

Make your gluten-free diet easier by getting everyone at home on board with the idea to stick to it. Shutterstock.

Get Everyone To Go Gluten-Free

Now, if you want a solution to be as easy as possible, try and get everyone in your home to go gluten-free. This idea will mean that everyone is eating the same food, so you don’t have to prepare two different meals or use different utensils or pans. 

You can still send your kids off to school with non-gluten-free bread, but when it comes to meals at home, they could be gluten-free. It is cheaper and easier to have everyone eating the same type of food instead of having different eating requirements. 

Enjoy all the endless options of gluten-free snacks that you can buy at the store. Shutterstock.

Having The Support Of Friends And Family

It’s also much easier to eat gluten-free when you have the support of those around you. With less of those gluten filled temptations, you’re more likely to reap the rewards of the new eating habits you’ve implemented. 

There are also many amazing gluten-free snacks and pre-packaged food that you can enjoy that will make this move very easy for both you and your family. Now for the fun part – all the tasty food you can eat that are gluten-free!

Oats are a great breakfast option, but make sure they are certified gluten-free. Shutterstock.

What You Can And Can’t Eat

You’re probably very eager to get your gluten-free grocery list started, and one of the best things to start with is learning what whole grains you can eat that are naturally gluten-free. You’ll still need to check all labels, though, as some might have been made in factories with gluten foods. 

It is typical for oats because they are often made in a facility that will also process wheat. This notion means that, unfortunately, cross-contamination is something that regularly happens, so it’s essential to make sure your oats are certified as a gluten-free product. 

Enjoy delicious fruits and vegetables because they are naturally gluten-free and healthy for your body too. Shutterstock.

The Whole Grains

These whole grains are naturally gluten-free, and they are delicious as well: quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, teff, arrowroot, tapioca, and sorghum. There are others, too; you can just research and find out if your favorite whole-grain is gluten-free. 

Next up are our fruits and vegetables. The great news is that all fresh fruit and vegetables are already gluten-free. The things you are going to watch out for are the processed fruit and vegetables that may contain gluten in the form of flavoring or a thickener. 

Fill up your bowl with berries and fruits or rather have a delicious cauliflower and broccoli salad. Shutterstock.

Your Fruits And Vegetable List

Go ahead and enjoy plenty of citrus fruits, apples, and bananas when you move to a gluten-free diet. You can also fill up at snack time with plenty of berries, pears, and even peaches. If you are a veggie-lover, you have some great options too. 

Make a delicious cauliflower and broccoli salad and mix in some other greens like spinach or kale. You’ll also be pleased to know that you don’t have to say goodbye to your dinner starches such as potatoes and squash. 

You can eat all the protein you want but avoid pre-marinated options as they often contain gluten. Shutterstock.

Proteins You Can Eat

When it comes to protein sources, most of them are naturally gluten free. You will have to pay attention if you are buying ready to eat proteins, that their sauces, rubs, or marinades might contain gluten.

Stick to fresh produce and season or marinate it yourself to ensure there are no traces of gluten in it. Enjoy your legumes, nuts, red meat, poultry, and seafood. What proteins should you be checking out a bit more closely?

Pepperoni will be a thing of the past in your new gluten-free diet as processed meats contain gluten. Shutterstock.

Processed Meats Are A Big No-No

Processed meats are something you should be wary of, so you might have to say goodbye to the pepperoni on your pizza. Things like vegetarian burgers also often contain gluten, so make sure to check all labeling on the package. 

You will also need to avoid proteins that have been crumbed in bread, but you can look into alternative versions of this that you can make at home. You’ll also need to be careful of the protein in microwavable dinners. 

Drink your coffee with a big pour of cream or milk and eat all the cheese you want. Shutterstock.

What About Dairy Products?

With dairy products, they are mostly gluten-free. The only concerns are the flavored dairy products, so if you want these, check their labeling for any gluten. You should be able to safely enjoy products such as milk, butter, cheese, cream, sour cream, and yogurt. 

For your other fats and oils, these are gluten-free too. Go ahead and use butter, olive oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil, and avocado oil. You’ll need to stay away from or double-check on cooking sprays you are using or any oils with added spices or flavors. 

Be aware that quite a lot of drinks contain additives that could have gluten in them. Shutterstock.

Wash It All Down

Last but not least are drinks. There are quite a few beverages with additives, which means they more likely than not, contain gluten. There are also alcoholic drinks made with malt and barley, which means you can’t have this on a gluten-free diet. 

Indulge in coffee, tea, 100% fruit juice, and water, of course. Just check the labels of any drinks you are unsure of and do your research. The research will be your best friend as you begin your exciting and tasty gluten-free diet. 

Sources: 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-gluten#medical-conditions

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/gluten-free-foods#1

https://www.glutenfreeliving.com/gluten-free-foods/diet/benefits-of-gluten-free-diet/

https://gfjules.com/going-gluten-free/

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