People with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity must start going gluten-free. This article provides 9 effective ways to start gluten detox.
Life with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity requires you to be cautious about what you eat every day throughout your life. The only way to avoid gluten intolerance symptoms is to eliminate gluten from your diet. Gluten detox may sound terrible, but it is possible.
What is gluten detox?
The process of removing gluten completely from your diet and giving time to your body to detox and heal is called a gluten detox. This involves eliminating all foods, beverages, and other products that may contain gluten.
If you often experience discomfort soon after eating gluten-containing foods, then gluten detox may be for you. This can improve your health and quality of life.
9 effective gluten detox ideas
It’s a significant lifestyle change and can feel overwhelming at first. There’s a lot to learn about food ingredients and lifestyle changes.
Let us explore 9 effective ways to overcome gluten exposure.
1. Choose Healthy, Gluten-Free Foods
One major drawback of a gluten detox is the risk of nutrient deficiencies. To overcome this, eat more produce when you go on a gluten detox.
Here are a few simple ways to eat fresh produce:
- Ditch sandwiches and start your day with salad
- Instead of bread, pick lettuce wrap
- Replace pasta with spiralized veggie noodles
2. Eat more probiotics
When you are detoxing from gluten, it is important to eat plenty of probiotic foods.
Probiotic foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi contain healthy microorganisms that help the gut heal during the detox period. These healthy microorganisms help to repair the gut lining and improve gut function.
Eating probiotic foods during a gluten detox can help to reduce unpleasant symptoms and improve gut health.
3. Stock up on gluten-free snacking options
Nuts and seeds are a healthy snacking option for people on a gluten detox. They contain nutrients like fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They’re also a good source of healthy fats.
Nuts that you can enjoy in your gluten-free diet:
- Almonds and Cashews
- Walnuts and Pecans
- Flax seeds and Chia seeds
- Pumpkin seeds and Sunflower seeds
4. Stay Hydrated
Water is essential for our bodies and even more critical when you are going gluten-free.
When you cut gluten out of your diet, you may experience digestive issues like constipation or diarrhea. Drinking plenty of water can help relieve these symptoms.
Staying hydrated is also important to prevent nutrient deficiencies PubMed: A Review on the Gluten-Free Diet: Technological and Nutritional Challenges.
5. Avoid Gluten-Containing Beverages
Avoiding beverages may seem daunting, but gluten-free alcohol exists on the market. Limit yourself to only drinking gluten-free beverages if you’re adhering to a gluten-free diet.
Here are some gluten-free beverages
- Tea and Coffee
- Almond Milk and Fruit Juices
- Sparkling Water and freshly made smoothies
- Wine and gluten-free beer
6. Cut out Processed Food
When you go on a gluten detox, cut out all processed foods from your diet. Stock your pantry with healthy, whole, and naturally gluten-free options like fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds.
7. Look for gluten-free certification on the labels
With gluten hiding in so many food products, learning how to read labels is essential during a detox. Look for a gluten-free certification label to be sure.
The labels might also contain information about the manufacturing facility. This information can be used to avoid the risk of cross-contamination.
8. Learn About Gluten
Before trying a gluten detox, you need to understand everything about the gluten-free diet. Understanding gluten and what foods contain it is necessary to make the detox work.
Once you know what to avoid, it will be easier for you to make gluten-free choices.
9. Create A Gluten-Free Home
Making sure your home is gluten-free is essential. This includes your kitchen, pantry, and other areas where gluten-containing foods are stored.
If you have gluten-containing foods in your home, keep them sealed and labeled so there’s no cross-contamination.
Wash your hands and cooking utensils regularly to eliminate traces of gluten that might enter your body indirectly.
Most importantly, remember that cosmetics and medications may also contain gluten. So when we say gluten detox, we mean everything you use, not just what you eat.
Myths and facts about gluten detox
Let us burst some myths about gluten detox that you may have heard.
Myth: A Gluten-free Diet Is Healthy For Everyone
Fact: A gluten-free diet is only necessary for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. For everyone else, going gluten-free may be less healthy and lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Myth: Gluten Intolerance Is Rare
Myth: Gluten-Containing Foods Are Bad for You
Fact: There’s no evidence that gluten causes toxicity in the body. So there’s no need to avoid gluten unless you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. It is not bad for you as long as you can tolerate it.
What happens to your body when you go gluten-free?
When you make substantial changes to your body with gluten detox, there could be a storm before the calm. So here are some things you need to prepare yourself for.
You Will Feel Hungrier
Gluten is a protein that takes longer to digest. So when you cut it out of your diet, you may feel hungrier more often. You may notice more food cravings because your appetite is back.
That’s good news, isn’t it? However, you might need to control your hunger if you don’t want to gain unnecessary weight.
Digestive System May Take A Toll
You might wonder why your digestive system is getting all out of track despite eliminating gluten from your diet. Let us explain.
Many foods you cut on your gluten detox are an excellent source of fiber. So if you ditch them without compensating for the loss with other fiber-rich foods, you will have constipation.
However, you can beat this by upping your diet game with lean proteins, leafy greens, and legumes.
You Might Develop Nutrient Deficiencies
When you choose to go on a gluten detox, you need to be aware that gluten is found in many nutrient-rich foods. These include grains, cereals, and wheat-based products.
When you go gluten-free, you may miss essential nutrients like iron, folate, and fiber. To avoid nutrient deficiencies, eat a balanced and healthy diet.
Gluten-free whole grains like quinoa, gluten-free flours like almond flour, and gluten-free cereals can help you meet your nutrient needs.
You May Feel Tired
This is one of the most common complaints when going gluten-free. Gluten withdrawal can leave you feeling exhausted, both mentally and physically.
So when you stop consuming gluten, your body takes some time to adjust. And during your gluten detox period, you may feel tired and sluggish.
However, this is only temporary, and you will feel better eventually.
How long does it take to detox from gluten?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. This process can take weeks or even months, depending on how much gluten you ate earlier.
When you go gluten-free, your body starts to heal. However, it may take months for most people who were sick before diagnosis to feel completely normal.
The first step is removing gluten from your diet. This allows your gut to begin to heal. Once your gut health is healed, it starts to absorb nutrients better.
Soon you may notice that your energy levels are beginning to increase, and you may start to feel better overall. This is because your body is no longer fighting off gluten.
However, if there is an accidental gluten exposure during your detox journey, it may take some more time to witness its positive effects.
Ease into this gluten-free lifestyle by taking baby steps. Always talk to your doctor before starting any drastic dietary or lifestyle changes. Your doctor can help you assess the nutritional support you need and adjust your diet accordingly.
Don’t get demotivated when you experience any initial setbacks or side effects; you will bounce back soon and feel healthier than ever. Detoxing from gluten can be challenging, but feeling more vibrant and healthy is worth it.