Q I have eliminated wheat from my diet, so why do I still feel bloated all the time?
Let’s start by clarifying the big difference between ‘wheat’ and ‘gluten’, as they are often used interchangeably. Gluten is a protein that is found within wheat (all varieties) as well as barley and rye. Therefore, wheat will always contain gluten, but gluten is not exclusive
If you have excluded wheat due to a gluten allergy or sensitivity, then it may be that you are unknowingly consuming gluten through other sources. This could therefore be causing the bloated feeling.
If you have excluded wheat for general health reasons and are still consuming other grains, this could be causing the issue. All grains (including wheat) contain certain irritants and anti-nutrients; the ones that we are particularly concerned with here are lectins and phytic acid.
Lectins damage the gut lining, allowing unwanted particles to pass through into the bloodstream. This can cause inflammatory issues as well as bacterial imbalances. Phytic acid binds to essential minerals and carries them out of our body, affecting nutrient intake. The overall result is that the balance of bacteria can be disrupted, leading to gut issues such as bloating.
Try cutting out grains or switching to sprouted grains for a few weeks and see if that helps.
About our expert: Best known for her books Introduction to Paleo and Amazon #1 Best Seller Paleo: 12 Weeks to Change Your Life, Rebecca is an author and blogger specialising in the paleo lifestyle. Rebecca began her career as a commercial lawyer and after 8 years in the city decided to follow her true passion – food and paleo. Through her website, Paleo Diet and Fitness, Rebecca focuses on all things paleo, from the basics to incorporating paleo within a long-term healthy lifestyle. www.paleodietandfitness.co.uk
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