Guide to Gluten free diets

Before speaking on gluten free diets, I would like to tell you all about what is Gluten? Gluten is a protein present in the wheat and wheat products like refined flour, semolina which can range from baked goods, cakes, pastries, cookies etc. It is also found in rye and barley too. Gluten is avoided in the condition called as celiac disease or gluten induces enteropathy. So, now the question is what to opt for as majority of Indian diet comprises of wheat and its products. Here are few alternatives to Gluten like oats, soya, quinoa, buckwheat etc. Let’s see the significance of each in depth:

flour: It is commonly known as ‘kuttu’ in Hindi which is easily available in market and used more often during fasting. Buckwheat along with its higher fiber and low GI property not only treats celiac disease but also helps in stabilizing the blood sugar. It is also helpful in PCOD. It is also a good source of potassium, magnesium, iron and vitamins.

Soyabean flour: Soyabean is a richest source of protein. It can be used in variety of products like breads, cakes, cookies, weaning foods etc which makes a good alternative to wheat.

Rice flour: Rice flour is a particularly good substitute for wheat flour, which causes irritation in the digestive systems of those who are gluten-intolerant. Rice flour is also used as a thickening agent in recipes that are refrigerated or frozen since it inhibits liquid separation. It can be used while making parathas, idlis, dosa etc. You can even opt for brown rice flour as it is more healthy and high in antioxidants.

Gram flour: is easily available in the market and used more often in day to day life. It is high on proteins and fiber.

Rolled oats: When we think of breakfast, the first thing comes to the mind is oats! It is easily available and instant. It is high on soluble fibre and a healthy alternative to gluten! It contains lignin which helps in regularizing blood sugar and cholesterol. You can make porridge, upma, tikkis, dhokla, dosas etc from oats.So, people out there, who are gluten intolerant, need not worry as you have much healthy option.

Seeds for life!

1. Watermelon seeds
  • It is low in calories. A large handful of watermelon seeds weighs about 4 grams, which contains about 56 seeds and just 22 calories.
  • It is a very rich source of magnesium, iron, folate.
  • They also contain good source of fats. According to theAmerican Heart Association, these fats are useful in protecting against heart attack and stroke, and lowering levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood.
2. Flaxseeds
  • These are commonly known as ‘alsi’ in hindi.
  • It is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids which makes it heart healthy reducing cholesterol.
  • It is a good source of proteins too. Moreover, It is a good source of fiber and lignans too which helps in better digestion and relieves you from constipation and also helps in regularizing the blood sugars. 2 tbsp of flaxseeds is highly recommended for good results.
3. Sunflower seeds
  • This seeds contain phytosterols (chemical compounds similar to cholesterol) which are known to reduce cholesterol levels.
  • It’s an excellent source of magnesium which helps in muscle relaxation and also reduces blood pressure.
  • It is also a good source of selenium (trace mineral) which is a powerful antioxidant and known to fight against cancers.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties too which helps in fighting arthritis.
  • It is recommended to take during PMS as it has an ability to regulate estrogen in the body.
4. Pumpkin seeds
  • It has a good quality protein.
  • They are a good source of MUFA (good fat) which lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol in the blood.
  • It also carries good amount of Vitamin E and manganese which is an antioxidant and helps in killing free radicals in the body.
  • Zinc in this seeds help in boosting immunity, regulates insulin, helps in cell growth and division.

Let’s make these seeds a part of our daily routine. The recommended dose of these seeds is 2 tbsp daily. You can have during anytime of the day.