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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Gluten-free lifestyle part II

Good Morning readers:

Picking up from yesterday the one thing to keep in mind is that the gluten-free diet is exploding in popularity. There is a lot of information about it. The bad news is there's lots of information about it, and not all of it's accurate. If you find conflicting information- and I'll warn you now that you will- dig deeper until you find out which source is correct.

It doesn't really matter why you're cooking gluten-free, because you are and that is great! Because the gluten-free diet can be the healthiest diet on the planet, it may dramatically improve your health, both physical and emotional.

Realistically wheat is not good for anyone mainly because humans don't fully digest wheat. It's a simple fact that the human stomach doesn't fully digest wheat. Cows, sheep, and other ruminant animals do just fine with wheat because they have more than one stomach to complete the digestion process. When the partially digested wheat leaves their stomach, it goes to another stomach where it is further broken down, then to another and another until the process is complete. We humans have only one stomach. When the wheat leaves our tummies, it's not fully digested. Those undigested portions begin to ferment, and do you know what the byproduct of fermentation is? Gas, Icky, belchable , fart forming gas. For many people, this accounts for the gas and bloating they feel after they eat wheat, whether they have gluten sensitivity or not.

Recently, lots of books and articles have been written on the subject of pro-inflammatory foods. These foods are rapidly converted to sugar, causing a rise in the body's insulin levels causing a burst of inflammation at the cellular level. Foods that have wheat in them like cereal, pasta, breads, and bagels. These foods can be high in simple starches; when these are broken down, they act the same as sweet foods, raising blood sugar levels, releasing insulin, and causing inflammation. Truly understand that the inflammation occurs in all people, not just those with wheat or gluten sensitivities.

Inflammation is not only associated with arthritis but also may be the root of a number of serious conditions, including heart disease, Alzheimer's, and some types of cancer. Consider this: Dr. Nicholas Perricone, renowned author of The Wrinkle Cure, considers inflammation to be the "single most powerful cause of the sign of aging.

One great tool to use in identifying pro-inflammatory foods is the glycemic index. The glycemic index measures how fast your blood sugar rises after you eat food that contains carbohydrates ( like pasta, potatoes, and bread). It rates foods on a scale 0-100, where water is 0 and table sugar is 100. The lower the glycemic index rating, the less likely the food is to be pro-inflammatory. Foods made from wheat, especially refined wheat, have a glycemic index in the 50-80 plus range, putting them on the high side and classifying them as pro-inflammatory.

There are many health factors to consider knowing that for most gluten is an every day part of what is eaten. Gluten-free is a wonderful opportunity to change the way your body heals. I will close out my topic on a gluten-free life style tomorrow on Life Around The Allergies.

Today's allergy free recipe:

Asparagus and Red Pepper Salad

4 Large red bell pepper (capsicums),
roasted, pealed and cut lengthwise into
strips about 1/4 inch (6mm) wide
2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
salt and freshly ground pepper
1pound (500g) asparagus (16-20 spears)
4 fresh tarragon, parsley or watercress sprigs

Green asparagus spears contrast with bright red pepper strips in this springtime salad, which makes a fitting first course for an elegant supper, offer as a prelude to a roast chicken or a baked gluten-free pasta such as baked penne with eggplant, summer squash and tomatoes.

To make the dressing, in a food processor fitted with the metal blade or in a blender, combine 1/2 cup (3oz/90g) of the pepper strips with the vinegar and mustard. Puree until smooth. Add the tarragon and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Toss 1/4 cup (2fl oz/60ml) of the dressing with the remaining pepper strips. Set aside both the pepper strips and the remaining dressing.
Cut or snap off the tough, pale, fibrous bottoms from the asparagus spears. If the spears are especially large, peel the tough skin: Using a vegetable peeler and starting about halfway down from the tip, peel away the thin outer skin.
Choose a frying pan large enough to hold the asparagus flat and fill three-fourths full of water. Bring to a boil, add the asparagus spears and boil until just tender, 3-5 minutes; the timing will depend upon the size of the spears. Drain, pat dry with paper towels and let cool.
To serve, spread the asparagus on a platter or divide among individual plates. Top with the dressed pepper strips. Spoon the remaining dressing over the asparagus and pepper strips. Garnish with the herb or watercress sprigs and serve.

per serving:
Calories 52
Protein 4g
Carbohydrates 10g
Total fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 94mg
Dietary Fibers 3g

Enjoy today's recipe and remember without our health we have nothing till tomorrow on Life Around The Allergies.

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