We continue the series on nutrition with a very interesting topic: gluten. What is gluten? Gluten is a sticky protein found in cereals (wheat, barley, rye). It is often used in baking as an additive
We continue the series on nutrition with a very interesting topic: gluten.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a sticky protein found in cereals (wheat, barley, rye). It is often used in baking as an additive because gluten “sticks” to the carbon dioxide released by the yeast, helping to grow baking soda. It’s something that makes the dough thick and fluffy.
Gluten can also be found in pasta, beer, medicines, toothpaste, ice cream, mayonnaise and sausages.
Lately, more and more people are facing gluten intolerance. Studies suggest that 0.5-6% of the global population is sensitive to gluten, especially adult women. What exactly is this intolerance? The body believes that gluten is a foreign substance, it does not know that it should be nutritious. When gluten reaches the intestines, they react by sending antibodies to attack the unknown substance. This causes the immune system to enter a state of hyper-alert and thus harms its own intestinal villi, which can no longer absorb all the nutrients in the food we need to be healthy.
Gluten sensitivity or intolerance is therefore characterized by adverse reactions to gluten and is manifested by various symptoms, not all related to digestion: abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, headache, physical and mental fatigue, skin problems.
Celiac disease is the most extreme form of gluten intolerance and is an immune disorder that is manifested by the body’s inability to properly digest gluten.
Buckwheat is rich in antioxidants (contains large amounts of quercetin and rutin, which can reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, respectively reduce inflammation and oxidative stress). Several studies show that buckwheat has a beneficial impact on risk factors for heart disease. Buckwheat consumption is associated with a lower level of LDL cholesterol (so-called “bad” cholesterol), a better ratio between “good” / HDL cholesterol and total, a lower risk of hypertension and high blood sugar. Buckwheat seeds do not contain gluten and have a significant amount of iron, calcium, vitamins (E, B1, B2, B3, B5) and fatty acids. Eating buckwheat protects the cardiovascular system and regulates blood pressure.
A cup of buckwheat (170 g) has 583 kcal and contains fiber (17 g), protein (23 g), vitamin, copper, magnesium and manganese. You can include buckwheat in soups, salads, stews or desserts.
Amaranth is an ornamental plant whose seeds are used in food, due to its high protein content (up to 30% more than other cereals). Amaranth was ubiquitous in the food of the Inca, Mayan and Aztec civilizations. It is a pseudocereal with impressive health benefits. A 1993 study notes that amaranth can reduce triglycerides and “bad” cholesterol / LDL, and a 2014 study found that it contains compounds that effectively block inflammation in the human body.
One cup of amaranth (246 g) has 251 kcal, fiber (5 g), protein (9 g), iron, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. It also has a high percentage of minerals. It can be used instead of rice or couscous, introduced in cold dishes and salads.
Quinoa is a pseudocereal rich in fiber and protein (it is one of the few plant sources of complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids for the body). It contains a large amount of antioxidants beneficial in reducing the risk of various diseases.
One cup of quinoa (185 g) has 222 kcal, fiber (5 g), protein (8 g), magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. You can use quinoa in appetizers, cold salads or dishes.
Corn is very popular and is consumed all over the world. Corn is rich in fiber and is a rich source of carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin, plant pigments that have an antioxidant role and contribute to eye health, by reducing the risk of cataracts and muscle degeneration, common causes of vision loss in old age).
One cup of corn (166 g) has 606 kcal, fiber (12 g), protein (17 g), manganese, phosphorus, Vitamin B6 and magnesium. Corn can be eaten boiled or baked, on cobs or grains, which can be integrated into salads and various dishes.
White and brown rice come from the same source, but white rice is further refined, removing bran and germs. Brown rice is a type of whole grain that has a higher fiber and nutrient content than white rice. By replacing white rice with brown rice, you can reduce your risk of diabetes, fattening and heart disease (according to studies from 2010, 2011 and 2014).
A cup of brown rice (195 g) has 216 kcal, fiber (6 g), protein (5 g), magnesium, manganese and selenium. You can combine long grain brown rice with vegetables for a healthy and filling main course.
Oats are one of the best sources of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber with many health benefits. A 2014 analysis found that betaglucan effectively lowers LDL (“bad”) and total cholesterol without affecting “good” / HDL cholesterol. Other studies show that it can slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, reducing blood sugar and insulin levels. Oatmeal is rich in protein, but also in soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamins (bs, E) and minerals (iron, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc), nutrients extremely beneficial to health.
A cup of oatmeal (94 g) has 231 kcal, fiber (15 g), protein (16 g), phosphorus, magnesium, manganese and vitamin B1.