I got an opportunity to visit Natural Product Expo East which is held every year in the US and this year it was held in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the largest natural products trade show of the East Coast, with more than 20,000 attendees and more than 1,700 booths. Companies from all over the world exhibited natural products such as foods, beauty and cosmetics, Nutraceutical etc. These products are not only healthy for us, but are boon for hypo allergic patients. You might have heard about wheat allergy, soy allergy, dairy allergy, peanut allergy and more. These companies are working hard and investing in research to provide products which are absolutely free from such components like wheat, dairy, soy etc. I would like to share my experience with gluten free food, which is in huge demand now a days.
The Expo East brought all of the best gluten-free vendors into one conference hall.During my visit I could not resist myself to stop at one booth preparing pizza and that was Gluten free! Initially I was astonished how come a pizza could be gluten free. I got more surprises at the booth of Helen’s Kitchen, she was preparing spring rolls, fajita, and more dishes that were gluten free. I tasted all of them and asked her for more samples. All were amazing in taste. I am not sure if you are familiar about gluten or gluten free terminologies. Let me explain these first:
Gluten, in its simplest definition, is a kind of elastic protein that tends to exist in wheat, barley, and rye, among other carbohydrates. Its elasticity is the reason, why the French bread is held together, why angel-food cakes rise so high, and why H and H bagels in New York are so wonderfully doughy. Gluten is basically the glue that holds together baked goods and pasta. In fact, gluten comes from the same Latin root as “glue”. This is why over the centuries; gluten-containing grains have been extensively used in breads and other baked goods
What is gluten’s sensitivity or celiac disease?
Celiac disease is a digestive condition triggered by consumption of the protein gluten, which as you now know is found in bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye. If you have celiac disease and you eat foods containing gluten, an immune reaction occurs in your small intestine, causing damage to the surface of your small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients.
What are the symptoms of celiac?
Although there may be no detectable symptoms of the immune response to gluten, there are typical symptoms that celiac patients develop, when the reaction begins to damage the intestines. The symptoms of celiac, resulting from malabsorption or improper digestion of dietary nutrients, include abdominal bloating or pain, diarrhea, constipation, gaseousness, or nausea with or without vomiting. Other symptoms celiac patients experience include fatigue, joint pains, mouth ulcers, bone pain, abnormal menses in women, and infertility.
A gluten free diet excludes the protein gluten. If someone in your family is celiac they need to adhere to a gluten free diet. Initially they may find it frustrating but with time, patience and creativity, they will find there are many foods that can be eaten and enjoyed.
What food to be avoided by celiac patients?
Avoid all foods or food ingredients made from many grains, including:
Most foods made from grains contain gluten. Avoid these foods unless they’re labeled as gluten free or made with corn, rice, soy or other gluten free grain.
ü Graham flour
ü Matzo meal
ü Spelt (a form of wheat)
ü Cakes and pies
ü Sauces (including soy sauce)
ü Salad dressings
ü Imitation meat or seafood
ü Processed luncheon meats
ü Self-basting poultry
As per mayoclinic, oat may not be harmful for most people with celiac disease, but oat products are frequently contaminated with wheat, so it’s best to avoid oats as well.
Now you should have some understanding about gluten and gluten free products. Celiac patients always check that the food they are eating should be processed in a facility that is free of wheat or other contaminating products. In my next post I will emphasize more about the gluten free diets that are available in the market. I would recommend that if you get chance do visit Natural product expo trade show and you will find lots of innovative and healthy food for your family.