Gut Feelings?

Wow it is Monday morning already, the weekend quite literally slipped through my fingers what with being a constant gardener and dealing with daily rain. I am not complaining for I love the feeling of living in Camelot with rain only in the afternoon or evening and I find tilling the earth to be almost erotic. Did I say erotic? Yes, but I did downplay it by adding the adverb almost.

As promised I want to share with you some interesting information regarding going gluten free. I found this little tidbit at Gluten Free Health and my interest was piqued because I have felt for some time that it isn’t just gluten that bothers me. However, you do get to the point where you hate to say anything about any other ingested morsels be it high glycemic cookies, gluten rich pizza crust, farmed fish, pesticided lettuces, chelated minerals, pasteurized dairy or  over cooked anything. You get the idea, I just don’t want to complain about anything other than what I already acknowledge to be bad for me (my nephew, the lawyer, called me a nerdtritionist this past week), so you just keep eating these foods that seem to hurt in some way and you blame yourself for not paying attention.

I will point out that having just taken the nutritional typing test at I was reminded that many of the foods I am going to mention are not on my Protein Type food chart, so I may have a problem with them because I am a fast metabolizing protein type and not just because they are often problem foods for those who are gluten intolerant or merely sensitive to gluten containing foods.

It seems that the problem when it comes to gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance is that our issue doesn’t stop there. A leaky gut most likely caused our gluten sensitivity and that damaged lining may also cause a “cross-reactivity”. We end up sensitive to more than just the grains that contain the proteins glutenin and gliadin. Avoidance of other foods may be necessary to really feel well.

A person with celiac’s disease may also need to avoid dairy products. The sensitivity to dairy comes from the milk protein casein and the whey. “Immunoreactivity to milk is not to be confused with lactose intolerance. The two are completely separate. Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest milk sugar (lactose).” The celiac patient is actually having an immune reaction to the proteins in dairy.

Now you will want to bury your head in the sand if you love nightshade vegetables and read no more. However, if you are willing to face the truth of the matter nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and potatoes contain a protein called lectin and if ingested you may suffer the same immune reaction that you get to glutenin and gliadin. Oh that hurts! I love nightshade vegetables. What could be tastier than eggplant parmigiana or a pasta sauce (the pasta being gluten free of course) made from freshly picked garden tomatoes, minced fresh garlic, lightly torn leaves of garden grown basil and a fruity Italian extra virgin olive oil? BUT you can do the same thing with zucchini or make the pasta with pesto leaving out the nightshade vegetable altogether.  I have and it is a reasonably tasty solution to the problem.

Carrageenan is the next challenging food item. It is a food additive and thickener and is derived from red algae and it, too, may cause an immune reaction. It is found in so many things that you might be eating it and not be aware of it because it is used to create softness and smoothness in food items like cottage cheese, soy milk,chewable vitamins, processed meats, ice-cream and chocolate puddings.  I already look for carrageenan not because I knew of an issue with immune reaction but because it is a source of  free glutamates and no one needs to add excitotoxins to their diet much less a food that is going to set off an immune reaction.

I think the biggest lesson herein is to listen to your gut, it is known to be the second brain and if you continue to ignore what it is saying you are only setting yourself up for a future of immune problems. I have ignored the aches  and pains that come from eating some of the above foods and, I confess, my 2010 garden is full of nightshade vegetables. This is a case of do what I say not as  I do because I declare here and now that my second brain and my brain  do not converse in the same language when it comes to nightshade vegetables or pasteurized dairy products. It all reminds me of the old song that Louis Armstrong sang “You say po-tay-toe and I say Po-tah-toe. You say toe-may-to and I say toe-mah-toe”. My brain says “yummy toe-mah-toe” but my second brain speaks loudly when it says “YUK, TOE-MAY-TOE”. If only I listened to the rest of the ditty and called the whole thing off.


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