When we eat foods that contain opioids this creates a temporary “high” that can cause an actual physical addiction to these foods. It is not surprising that many of the foods regarded as “binge foods” that are often eaten in excess, such as pizza and cheesecake, involve a combination of wheat and dairy products.
How Gluten Affects the Brain and Nervous System
Scientists regard these opioid compounds as being toxic to our nervous systems, as well as possessing psychoactive properties. Gluten has also been implicated to play a role in mental illnesses, including depression and schizophrenia.
In addition to the addictive and mood-destabilizing effects, in sensitive individuals gluten can trigger an autoimmune response, whereby certain cells in the thyroid gland and the Purkinje cells in our brain, are actually destroyed.
Even if you don’t appear to have an obvious problem with gluten intolerance I urge you to consider this possibility, especially if you are displaying an autoimmune condition, thyroid imbalance or any chronic long-term illness. The incidence of gluten intolerance is thought to be very common in our society and in the majority of cases it can be present for years without ever being identified. In addition most of the tests available to check for gluten intolerance tend to be unreliable, often yielding false positive or false negative results.
Gluten Can Have A Delayed Effect on Your Health
When you are consuming gluten on a regular basis you will probably not be aware of its negative effects on your health because they do not generally correlate directly with the ingestion of the food. Responses can be delayed and the irritability or digestive distress you experience tomorrow may actually be related to what you eat today.
[message type=”info”]It can take at least a month of complete avoidance of a food in order to recalibrate your body’s response to a substance to which it is intolerant. Just one deviation within this time means you need to start right from the beginning again.[/message]
In the case of gluten, there is research to indicate that the negative effect of just a single exposure to gluten, in those that are sensitive to it, can have an impact on the immune system that persists for up to six months!
Do You Need to Avoid Gluten Forever?
After one month of total elimination of gluten from your diet, you can experiment with eating a gluten-containing food if desired, such as wheat, spelt or rye bread, to test your tolerance.
You may find that you have a strong reaction that can include symptoms such as irritability, digestive distress or a rapid heart rate that you did not notice when you were eating these foods on a daily basis. Often this is the only way to get a true picture of whether you are sensitive to gluten and how it may be affecting you in ways you do not realize.
Grains Are Not an Ideal Food – Even When They Are Gluten-Free
Regardless of whether you have a gluten sensitivity, I don’t recommend that you include wheat or any other grain in your diet on a regular basis.
Grains are one of the most acid-forming foods and if consumed in high quantities can cause a loss of alkaline minerals from your body including calcium, magnesium and potassium.In addition grains are low in nutrients in comparison to their calorie content and are also lacking in many vitamins and minerals that are absolutely vital for wellbeing.
If you feel the need for some complex carbs in your diet it is much better to get them in the form of a vegetable like baked sweet potato or winter squash. These foods are especially helpful as you are transitioning to a diet high in raw foods as they provide the comfort that most of us associate with complex carbohydrate foods without most of the negative effects that are connected with the consumption of grains.