To be gluten free, or not to be gluten-free, that is the question. Gluten-free diets have become trendy in recent years, as people adopt healthier habits for better living. But questions regarding the actual health benefits of a gluten-free diet is still up for debate.
First of all, what is gluten? and how is gluten bad for you? Gluten refers to the proteins found in certain grains including wheat, barley and rye. It is present in bread, pasta, cereals, pizza, beer and many processed foods. These gluten proteins can cause health issues, especially for those with autoimmune illnesses such as celiac disease and thyroid conditions, or those with gluten sensitivity or intolerance. In these cases, the immune system reacts to the gluten by attacking the gut and intestines, causing a range of health issues including lack of energy, headaches and brain fog, depression, anxiety nausea and bloating, rashes and skin irritation.
Most people do not suffer from gluten sensitivity or intolerance, so cutting out gluten completely is unnecessary and even discouraged. However, following a low-gluten diet, and watching the quality of the gluten in your diet has been shown to have significant health benefits.
So, whether you have an intolerance to gluten, or just want to reduce the gluten in your diet, here are some top tips from Prinos Farm&Deli to help substitute the gluten for healthier options.
- Choose Gluten-Free Grains: While gluten is found in grains, there are some grains which are gluten free. Substitute the wheat, barley and rye, for quinoa, millet, black or brown rice, buckwheat or amaranth. All of these grains can be used as alternatives in recipes and are packed with nutrients that contribute to good health.
- Try the Gluten-Free Alternatives: As gluten-free diets have become more and more popular in recent years, so too has the variety of gluten-free alternatives. Today, quality shops such as Prinos Farm&Deli have a range of gluten-free products to choose from, including gluten-free pasta, gluten-free breads and gluten-free cereals.
- Eat More Fresh Fruit and Veg: Fresh fruit and vegetables are great gluten-free alternatives which also happen to be full of healthy nutrients and Vitamins that contribute to overall wellbeing. Instead of going for the gluten option, try something fresh instead. Have a salad instead of a sandwich, or try veggie noodles instead of pasta.
- Check the Labels and Be Aware of Hidden Gluten: We all know gluten is found in breads and pastas, but did you know gluten can also be found hidden in sauces and processed foods? Lesser known products containing gluten include soy sauce, malt vinegar and brewer’s yeast. By checking labels and becoming more aware of what products contain gluten, you will be more able to avoid it, reduce your intake or substitute it for an alternative.
- Steer Clear of Beer: Unfortunately, beer contains gluten. So for those looking to eliminate or reduce their gluten intake, choosing distilled liquors such as gin or vodka is a better option. For a more beer like experience without the gluten, try Militsa Apple Cider made locally here in Cyprus. And wine is also naturally gluten-free, so pop down to the cava at Prinos Farm&Deli and pick out a bottle of red, white, rosé or sparkling today!
At Prinos Farm&Deli, we stock a wide range of gluten-free products and healthy options for all dietary requirements. Come and visit us in-store in Nicosia and Larnaca, or visit our e-shop today.
Find your nearest Prinos shop in Nicosia and Larnaca.
Don’t forget that you can always put your order online at shop.prinos.eu.