Everyone will benefit from removing wheat, and even gluten, from their diet. Particularly if they suffer from any kind of illness or depression.
The wheat we consume today is nothing like our grandparents feasted on. It is now the product of genetic manipulation and these changes began as far back as 1935 when genes for semi-dwarf wheat were first bred.
Wheat (Photo credit: kewing)
Dwarfing the wheat genes enabled greater seed production. And, because dwarf wheat only grows to a height of two feet, instead of the usual four, it made it less prone to wind damage.
By the 1970s this semi-dwarf wheat was being successfully farmed in Mexico, India and Pakistan. By 1985 much of the Western world was producing semi-dwarf wheat and by 1997, 81% of the developing world had introduced this crop.
Although the sole intention of the genetic crossbreeding of wheat was to give greater yield, thus ending world famine, it also changed components of the wheat protein known as gliadin, which caused many health problems to the human body.
To try and explain this as un-technically as possible:
Gliadin is a lectin and a part of wheatgerm and gluten. Lectins are proteins that are found within plants and animals; they do the same job of antibodies within the human body, fighting off foreign invaders such as bacteria.
Stomach acid has little effect on lectins - they are virtually indigestible! So, if a person has consumed wheat, the lectins move into the intestine undigested. Our intestinal tract knows exactly how to filter waste and extract nourishment; it knows toxins and bacteria from the nutrients our bodies need to feed its vital cells.
Lectins have the capacity to switch off this filtering service and disturb the intestines ability to act as a filter. The colon then becomes permeable or leaky and allows toxins into the body that have no right to be there. These toxins wreak havoc on our physical systems and can show up in any part of the body from: inflammation of the gut and bowel disease, arthritis, dermatitis, acid reflux, asthma, eczema, inflammation of the organs, imbalance in the endocrine system (system which secrete hormones into bloodstream), chronic fatigue, weight gain/loss and joint pain. But those ailments are just the tip of the iceberg.
Another symptom related to the changes in wheat is the scourge of depression that has been on the rise since the mid eighties; coincidentally around the time genetically mutated wheat became abundant and a staple at every meal.
In the 1950s it was estimated that no more than 50 to a 100 people out of a million had the need for antidepressants; that figure stands today at 1 in 10!
pills (Photo credit: robotson)
More than 40 million people worldwide are now taking antidepressants. According to The National Centre for Health Statistics, in America alone, the use of antidepressants increased by 400% between 1988 and 1994 and numbers have continued to rise since then.
It has been scientifically proven that wheat can change our personality and behaviour! In tests, wheat was put through the process of digestion. It was found when wheat broke down, during digestion, it did so into many small proteins. These small proteins had the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and bind themselves to the opiate receptors of the brain, having the effect of creating behavioural changes such as paranoia and depression.
The opiate effect of wheat is similar to that of narcotics, but without the pleasurable high and it is addictive, so addictive that it will give withdrawal symptoms soon after elimination. To some, the very notion of giving up wheat (bread, cakes, pasta and pizza) fills them with dread, even anger, that is just the addiction talking.
Once eliminated from the diet, the desire for wheat foods disappears completely. For some it may take days, for others a couple of weeks. However, the addiction will return if wheat is reintroduced, as well as some other nasty effects.
It is recently coming to light that 7 out of 10 people are gluten intolerant. However, gluten intolerance does not always show up in tests. In fact, a whopping 70% of those tested will get a misdiagnosis and be told they are safe to eat gluten when they are intolerant.
Traces of gluten can be found in most grains. However, it is highest in wheat, barley and rye.
Many people wrongly assume that if they do not have bowel problems they cannot be gluten intolerant. Bowel problems are one of the last signs of intolerance.
Symptoms can shift and change over the course on one’s life. In childhood, gluten intolerance may be seen as asthma or eczema, in teenage years acne or introversion and adulthood anything from depression to backache to cold-sores or clumsiness. There are hundreds of ailments linked to it. The longer gluten is in the diet, if you are intolerant, the more destructive it becomes. It is now becoming known that most human disease can be traced back to consuming gluten.
It is probably safe to say that if you are one who has had random disorders of the body and mind popping up throughout life or, and especially, if you suffer chronic fatigue, you could be gluten sensitive.
You could go and get a test, but as already mentioned, 70% will get a false negative. The best way to find out is through elimination.
Please note that if you are planning on going gluten or wheat-free, try to avoid all, or most of, their replacements as they have no health benefits. They are highly refined and and will serve in spiking your blood-sugar levels, a major contributing factor to weight-gain.