In this video WatchMojo takes a closer look at the gluten-free diet.
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Veronica: Hi! I am Veronica at the watchmojo.com and today health expert Annick Robinson explains the gluten free craze and how it can be beneficial to you. So what is gluten? Annick Robinson: Gluten is the sticky protein that you can find in grains. So you would find it for example in wheat, oats, barley. Now it's called gluten, because it's sticky. So gluten is the protein that binds the food together, which is why we use it make bread and pastries, because it helps bind food and that's also used a cheap additive in pretty much anything that you find in a box or in a wrapper or in a can. Veronica: What does it mean to be allergic to gluten? Annick Robinson: Because it is a sticky protein, it actually binds to something called villi which are the absorbent little follicles that are contained in your intestines. As you eat gluten it travels through your system and then it covers the villi, which means that whatever food you're eating is going to reduce the absorption of nutrients of those foods. For someone who is allergic to gluten it will actually kill of the villi and cause scar tissue in their intestine causing massive health problems. Those are people who have celiac disease and other immune system diseases who react to gluten. But for random people who have allergy and who don't have intolerance they're going to feel the lack of nutrients also when they're eating gluten. Veronica: Now how come we are seeing such a trend in going gluten free? Annick Robinson: The research in the past ten years has been really dramatic. We used to think that people who couldn't have gluten were only people with celiac disease and the testing with celiac disease was very inconsistent. It was very hard to obtain. We are just experiencing a lot more research that's becoming available. The other thing too is as we understand what gluten does to everybody we are realizing that we need to take care of our cancer patients off to gluten, children with autism, people with psychiatric illnesses, people with insomnia, because it increased the amount of nutrients that you absorb, which means it increases your ability to fight disease and to be healthy. So the athletic communities I think is one of the first communities to go, hey, wait a minute. I want to sign up for the best most optimal possible. So I am going to cut gluten out of my diet. Veronica: Does that mean that everyone can benefit from a gluten free diet? Annick Robinson: You take any single person off of gluten and one of the first things they will notice within ten days is that their waist line shrinks. Yeah, by several inches I had one lady that I was working with, in ten days she lost 7 inches around her wait. She was not allergic to gluten. It just was not optimal for her system. So most of my clients who take away the gluten, within ten days they're transformed. Their skin looks better. Their sleep is better. Their energy is higher. They just feel much more radiant in life. Veronica: If you decide to go gluten-free does this mean you won't be able to eat anything? Annick Robinson: Let's explain maybe a bit more why we eat grains. So grain is actually quite new in the human nutrition system. If you look at a field of wheat you won't be inspired to go eat that. You would have to mill it, transform it. You need tools and mechanisms, but grasses are natural for humans to eat. Grasses for example like rice, you just soak it and you can eat it. So grasses that don't contain gluten have been in our diet for thousands and thousands of years. So there is actually a wide variety that you can have without gluten. That just feels much better and more natural to your system like rices, like potatoes, amaranth and chia a lot of ancient grasses that we are rediscovering today and brining back into our diet. Veronica: Now I read that people that cut out four to five breads and cereals actually lack folate in their diet. Is this true? Annick Robinson: It would be true if all you ate was bread and past