Ensuring adequate nutrition on a gluten free diet
When making the change to a gluten free diet, it can be challenging to obtain adequate nutrition while not compromising on taste. What makes it even more difficult is that many gluten free products on the market are low in nutrition and high in sugar and inflammatory ingredients. Research has indicated that individuals on a gluten free diet are prone to deficiencies in minerals, B vitamins and fibre. Fortunately there is a wide selection of grains available that are gluten free and packed with nutrients!
- Quinoa is an ancient superfood that is high in protein, fibre and fatty acids. Quinoa contains more iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc than the common cereals such as wheat, rice and barley. With a low glycaemic index and rich antioxidant content quinoa is the ideal grain.
- Amaranth is a protein rich seed possessing an impressive nutritional profile; high quantities of fibre, calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin B6 and manganese make this once forgotten seed a nutritional powerhouse. Dietary magnesium has been shown to be protective against diseases such as metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
- Millet is a good source of protein, tryptophan, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus. Tryptophan is the pre-cursor to serotonin which can help boost mood, while zinc is important for immune function and wound healing. Millet consumption has been shown to be beneficial in cardiovascular disease prevention by reducing triglyceride levels. Furthermore it has antioxidant capacity due to the phenolic compounds found in the millet grains.
- Brown rice is unmilled or partly milled rice that contains significant amounts of magnesium, manganese, selenium, lignans and fibre. Manganese and magnesium are important trace minerals involved in energy production.
As you can see, you don’t have to give up grains altogether when going gluten free. The above sources provide many of the nutrients that are often deficient in a gluten free diet. What’s more, they can be incorporated in a variety of delicious recipes so you can enjoy great tasting meals that are healthy and gluten free!