How Giving Up Gluten Changed My Life
A small percentage of the population has a serious allergy to gluten, called Celiac Disease. But, a lot of people have a minor gluten allergy or intolerance that they don’t realize they have because the side-effects aren’t that major and their bodies have adjusted to them. If you’ve been eating gluten your whole life, you probably don’t realize how good your body can feel and look by not eating it. My mom and sister are both gluten-free and feel a million times better not eating it. I love carbs so I didn’t bother to give it up. But, one day, my mom called me to tell me that she heard eating gluten can contribute to anxiety and suggested I give it up to see how it would affect me since I’m a naturally anxious person. I’ve never wanted to go on medication for my anxiety, so I thought if giving up gluten would help reduce my anxiety, I’m 100% for it.
The first couple weeks of going gluten-free were rough as my body was detoxing off of it, especially because it made me extremely bloated as my digestive tract was learning how to function on only natural foods. But, by the end of the two weeks, I noticed a lot of positive changes in the way I looked and felt. Physically, my face looked a lot clearer and – aside from a couple stray pimples once in awhile and a hormonal breakouts right before my T
OM – my face virtually has no acne. But, the biggest physical difference that my friends and I noticed was how much my stomach shrunk because all of my bloating went away. Sure, I packed on some bloat while I was giving detoxing, but I ended up a lot smaller than before I had given up gluten. Within a week and a half, my waist measurement went down almost 4 inches and my stomach looked so much flatter than before.
The best part was what happened inside my body. My daily anxiety had drastically gone down and I felt a lot more peaceful and happy. I, also, had a lot more energy, which resulted in better workouts in the gym. I realized I was eating a lot less by eating the right foods, which helped me stick to eating healthy and not binging on unhealthy foods. There’ve been a lot of studies that back up the changes I went through as far as mood and energy are concerned. When you give up one food group, you replace it with another. If you give up gluten, chances are you’ll do what I did and start eating more fruits, vegetables, and protein and multiple studies have found that higher produce intake is connected to being in a better mood. Eating more fruits and vegetables results in more energy, feeling calmer, and greater feelings of overall happiness. Vitamin B-6 helps make dopamine in your body, which makes you happier. In addition to produce, Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish like salmon and tuna, also support good mental health. The extra protein you consume to take the place of gluten-containing items gives you more energy and better workouts because it helps your muscles recover fast and fuels you steadily over the long-term. Also, nutrients in produce help your cells access your body’s fuel so that you can function properly. Finally, eating clean helps regulate your blood sugar, which keeps you from experiencing sugar spikes that result in fatigue. If you want to feel better both physically and emotionally, I couldn’t recommend giving up gluten any more. It has changed my life for the better and I don’t plan on ever having it regularly in my diet again.