People begin cooking quinoa for many reasons. For me, it was because I was adopting a clean eating lifestyle, and found that I really loved quinoa! But for many people, the reason for seeking out new foods is that they have just found out that they have wheat intolerance.
You may think that it is not possible for an adult to develop food sensitivity, but that actually is not the case. A true food allergy is typically something you are born with, but food sensitivities can develop over time.
There are four basic types of food intolerances: Gluten intolerance, Fructose intolerence, Dairy intolerance and Yeast intolerance. An estimated 75% of all people have some sort of food tolerance – the intensity of which varies. One in seven people are sensitive to gluten and develop a wheat intolerance.
Gluten is the protein that is found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. Although wheat intolerance is a sensitivity to gluten, it is not the same as an outright gluten allergy. Rather, wheat intolerance is a non-allergic negative reaction that creates difficulty in digesting wheat.
Wheat Intolerance Symptoms
Although this immune system response is not as serious as a wheat allergy, it should still be taken very seriously because unaddressed, a wheat intolerance can contribute to diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and anemia. Common symptoms include feeling tired and achy all the time, chronic diarrhea or constipation and aching joints. Some people experience depression and headaches or become sick easily. You may also experience itchy skin, rashes and hives.
Unfortunately, a wheat intolerance can be very hard for doctors to diagnose. It is commonly mistaken for chronic fatigue syndrome or irritable bowel syndrome. Part of the problem is that unlike a food allergy, symptoms of wheat intolerance do not develop immediately. In fact, it can be two or three days from the time that you consume wheat before any symptoms occur.
If you think that you may have a wheat intolerance, it is a good idea to speak to your doctor. You will want to follow a gluten free diet (often called a wheat intolerance diet) and see how your body responds. Most people who are wheat intolerant find that they feel better within just a few weeks of removing wheat from their diets.
The good news is that quinoa is gluten free and is a great alternative for those who find that they do have a wheat intolerance. Most quinoa flours and quinoa flakes are also gluten free, but you should make sure that you check the labels because these products are processed. There are many great quinoa recipes that use quinoa flakes and flour, so you will definitely want to check them out if you find that you are wheat intolerant. Believe it or not, you can even make delicious gluten free bread that your whole family is sure to enjoy! You will probably want to get a gluten free cookbook or two as well!