Now more than ever, gluten-free food options are available on almost every restaurant menu. Gluten-free diets have been very popular in these past few years. About two years ago, I became aware that I had a gluten intolerance. I went to my allergist because I was experiencing health issues in different areas of my body after consuming gluten. She ran a few tests and shared with me the news. Being a first-year college student living in a dorm, gluten-free options were not easily accessible to me. I had to become creative in making meals in my microwave which did not always taste the best.
After 1 month of avoiding gluten, I noticed a difference in my overall health. For my gastrointestinal tract, I no longer experienced severe bloating or abdominal pain. Less than a month after, my skin had fewer blemishes and acne. The gluten was causing inflammation throughout my body and caused my rosacea to flare up. Another symptom that I noticed was constant brain fog and fatigue. When I stopped eating gluten, I had mental clarity and improved cognitive function. As a student, it is very important to feel energized, engaged, and ready to learn.
When people hear, “gluten-free diet,” they tend to put a positive connotation to it. They may think that if you are giving up bread and pasta, you will be so much healthier and lose weight faster. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Gluten-free food substitutes are less fortified with important vitamins and minerals compared to regular wheat-containing foods. I have noticed that most of the ingredient labels do not have nearly as many fibers and gluten-containing foods. When choosing gluten-free options, it is important to see how processed they are and consume other foods that contain the vitamins you are lacking.