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Celiac disease is also called celiac sprue. It is an autoimmune disorder that mainly affects the gastrointestinal tract. Eating gluten triggers an immune response in the small intestine of a person with a gluten allergy. The intestine lining gets damaged which prevents the absorption of some nutrients. As the intestine lining is damaged it can cause diarrhea, weight issues, bloating, gut issues, anemia, indigestion, etc.

What’s gluten?

 Gluten is a protein that is found in certain grains like wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten is found in a lot of common food and drinks. It is also found in vitamins, cosmetics or even medications. For the sake of this article, let us look at some common sources of gluten in food.

Let’s see the common sources of gluten :

  • Wheat
  • Semolina
  • Durum wheat,
  • Emmer,
  • Bulgur,
  • Couscous,
  • Barley,
  • Rye

Gluten is also found in foods like bread and baked goods, hot and cold cereals, noodles and pasta, beer, malted liquors, and malt vinegar. Some processed food like soups and sauces, dressings and condiments, processed meats, processed cheese, yogurt, and some sweets too have traces of gluten.  If you have celiac disease then it is crucial that you read labels. You should also avoid einkorn, emmer, spelt, Kamut, wheat bran, wheat germ, cracked wheat, emulsifiers, dextrin, and mono- and di-glycerides.

Why millets are best for celiac diseases :

  • Millets are perfect for celiac disease, as it is naturally gluten-free,
  • Millets are a power house of nutrition
  • High fiber
  • High in protein
  • High in calcium
  • Good amount of antioxidants
  • Every region of India is endowed with different kinds of millets and they are quite popular in their local names.

Ways to go gluten-free for celiac diseases

 The most important thing for going gluten-free is adopting a millet diet.

  • Opt for gluten-free food.
  • Include millet like jowar, bajra, ragi, buckwheat, infact all millets are excellent picks for celiac disease as it is gluten-free and nutrient dense.
  • Substitute wheat roti with jowar roti, bajra roti,nachni roti, Makki roti, and rice flour roti.
  • Substitute semolina with Kodo or ragi.
  • Swap regular bread with millet bread
  • If you crave for baked food, try gluten free, millet based healthy baking mixes
  • Substitute wheat/ whole wheat /semolina pasta with millet pasta. These days India is going gluten-free so millet pasta is easily available.
  • Swap wheat/ maida noodles with millet noodles as they are easily available these days.
  • Substitute regular gluten flour with potato flour, banana flour, rice flour, soy flour, amaranth flour, quinoa flour, buckwheat flour, bean flour, bajra, nachni, and jowar flour.
  • Food like meat, vegetables, cheese, potatoes, and rice are naturally gluten-free.
  • Leavening agents like sorghum, chickpea/ gram flour, arrowroot, and corn flour, sabudana / tapioca starch extract can be used too.
  • Millets salad, millet kheer, millet khichdi, millets pulav, millet paratha, millet Pongal, millet porridge, millet ladoo, millet sera , millet idli, Uma , dosa , uttapam, idiyappam are multiple ways in which millets can be included in your daily diet.

Mindfully adopting millets in your diet will not only be helpful for your celiac disease but also help in improving your gut, and digestion and aid in weight loss and weight maintenance too.

As per the studies, the only treatment for celiac disease is a lifelong gluten-free diet, and it’s not that difficult as people are now going gluten-free for a healthy gut and weight loss too. Even restaurants have gluten-free menus, supermarkets are full of millet based food items like millets chips, millets flours, millets cakes and millets sweets too. So going gluten-free is now convenient, here is a beginner’s guide for going gluten-free.

Take away: Celiac disease people should strictly avoid food with gluten. So going gluten-free, millet-based diet is suggested.