Grain Pain Explained: The Tummy Trouble You Might Not Expect

If you’re experiencing chronic health problems that doctors can’t seem to solve, like digestive issues, mysterious aches or persistent skin problems, you may want to consider removing grains from your diet. For many people, eliminating wheat and other grains has significantly improved their health and contributed to weight loss, forming the basis of the paleo diet.

One of the primary reasons behind the paleo diet’s stance against grains is their negative health consequences that are hard to ignore. For some people, their immune systems react adversely after ingesting grains, especially wheat, leading to health issues.

The grains that are commonly present in every meal come with health risks that are important to be aware of. Among these risks are:

Blood sugar levels and weight

Wheat and other grains can increase your blood sugar levels rapidly, making them high glycemic foods. Consuming such foods triggers blood sugar fluctuations, which can not only affect your mood but also increase the risk of developing diabetes. Surprisingly, whole grain foods that are believed to be healthier alternatives can still produce undesirable effects. Additionally, wheat and other grains contain substances that increase appetite and lead to overeating. Gliadin derived peptides, for instance, affect the brain in an addictive manner, making your digestive tract more permeable to allergenic substances. Wheat also contains phytates that can block the absorption of essential minerals like magnesium, zinc, and iron.

Oral health

Grains can be detrimental to your oral health, causing crooked teeth growth, gum disease, cavities, and tooth loss. Early research on the introduction of grains into the human diet has proven these adverse effects.

Digestive health

One of the significant health implications of grains stems from their impact on the friendly bacteria that reside in your digestive tract. Any change in these probiotic bacteria can make you more susceptible to illness, as they are generally responsible for helping your immune system protect your body against infectious diseases.

Gluten’s impact

Aside from gluten, which is present in wheat, barley, and rye and can cause various health problems, wheat contains other individual substances that can seriously affect your health. Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), an indigestible part of wheat, poses a considerable challenge to intestinal health. WGA can penetrate intestinal barriers, enter the bloodstream, activate antibodies, mimic insulin, and block the hormone of satiety, leptin. Paleo advocate Robb Wolff believes that WGA can prevent the body from absorbing vitamin D, obstruct weight loss efforts, and damage the gut lining. According to a study Wolff cites, WGA can increase pancreatic size and decrease thymus size once it enters the bloodstream and is deposited in different cells and blood vessel walls.

If you’re looking to improve your health, you might want to take Wolff’s advice and remove wheat from your diet for a month and see the results. Many who have tried this approach have experienced significant health improvements and haven’t looked back.