This article covers the end of a podcast that I was unable to finish within the episodes allocated 30 minutes. If you want the program in its entirety, I recommend you start by listening to the episode on BlogTalk called Going Against the Grain – The Deadly Dangers of Wheat by clicking here. (The episode has also been embedded at the bottom of this article.)
There were 3 major points I wanted to cover that I didn’t have time to on last Saturday’s podcast.
- The Importance of Serotonin
- The Traditional Preparation of Grains
- A List of Everyday Products with Hidden Gluten
1. The Importance of Serotonin
As I was discussing at the end of the program, wheat inhibits the production of a neurotransmitter called serotonin. Serotonin, also referred to as the Happy Hormone, can be found in your brain as well as your intestinal tract. The greatest concentration of serotonin is actually found in your intestines and not your brain as most would think. This neurotransmitter is involved in mood control, depression, and aggression!
Seeing that serotonin’s main residing place is in your gut, you need to make sure you have a properly functioning intestinal tract. I highly recommend that you nourish your gut flora with probiotics, fermented foods (e.g. fermented vegetables and cultured dairy products) and high quality whole food matrix supplements to maintain optimal serotonin function, as it can have a huge impact on your mood, psychological health and behavior.
I would also recommend an intestinal cleanse twice a year. The Olive Oil & Lemon Juice Cleanse is fantastic for resetting your intestinal flora for optimal serotonin levels. That aside, it is also a wonderful liver and gallbladder flush!
Here is a short video you can watch on how to do the cleanse.
Olive oil & Lemon Juice Cleanse
The implications of wheat inhibiting serotonin production can be profound when you consider how many processed wheat products are consumed today. Our addiction to these processed wheat products can be fueling diseases like celiac disease, wheat allergies, obesity, and diabetes. It may contribute to deteriorating mental health as well as neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. All types of grains – not just wheat – contribute to insulin and leptin resistance which can lead to (in the case of leptin resistance) cravings and weight gain. Insulin and leptin resistance are the primary underlying causes of most of the chronic diseases. We should really begin to restrict our intake of grains and especially refined wheat.
Many people do tolerate wheat bread without problems if it is eaten with plenty of butter and it is properly prepared, especially if it comes from non-hybridized forms like Einkorn wheat and Spelt. Ancient wheat forms of emmer, einkorn and spelt have been part of the human diet for many thousands of years. Our ancestors prepared these grains by sprouting, soaking and souring them in order to neutralize the anti-nutrients in the seed.
2. The Traditional Preparation of Grains
Wheat, grains and legumes can be very nutritious, however, they must be prepared correctly to drastically reduce the enzyme inhibitors and neutralize the phytic acid by activating phytase. Our ancestors knew exactly how to properly prepare grains for the elimination of toxins and easy digestion. These traditional preparation methods also help unlock the good nutrition that is kept inside. The process of soaking, sprouting and fermenting actually increases the nutritional value.
But first of all, it is of course important to choose the right kind of grains. When it comes to wheat flour or wheat berries you want to look out for the organic kind. When choosing flour, choose stone ground wholewheat that is unbleached and unbromated and maybe even more importantly, look for the ancient strains such as Einkorn. Einkorn is the only wheat that we use in our home. It is the only wheat (found in the form of flour or berries) that exists today that is completely non-hybridized. It is still the same as the strains that they used in Biblical times. Einkorn is so low in gluten that, when prepared properly, even people with gluten sensitivity or Celiac may be able to consume this product without experiencing the symptoms that come with their diagnoses.
Soak whole grains or flour with a small amount of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or cultured dairy such as buttermilk or kefir. This process neutralizes the phytic acid making it easier to digest. You can soak your oats overnight in a little yogurt for example and then prepare them as usual the following morning for your breakfast. You can do the same with pancakes and biscuits. Just soak the flour in buttermilk overnight and add the remaining ingredients in the morning when you are ready to bake them.
Sprouting your whole wheat berries (or other grains for that matter) essentially transforms them from grains into vegetables. This not only reduces the phytic acid, but drastically increases their nutritional value. When comparing sprouted wheat to unsprouted wheat on a calorie-per-calorie basis, the sprouted wheat contains:
- four times the amount of niacin
- nearly twice the amount of vitamin B6 and folate (B9)
- five times the amount of vitamin C
- significantly more protein and fewer starches and sugars
Fermenting, or souring, is a process where you allow wild yeast strands to break down the grains even more. In essence, the yeast is predigesting the grains for you. Many who suffer from gluten intolerance have no problem eating real sourdough bread and don’t suffer from the typical bloating, gas or cramps. (Just remember that most store bought sourdough bread is not REAL sourdough and has not been fermented. The yeast has been added to the ingredients as opposed to naturally fermented. If it says yeast in the ingredients… it’s not real!)
3. List of Hidden Sources of Gluten:
- Flavored prepackaged rice
- Flavored prepackaged pasta
- Condensed soups (canned)
- Flavored instant coffee
- Flavored teas
- Chow Mein noodles
- Artificial creamers (any kind)
- Bouillon cubes or powder
- Gravy and sauce mixes
- Imitation seafood products
- Ground spices
- Chewing gum
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
- Mustard powder
- Gelatinized starch
- Rice syrup
- Laundry detergent
- Prescription drugs
- Health supplements (make sure they are gluten free)
Going Against the Grain – The Deadly Dangers of Wheat
In closing, gluten intolerance, wheat allergies and celiac disease are all related categories of digestive and immune system disorders that have become more and more familiar to anyone following food trends in human health. The hybridization of wheat over the years have turned this ancient grain into a toxic substance to large numbers of people worldwide.It is still a controversial topic but when you begin to look at modern agriculture, world trade and industrialized methods of food production, you can start to see a murky pattern emerge. The gut brain connection is well recognized as a basic foundation of physiology and medicine so it should be clear that nourishing your intestinal tract is extremely important throughout your life here on this earth. Therefore, nourish the brain inside your skull as well as the brain inside your intestinal tract (gut).