Last week the nation celebrated “Eat What You Want Day”. In honor of Celiacs Awareness Month (May), we felt it necessary to celebrate how far we have come as a society with understanding food allergies and creating a variety of offerings that are gluten-free. People with a gluten allergy or intolerance can almost eat anything they want due to the variety of gluten-free options available. There are many restaurants and even entire grocery sections with specific food selections for those living with celiacs or gluten intolerance. A far cry from just 10 years ago, when most of the U.S. population had never heard of gluten.
So, What is Celiacs Disease?
Celiacs disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects about 1% of the US population and 34% of people are diagnosed after age 20. An allergic reaction occurs when people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley), their body’s immune response is to attack the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage on the villi, small fingerlike projections that line the small intestine, that promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body, thus leading to deficiencies. Today, a 100% gluten-free diet is the only existing treatment for celiacs disease.
It’s important to know whether you are suffering from celiac disease because it can lead to a number of other disorders including infertility, reduced bone density, neurological disorders, some cancers, and other autoimmune diseases. (https://www.beyondceliac.org/celiac-disease/facts-and-figures/).
Fun Gluten-Free Recipes
Now that you understand what Celiacs is and why it’s important to avoid gluten in your diet if you have the disease, let’s take a look at some of I.C.O.E.’s fun gluten-free finds:
Chicken lo Mein- https://iowagirleats.com/2017/08/22/gluten-free-chicken-lo-mein/
Gluten-free bread- https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gluten-free-cornbread-2-2009501
Apple pie cheesecake- https://celiac.org/blog/recipe/apple-pie-cheesecake/
Cinnamon rolls- https://www.mamaknowsglutenfree.com/cinnamon-roll-cake-gluten-free/
Flourless fudge cookies- https://www.ihearteating.com/flourless-fudge-cookies/
Vegan Coffee Cake – https://ecolifemaster.com/vegan-coffee-cake/
Celiacs Awareness Beyond Food
Although, up to this point we have focused on food, did you know that gluten is also found in other products? It can also be found in makeup, vitamins and supplements, and other products. You can help prevent mistakes by wearing a medical alert ID that shows your intolerance or gluten allergy. A simple alert bracelet can help in an emergency situation since gluten isn’t restricted to food, some medications may be restricted and it will help to alert professionals of limitations.
Read more about Celiacs Disease at: