This article was written in paid partnership with Sundown Naturals.
Sure, you have a regular yoga practice, but a big part of a balanced yoga lifestyle is making mindful choices about everything you put in your body. Which is why so many yogis are choosing to go gluten-free.
Gluten-free diets are associated with Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder caused by a reaction to gluten, which is found in wheat and other grains. But even those who don’t have Celiac can be sensitive to gluten; some experience a stuffed-up, foggy feeling, others suffer from ailments like chronic abdominal pain, arthritis, chronic fatigue, migraine attacks, and sinus infections, according to Karen Kelly’s 2009 Yoga Journal article. In fact, gluten sensitivity/intolerance is on the rise, and some simply feel that cutting gluten can make them feel better. Stephen Wangen, director of the IBS Treatment Center and the Center for Food Allergies in Seattle and the author of Healthier Without Wheat, estimates that 10 percent of the U.S. population (30 million people) are intolerant, and most don’t know it, Kelly reports.
3 Ways to Go Gluten-Free
Interested in trying a gluten-free diet, and seeing if it makes a difference in your well-being? Here are 3 ways to make the transition easier (and more delicious).
1. Discover wheat alternatives.
There are plenty of nutritious gluten-free alternatives to wheat, including amaranth, buckwheat, millet, oats, and quinoa. You can continue to enjoy your favorite baked goods if you prepare them with gluten-free almond flour and coconut flour. Think pasta is out? Think again! The noodles in your favorite Italian and Asian dishes can be replaced with gluten-free rice noodles and soba noodles.
2. Supplement with a multivitamin.
As you swap gluten out of your diet, you may find you are missing out on certain key vitamins and minerals. People recently diagnosed with Celiac disease are commonly deficient in fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, folate, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B12, and vitamin D, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation. Plus, many gluten-free products are not enriched and can have lower amounts of folate, iron, thiamin, niacin, fiber, and riboflavin, according to the Foundation’s website. People with gastrointestinal issues that impair nutrient absorption, including Celiac disease, may benefit from taking a multivitamin, holistic pharmacist Sherry Torkos told Yoga Journal last year. Sundown Naturals® makes a gluten-free women’s multivitamin, as well as other adult gummies.
3. Get creative with veggies.
Use cauliflower “couscous” as the base for a stir-fry, and stock up on a day’s worth of vegetables in a single meal, Kerri-Ann Jennings reports in this 2015 Yoga Journal article. Swapping one cup of zucchini “noodles” for wheat-based spaghetti slashes 200 calories and almost 40 grams of carbs, she adds. Get 5 more delicious gluten-free recipes here, including sweet potato waffles (yum!).