Wheat Sensitivity: A Mystery Solved

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Bread has been a staple of the human diet for centuries. Isn’t it mystifying, then, that increasing numbers of people are finding out they can’t have it? Something has clearly changed, causing a rise in sensitivity to wheat and gluten, but what? A recent book, Wheat Belly, offers an explanation, reports Matt Sutherland in Spirituality & Health.

The book was authored by William Davis, MD, a preventive cardiologist who has seen irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, and a host of other symptoms disappear with the elimination of wheat from patients’ diets. Gluten intolerant himself, Davis did a little research and discovered that, while humans have been cross-breeding wheat since Neolithic times, the stuff we eat today was bred for high yields in the mid-twentieth century. No one thought to check how human bodies would respond to the genetic make-up of these new strains. And though higher yields were meant to feed the world’s hungry, it seems Americans have ended up eating some of the extra, writes Davis. This may be contributing to obesity and diabetes as well as gluten sensitivity.

Thinking of kicking your gluten habit? Sutherland offers some simple ways to avoid modern wheat: eat more vegetables, fruit, nuts, and whole grains like oatmeal or rice. If you’re feeling experimental, try baking a loaf of bread with the grains your ancestors would have used, einkorn and emmer.

Source: Spirituality & Health.

Image: wheat harvest on the Palouse, Idaho, by the US Department of Agriculture. It is in the public domain.

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