One of the nutritional issues that celiac sufferers often face is getting enough fibre in their diet. Glutenous grains make up a large percentage of dietary fibre in the non-gluten free diet and although many other foods contain sufficient amounts of fibre, for celiacs the lack of grains is enough to reduce their total fibre intake. This may be due to eating too many processed foods, meat products, a possible unfamiliarity with different food options or not enough focus on whole foods. It is suggested that the healthy adult consume at least 25 grams of fibre per day, and more with age. It is important for everyone, especially those with CD, to eat as much whole, organic food as possible in order to get
maximum nutrient absorption, for example, using organic brown rice as opposed to refined white rice. Whole foods are always preferable.
Beans are an inexpensive way to get both protein and fibre. Bean salads are delicious and can include peas, lentils, nuts and seeds. Psyllium or milled, organic flax seeds also add fibre to salads, muffins, cookies, cereals, and fruit smoothies. Becoming more familiar with different food options, such as amaranth, quinoa and nut flours and varying the diet are essential.
Supplements for Celiac Disease
Celiac Disease (CD) is often not diagnosed for years and therefore much damage to the intestinal tract may have already occurred, causing chronic inflammation. As many nutrients require a healthy intestinal flora to be absorbed and utilized in the body, those with celiac are at risk of severe nutritional deficiencies.
While eating a gluten-free diet that includes nutrient rich and fermented foods is essential for general good health and wellbeing, supplements can help restore optimal nutritional balance and improve the health and functioning of the intestinal tract and digestive system. Consider these nutritional supplements in addition to a gluten-free diet.
CD attacks the villi in the upper small intestine which is the main absorption site of iron. Iron deficiency or anemia is often the first indicator of celiac disease. Iron deficiency causes many health complications including lethargy and weakness.
Ideal supplementation would include whole food forms of Iron and Iron chelates. (Ferrus sulfate is typically not recommended for celiacs as it can irritate the intestinal tract and cause constipation.)
Folate and Vitamin B12
Nutrients commonly low in celiac sufferers are Folate and Vitamin B12, which are essential for regulating homocysteine levels in the blood. Excessively high homocysteine levels (hyperhomocysteinemia) significantly strain the heart and damage the bones. As well as iron, these nutrients are essential in the proper formation and functioning of red blood cells.
Supplementing with a Multi Vitamin or a Complex B Vitamin would be an effective way to increase the levels of these essential nutrients. As celiacs often suffer from malabsorption issues, the active forms of Vitamin B12 (methylcyanocobolamine) and Folate (L-Methyl Folate or Metafolin) have superior absorption to the less active forms.
*Find these products and many more in our Wellness Department. If you have additional questions about Celiac Disease don’t hesitate to ask us. Also, check out our annual Wellness Guide, full of helpful, health information that’s good for everyone to know about.
Probiotics are anti-inflammatory in nature and assist the intestinal tract in the absorption of Vitamin K2, some of the B Vitamins, and promote mineral absorption. They also aid in metabolism and the breakdown of toxins. Probiotics play a crucial role in the development and functioning of the villi of the intestinal tract.
A daily full spectrum probiotic with both Lactobacillus and Bifidus strains are useful for helping to maintain a healthy beneficial bacteria balance in the gut.
Digestive enzymes can assist the intestinal tract in breaking down foods into their smaller components for better nutrient absorption.
Essential Fatty Acids
Celiacs typically have lower levels of the fat soluble vitamins in their body than needed for good health, namely Vitamins A, D and K due to an inability to digest fats.
Supplementing with an essential fatty acid supplement not only provides the necessary fatty acids needed for general health, but will help the body to metabolize these essential nutrients.
-Michelle, Wellness Assistant Manager
DID YOU KNOW?
Medical Expense Claims
As of 2003 the incremental cost of Gluten Free foods purchased to support a person with medically diagnosed Celiac Disease, can now be claimed on your personal tax return.
Visit this Canada Revenue Agency website for complete information: