Wheat is not good for you. However, the public has been misled on this topic by food companies and a complicit mainstream media. Its effects are so insidious it’s almost unbelievable why wheat isn’t banned completely in every nation of the world—if we simply applied some common sense to the situation; that is, testing how each individual responds to eating wheat, as opposed to making sweeping statements about how great grains are for us.
For years I ate white breads, bagels, and pasta with no apparent damage. Then one day I had my first “wheat reaction.” It was at least 15 years ago when I woke up early one morning with a full body rash and severe joint pain in my shoulders and knees. The pain and rash did not disappear for about a week.
I was very new to the world of alternative health at the time, and I wasn’t sure what had happened to me. Since then I have taken great pains to avoid wheat and other grains entirely. It’s been 15 years since my last gluten-based food reaction; even though now eating these foods does not cause any obvious physical distress, there is mental damage that can be insidious.
The body and mind are truly connected, in spite of mainstream thinking on this subject—our thoughts do affect our bodily health (both positively and negatively). The best practitioners recognize this fact as a common part of their practice; which is why things like acupuncture & herbal medicine work [rather well].
For over a decade I’ve seen people who have suffered from wheat reactions and other similar grain reactions, including myself. Most of the people that I see are women. It’s always disconcerting to me how many apparently healthy women (and some men) come into my office with obvious physical problems stemming from eating wheat/grains; yet they don’t realize what is causing it. From joint pain, neck & back stiffness, chronic fatigue, digestive issues, and yes—depression & anxiety. So much so that gluten-free bakeries are now appearing in grocery stores around the United States: more proof that something about wheat is not good for us…
I find most adults in their early thirties with these problems haven’t had symptoms since they were teenagers and have forgotten about them. In my experience, all of these conditions are depression-related, or at least a product of chronic stress for the nervous system: many people feel better after eating gluten-free foods due to a release of tension in their lives.
I have a friend who had an immediate allergic reaction to wheat as a toddler (like mine); she became violently ill every time she ate it. By her teen years she had forgotten about this allergy—until one day when she was 20 years old while studying abroad in Italy—and once again reacted strongly to wheat intake. She said that the first “gluten attack” kept her out of commission for three days and since then she has been very careful to avoid gluten. She certainly has not suffered any ill effects from avoiding wheat.
What Wheat Does: A Unique Gluten Problem?
Gluten is a protein complex of the grains wheat (including durum, semolina, bulgur), rye, barley, and possibly oats—that creates problems in people who have an allergic reaction to it. But gluten isn’t the only thing harmful about these products. Grains are generally high carbohydrates with a low nutrient density that can depress your immune system, causing fatigue and contributing to depression.
I used to think that if I simply avoided eating or cooking with wheat products, I would be fine—but that’s not always the case; like my own experience as a teenager, in which I reacted to wheat after a long time without having any problems (positive or negative).
I am very familiar with the symptoms of a wheat/grain reaction, though. They include: fatigue, mental and physical sluggishness, joint pain [anywhere in the body], stiffness in your back and neck, digestive issues—especially constipation; depression is also common. All these symptoms help to create anxiety for people who don’t know what is causing them. Anxiety sometimes creates headaches too! For reasons that are not entirely clear to me, many depressed people I’ve seen turn out to be allergic to wheat/grains as well.
The fact that modern medicine does not recognize this problem is one of its biggest failures in my opinion: there are no blood tests or lab work [that I’m aware of] that can detect a wheat allergy/reaction. There are only physical symptoms for us to recognize and take action on, the sooner the better.
I believe gluten-free eating (for some people) is like wearing glasses—it helps you see more clearly, especially if you’ve been seeing poorly up until then. A number of my friends have reported feeling so much better after cutting out most grains from their diets; they often describe this change by saying “I feel less tense now.” Clearly, tension and physical stress are affected by cereal grains in some way, possibly due to an increase in certain hormone levels like cortisol.
Anxiety Prevention Is Easier Than You Think!
For me, and many of my friends, the presence of gluten in our diets is a major cause of depression & anxiety. I believe that when we are exposed to it on a regular basis we begin to see our lives as more stressful than they really are (in other words: stress exaggerates your perception), which develops into an attitudinal problem based on negative thinking—which can turn into self-hate!
I know how crazy this sounds, but I’ve seen it with my own eyes (twice!). When people stop eating wheat/grains for several weeks or months they feel like a new person; their whole outlook changes and suddenly they see life differently. This has become so very apparent to me because nearly every single person I know who is struggling with mental and physical disorders improves greatly after avoiding gluten.
I am not saying that everyone should avoid it—particularly if you feel healthy and do not suffer from the symptoms I listed above. But, please know that there are major problems associated with eating wheat/grains—and many of them may not be obvious to you (if they aren’t affecting your health yet).
Additionally, when the body is forced into a state of constant disease (caused by grain reactions) the immune system has less energy to fight off real infections or viruses. It’s as though we are always running at 50% capacity in terms of our own defense against intruders; eventually our bodies break down under this load and become more susceptible to disease. It becomes a vicious cycle that leads to chronic disease, regardless of how much we eat (or exercise) in order to “stay healthy,” or supplement with vitamins and probiotics.
If you do not suffer from any physical symptoms of wheat/grain reactions, then I suggest avoiding them for 30 days and monitor yourself for the changes I mentioned above; it’s rather exciting to see what will happen in just one month. You may be surprised at how quickly your own outlook on life changes—I have seen this time and again with my friends who follow this protocol.
Most people are amazed at how great they feel after eliminating wheat/grains from their diets—and many describe it like “coming out of a fog.” I have been wheat/grain-free myself for over 8 years now, and I can tell you from experience that it does change your mental state—for the better!
I’ve seen people’s self-esteem levels shift dramatically when they eliminate gluten from their diets. They start to feel more confident in themselves, which is often reflected in a dramatic improvement in their relationships with others as well. Some of my friends have reported other interesting changes while being on a gluten-free diet: less headaches, mood swings disappear, red ears (a sign of inflammation) go away, they lose weight if needed, and some report feeling younger.
The reason these symptoms fade away after going on a gluten-free diet is because many of them are signs of inflammation within the body. If you have noticed a change in any of these symptoms after eating wheat/grains I would suggest avoiding it for 30 days to see how you feel, and then reintroduce gluten back into your diet and observe how you react to it.
The idea that we as humans could eat grains (which weren’t even an option until the dawn of agriculture) is still so new to us it’s hard for most people to grasp why this might be a problem. It’s not well known that actually, 80% or more people suffer some degree of reaction from consuming grain products in their diets. These reactions can range from mild digestive issues, all the way up through asthma, depression, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and even cancer; it’s a serious issue for many people.
During the Paleolithic period (what some call the “Caveman” era) our diets contained no grains or dairy products whatsoever. These foods never even crossed into our diets until agriculture began thousands of years later; so why is it that we are biologically unable to digest them properly?
If you’ve ever wondered “why do I feel so bad after eating wheat?” then read this article and discover how gluten affects your body, and what can happen when you avoid eating wheat altogether—it will change your life!