If you find yourself feeling drained and living in a mental fog, a simple diet change could make all the difference.
A new study has found that cutting gluten from your diet can boost energy and concentration levels, and help you think more clearly.
The Going Gluten Free study asked a group of adults to switch to a gluten-free diet for three weeks, then return to their regular diet including gluten.
The cognitive effects weren’t the only benefits, study participants also reported feeling less bloated and gassy, and less fatigued. Some also reported a reduction in the occurrence of muscle cramps.
The study, by Aberdeen University’s Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, also found that when participants were off the gluten, their overall diet improved, with more fibre and less salt. Both these changes are beneficial for cholesterol levels, digestion and blood glucose.
Whether these changes were attributable to the improvements in health has not been clarified, but the study authors say the result suggest that you don’t’ have to have coeliac disease to have an intolerance to gluten.
The study, which was part-funded by the UK government, also found levels of vitamins B12 and folate remained stable even when participants were on the gluten-free diet, suggesting they were not taking in fewer vitamins.
Dr Alexandra Johnstone said: “It was interesting to discover that a gluten-free diet improves feelings of fatigue, with participants reporting much higher energy levels during the gluten-free period of the study.
“The fact that they were able to start tasks quicker, concentrate better and think clearer during this time, and felt the need to rest less, all point towards the idea that sensitivity to gluten does exist for some individuals who don’t have coeliac disease.
“It was equally interesting to see that none of participants gained any weight while going gluten-free, in fact our participant’s diets improved through increased fibre and vegetable consumption, and reduced salt intake.
“The next step for us now is to uncover how all of this is reflected in the gut – the main organ affected by coeliac disease.”
Would you consider going gluten-free for these benefits? Or have you already?