Nutritional orthomolecular therapy for mental health has an integral component that eliminates food intolerances. The gluten allergy mechanism is triggered in a good portion of the population. This portion of the population is deemed gluten intolerant (inability to tolerate gluten) and includes but is not limited to celiac’s disease patients.
Gluten is a big protein and today’s food supply, processed or otherwise, is geared towards maintaining gluten containing processed products; gluten is a cheap filler and used to maintain elasticity and structure of products; such an extent of available gluten dominant processed foods stands in stark contrast to our ancestral diet and this is described by Dr Abram Hoffer as a problem stemming from ‘agricultural mono-cropping’ endorsement.
Gluten-intolerant reactions are triggerred when intolerant people eat high or low gluten containing grains. Wheat, rye and barley are high gluten containing grains. Spelt and kamut are low gluten containing grains. Oats contain Gliadin which is a big protein similar to gluten and although oats are gluten-free they, the vast majority of the time, trigger a similar gluten-like reaction in gluten intolerant people. Corn on its own does not contain gluten but contaminated corn products are common as such products are manufactured in plants that side by side are producing high-gluten products. People can be intolerant to corn protein (not uncommon) and this intolerance reaction has nothing to do with gluten.
Big proteins are after continuous exposure treated as foreign in the body and this is the basic premise of food allergies/intolerances. This affects the general population and mental health cases with schizophrenia, depression, axiety, ADD and OCD. You can however be allergic to combinations of food items or to substances in the environment such as asprin, pill fillers, air bourne allergens, etc. Big proteins illicit immune reactions that create metabolic by-products that are toxic and tax body systems and lead to energy drops, poor digestion, headaches, weakened immune system (frequent colds/flus), changes in mental state and overt brain allergies. Overt brain allergies are common in about 10% of cases with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, ADD and OCD. Here we would see a fast occurring intense response to an allergen such as gluten; for example, psychotic behaviour right after eating a chocolate chip cookie.
What is the treatment?
The treatment involves eating non-gluten containing foods. The gluten-free diet includes a shift to eating more rice (brown rice pasta, tortillas, crackers), potato, millet, buckwheat, quinoa & amaranth, and arrow root versus wheat, rye, barley, and kamut or spelt . To implement this diet effectively you need to have ready alternatives so you don’t drastically reduce your nutrient (caloric) intake and experience symptoms due to lack of nourishment/nutriture.
Here are some gluten-free guidelines for chosing grocery store products and reading labels
NON-GLUTEN FOODS TO INCLUDE ARE:
Brown rice(whole-grain is best); Brown Rice noodles/crackers/bread; Tapioca; Gluten-free bread (“O’Dough’s” has a good mix to make focaccia, pizza, or bread); Quinoa (as cereal or with steamed rice); Corn; Amaranth (as cereal as with quinoa or with steamed rice); Buckwheat (buckwheat is not another form of wheat); Potato; Millet (as cereal or with rice); Flour recepies with arrowroot, sorghum or almond meal for bread or pancakes.
Prepare recipes well in advance and allow extra time while shopping to read labels carefully. Instead of bread, use lettuce heart or rice wraps (tortilla or Asian rice paper) with trout, salmon, chicken or turkey. Morning cereal can be made with amaranth (nutty flavour), quinoa, grated carrots, and honey. Cream of brown rice cereal is also available. Make pasta with brown rice noodles (do not overcook noodles). Introduce stir fries, green salads with chicken, turkey. Warm soups are very healthy and can be made from a home-made gluten-free broth base. Use starchy vegetables (yams, sweet potatoes, etc), green veges (spinach, arugula, broccoli), orange-red veges (carrots, beets, etc), or fruit (only as a snack, 1 fruit per day) as your carbohydrate source.
High protein snacks are a great tool to introduce in any gluten-free regimen.
GLUTEN-CONTAINING FOODS /INGREDIENTS TO AVOID ARE:
Crackers; Corn pasta; Spaghetti Noodles (a generic term typically wheat based; but spaghetti shaped brown rice noodles are widely available and very good tasting); Soy sauce (unless its Braggs); Breads (rye, whole wheat, sourdough gluten-containing bread, etc.); Matzos; Hot dogs (with gluten filler; however Pillar’s and Schnider’s Naturals brand are gluten-free); Hamburger (those with gluten filler; home-made pure hamburger made with beef is OK); Sausages (most but not all contain gluten as filler); Batter fried foods (Crispy coatings are typically gluten-containing; better to order grilled entree); Liverwurst; Baking mixes (those with gluten); Gravies & cream sauces (unless home-made from juices of roast or other meats with gluten-free flour such as potato); Soups and bullion cubes (most processed soups contain gluten; however Amy’s soups are hearty and gluten-free; also home-made broth-based soups with meat or egg as protein source are very nutritious); Brewers Yeast (in movie popcorn); Oats (gluten-like glaidin is to be avoided in most all cases); Pepper (many synthetic forms add flour; fresh ground or pure store-bought is OK); Candy (most ingredients don’t list ingredients and flour is common additive); Ice-cream (thickening agents; some ice creams or frozen yoghurts are pure without gluten); Ovaltine’ Beer and Barley malt; Whisky (Rye, Scotch, etc); Corn processed products (often gluten-contaminated); Graham crackers; Granola; Wheat germ, bran or starch; Food starch; Vegetable starch or gum.
Disclaimer: Information provided is not to be used for self-assessment, diagnosis or treatment. We advise the public to discuss these topics with their health care provider or book an appointment with our Toronto clinic.