It’s Australian Open time and for tennis tragics that means some late nights. Dominating mens tennis at the moment is Novak Djokovic, and his domination over Rafael Nadal has coincided with eating gluten free! Well, maybe this is not the only reason but it sure has made a great difference.
In 2010 it was suggested to Novak that he may be sensitive/allergic to gluten – the protein that is found in wheat, rye, oats and barley. His professionalism and goals to perform his best led him to dramatically change his diet.
Gluten is a protein that humanity is now eating much more. And we are breeding strains of wheat that have a higher content of this protein. While it may be better from a chef’s perspective to have more “stickiness” to our breads and doughs, and help make naan bread taste more delicious, it is seriously affecting the health of some individuals. It is thought that there is about 1% of the population with the more serious coeliac disease, and many more who are actually sensitive to the protein and generally feel much healthier without it.
Gluten sensitivity can result in such symptoms as headache, migraine, joint pain, fatigue, irritability, sinus issues, bloating and digestion problems. Some people who suffer ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) have reported feeling remarkably better when not eating gluten.
Eating gluten-free does mean that one has to cut out pizza, pasta, cakes and biscuits, but what many don’t realise is that there are great alternatives for these treats. Rice and corn pasta is available that tastes great, some pizza stores are beginning to offer gluten-free pizza and cooking with almond meal as an alternative to flour provides more nutritious cakes and biscuits. Novak Djokovic has 4 restaurants in Serbia all now offering gluten-free options on the menu.
To learn more about how the consumption of the gluten protein can result in damage to the absorptive lining of the small intestine, gluten intolerances and Coeliac disease, click here.
For more information regarding migraines and gluten sensitivities click here or make an appointment with one of Sydney’s chiropractors at Shirley Rd Chiropractic in Crows Nest.
Helms, S. (2005) Coeliac Disease and Gluten-Associated Diseases. Altern Med Rev. 10(3): 172-192Hadjivassillou, M. et al. (2004) The Immunology of Gluten Sensitivity: Beyond the Gut. Trends in Immunology. 25(11): 578-582.