Walking through your local supermarket or health food stores these days, you are bound to see gluten-free products highlighted, with fancy labels on everything from crackers to skin care. Gluten-free seems to be all the rage, but is it just another passing trend? Vega is here to explain why it’s not.
Gluten-free and celiac disease-friendly foods seem to be ubiquitous, and there is actually good reason for that. While skeptics claim gluten-free is just another flash in the pan for foodies and health-minded folks, those struggling with gluten-intolerance are rejoicing at finally being able to have more gluten-free options.
Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye, and some oats; hidden gluten can be found in skin care products, and in flavorings in processed foods. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition, in which the body treats gluten as an invader (like a virus), launching a full attack on gluten when it reaches the small intestine. Unfortunately, this misguided immune attack on gluten causes collateral damage to the villi of the small intestine, wreaking havoc on the digestive system. Villi are finger-like projections lining the intestines that aid in nutrient absorption. Over time, these villi are flattened, resulting in a vast array of symptoms including nutrient deficiencies and severe GI distress.
Celiac disease is genetic, but advancements in medical technology have made diagnosing celiac easier—reflected in recent public awareness and apparent increase in the number of people living with the condition. It is estimated that celiac disease affects 1 in 133 people in North America.
There are also the multitudes of people—about 10 to 30% of the population—who have Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) or Gluten Related Disease (GRD). Symptoms are not always GI related either, as a gluten sensitivity can also produce headaches, joint pain, acne, anxiety, depression, or eczema.
The only treatment for celiacs—those living with the disease—and those with gluten sensitivities is a gluten-free diet for life. The good news is that following a gluten-free diet can alleviate nearly 100% of symptoms. Once a very hard road to travel, the gluten-free life is easier now than ever, benefiting from increased public awareness, improved product labelling and a growing array of gluten-free options in the natural food and supplement market.
At Vega, we put a lot of thought into what goes into our products—but we also focus on what doesn’t go in. Not only do Vega products steer clear of artificial ingredients, they are also free from common sensitivity-aggravating ingredients like dairy, gluten and soy. Finding good food on-the-go that’s also gluten-free can be daunting, but with healthy, portable snacks like Vega’s Vibrancy Bars and Whole Food Energy Bars, and supplements like Vega One Nutritional Shakes, Vega Energizing Smoothies, as well as the entire Vega Sport Performance System, gluten-free just got a whole lot easier. Nutritious, delicious, and gluten free? Now that’s a trend that’s here to stay.