One in 133 Americans suffer from Celiac Disease. That is one percent of the entire population. Scientists have varying suggestions for the rise in gluten sensitivity over the past 50 years, including the altering of grain crops for drought resistance. Others point to the high usage of antibiotics and the rise of gut flora or dysbiosis. And our much cleaner environment may have weakened our immune systems as our antibodies had to do less work to fight off disease. Whatever the definitive reason, gluten free diets have become much more commonplace. What isn’t always discussed is the need to be wary of vitamin and nutrient deficiency that a gluten free diet may bring on.
If you’ve moved to gluten free, here are some tips that can help you maintain your immune system and overall health:
- Vitamin B6. B6 helps maintain your nerve function, carries oxygen throughout your system, and helps to fight infections. Many gluten free diets lack B6. Eating a diet rich in salmon, tuna, chicken, turkey, chick peas, and bananas can help you maintain the B6 you need.
Vitamin D. Known as the “Sunshine Vitamin,” Vitamin D is produced by your skin in response to sunlight. It is also found in salmon, dairy, and cereal products. If you’re eating a gluten free diet you may be lacking in Vitamin D.
- Calcium. Much of the calcium we ingest comes via dairy products, yet many people with gluten sensitivities are also lactose intolerant. If you avoid dairy you can get calcium from tofu, some fish, and calcium fortified orange juice.
- Vitamin B12. B12 is essential to maintaining your nerve and blood cells and it is crucial in the fight against exhaustion. Gluten free diets can be short of B12 due to our reliance on fortified cereals to get our B12. You can increase your B12 intake by eating more fish, meat, and dairy.
Eating a vitamin rich diet is a great start to making sure your gluten free diet doesn’t leave you wanting for specific nutrients. That, however, won’t necessarily eliminate your need to take supplements. Nutri-patch created a Vitamin D Sunshine Patch, an Energy B Patch, and a Multi-Vitamin Patch that deliver nutrients via the skin that can help you avoid issues some oral supplements can cause.