As the demand for gluten-free products increases, you might be left wondering what it’s all about. This week is the perfect time to find out, as Coeliac UK is promoting Coeliac Awareness Week – a campaign that encourages restaurants to provide more, better and safer gluten-free options, to meet the growing demand.
Check out their video to learn more about the Gluten Freevolution:
Coeliac disease is caused by the body reacting to gluten. It affects approximately 1 in 100 people, four times more people than 20 years ago! This seems like a huge increase, but this is due to better standards of testing and diagnosis that comes with increased awareness (see BBC for more). The most common sources of gluten are bread, cereals, pasta, pastry and biscuits to name just a few… so it can be tricky to avoid. There are however, plenty of great alternatives around. We’ve prepared a brief guide to help you stay healthy, connected and inspired 🙂
Most people with gluten intolerance or coeliac disease do not suffer from the symptoms from birth: the illness can be triggered at any time. If you’re looking for a quick diagnosis, the following symptoms could mean that you are gluten intolerant or suffering from coeliac disease:
- Bloating, diarrhea or constipation
- Rash on the back of your arms
- Dizziness or fatigue
- Joint pain
- Mood issues (anxiety, depression, mood swings)
(See Mind, Body, Green for more)
Consuming gluten with an undiagnosed intolerance will damage the wall of the gut. This can prevent certain nutrients from being absorbed, and so recently diagnosed coeliacs are commonly lacking B vitamins, iron, and fibre, which can be balanced by eating normal foods such as:
Green leafy vegetables
Fruit juice/ smoothies
(See Everyday Health for more)
For anyone interested in learning more about their digestive activity, Giulia Enders’ book ‘Gut‘ is a critically-acclaimed, entertaining and informative read, explaining everything from the basics of nutrient absorption to the latest science linking bowel bacteria with mental health!
To give you a helping hand this week, we’ve launched some gluten-free coupons, so don’t forget to check the GreenJinn App, whether you’re looking to save money or just try something new…
Coupons Available on the GreenJinn App
Genius Seeded Loaf
Nairn’s Porridge Oats
Evexia Chickpea Pasta
Where to Eat?
Eating out may seem like a challenge if you are a coeliac, but it doesn’t need to be. If you’re in unfamiliar surroundings and looking for a coeliac-friendly place to eat, try using Foursquare. It’s an app that shows you the nearest paces to eat, drink, shop and visit. You can search for gluten-free eateries, all with user reviews, recommendations and even food pictures from customers.
Many restaurant chains are now catering for coeliacs! We’ve saved you some time by selecting some of our favourite meals and restaurants. If you want to find out more, check out The Coeliac Plate for a comprehensive list.
Bella Italia offer a specially made spiralised vegetable spaghetti as an alternative to traditional pasta.
Wagamama have a large variety of gluten-free options, made with rice noodles.
La Tasca have a gluten-free menu, including gluten-free beer and this chicken and chorizo dish.
Living with coeliac disease or a similar condition isn’t always easy. Luckily, you’re not in it alone, with a huge, connected community of people all going through exactly the same thing. Coeliac UK have various channels for you to join the community, or if you’re more of a social networker, you can head over to Facebook and join a group, such as Coeliacs in the UK. If you’re in need of inspiration, there’s also plenty of bloggers online to keep you informed and motivated.
Here are some of our favourite blogs:
Written by Samantha, a brit now living in the Netherlands, has all the news, reviews and recipes you’ll need to be inspired.
Lucy, the mother of a coeliac child, has been running this blog since 2006, offering guidance and advice.
If you are living in or visiting the capital, this blog, run by Lizzie, reviews all the best spots to eat.
Be sure to check out Nicole’s affordable yet delicious recipes
Win a Gluten-Free Treat and Extra Cashback!
To celebrate Coeliac Awareness Week, we’ve teamed up with B-Tempted to run a fun competition. They are a multi-award winning luxury gluten free bakery, making deliciously tempting treats by hand. We’re giving you the chance to win a range of their yummy (and of course, gluten-free) products, as well as a full refund on your GreenJinn coupons. Check out our post below to get all the details:
Abstaining from gluten needn’t be a struggle, in fact, it has never been easier, with such a large and open community of people raising awareness and giving guidance. Don’t limit yourself, try something new, there’s a world of coeliac-friendly options to be discovered. Be sure to support the Gluten Freevolution, to help raise awareness 😉