Gluten-Free Casein-Free Oat Rolls for a Leaky Gut

In the past blogs, I have discussed how inflammation is the underlying cause of most chronic and autoimmune disorders. But for many who suffer from diseases such as arthritis, colitis and fibromyalgia, the big question is “What triggers the inflammatory reaction in the body?” Simply, the food we eat.

Food allergies and intolerances have been implicated in a wide range of medical conditions, affecting every part of the body: from mildly uncomfortable indigestion, to embarrassing diarrhea, to severe illnesses such as celiac disease and affecting over 60% of the U.S. population. The inflammatory reaction occurs when an ingested food molecule acts as an antigen, a substance that causes the immune system to produce antibodies against it. When you ingest something your immune system does not like or perceives as undesirable, it attacks by means of inflammation. When inflammation occurs, chemicals from the body’s white blood cells are released into the blood or affected tissues in an attempt to rid the body of foreign substances. This release of toxic chemicals increases blood flow to the area and may result in irritation, redness and swelling (think arthritis). The common thread in all these conditions is an unusually permeable gut caused by inflammation in the small intestine as a response to the food we eat- mostly wheat, sugar and acid forming foods like polyunsaturated oils and beef. With a leaky gut, undigested food proteins, bacteria, viruses, and even yeast can escape into our blood system thru the inflamed cell walls of the small intestine. The body recognizes these proteins as foreign invaders and our immune system attempts to fight them off causing more inflammation which sets the stage for various chronic and autoimmune disorders including IBD, lupus, allergies, asthma, even eczema. For more information go to http://www.foodphilosopher.com and The Gluten-Free Good Health Cookbook.

What can we do to heal a leaky gut? Eat a varied seasonal diet based on whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, lean protein, and monounsaturated fats that contain omega 3 oils. Avoid common foods that cause an inflammatory response in the body, such as wheat and sugar, which are commonly used in many processed foods. Other allergenic foods include soy, milk, eggs, and peanuts.

Below is a bread recipe free of common allergens but high in flavor. Each roll contains more than 3 grams of fiber (10% recommended daily intake) and almost 600 milligrams (50% of the minimum recommended daily intake) of anti-inflammatory omega-3 oils due to the chia seeds, oats and whole grain gluten-free flours. Chia seeds are a nutritional bonanza in a tiny package. Each tablespoon contains 65 calories, 2.5 grams protein, 4 grams of fiber and 1755 milligrams of omega-3 oils, plus they are chock full of antioxidants and alkalizing minerals such as phosphorous and manganese. Good health can be delicious and gluten-free. These rolls have a crispy crust, a delicate inside and a wonderful wholegrain flavor. I love them toasted and of course fresh from the oven. Enjoy!

GFCF Oatmeal Rolls with Chia Seeds

Makes 12 rolls

1 cup gluten free oat flour

1/2 cup teff flour

1/2 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup potato starch

1/2 cup tapioca starch

3 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons chia seeds

2 teaspoons xanthan gum

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 packet (1/4 oz. each) dry yeast granules (not quick rise)

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water (110 F)

Cornmeal

  1. Spray a 12-cupcake baking pan with baking spray and sprinkle with corn meal.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl of electric mixer. Pour warm water (110°F) and olive oil into mixing bowl; mix until just blended. Scrape bowl and beaters, and then beat at high speed for 2 minutes.
  3. Scoop dough for rolls into prepared cupcake pan with an ice cream scoop. Cover with a light cloth and let rise in a warm place (about 80°F) for 40-50 minutes, until dough has slightly more than doubled in size.
  4. Place shelf in center of oven. Preheat oven to 400°F while bread is rising (do not use a convection oven).
  5. Bake in center of preheated oven for 15-25 minutes. Rolls should have a hollow sound when tapped on the sides and be light golden in color. Instant read thermometer should register about 200°F. You can bake them longer to make a thicker crust; the color will deepen, and the internal temperature will continue to rise. Remove rolls from pan and cool on a rack. Rolls can be stored in refrigerator for up to two days or freezer for up to three weeks; wrap well in plastic wrap and then foil. Refresh rolls with a sprinkle of water and rewarm in 350°F preheated oven; wrap in foil if you do not want a crisp crust (but open the foil for the last five minutes). Or microwave rolls for 15 seconds and then lightly toast.

A Gluten-Free Oatmeal Breakfast to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome

Autoimmune diseases are disorders in which the body’s tissues are attacked by its own immune system. Autoimmune diseases are on the rise. Celiac disease, a digestive autoimmune condition triggered by the consumption of gluten (the protein found in wheat, rye and barley) is 400% more prevalent today than 40 years ago. Rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and deformity of joints, is on the rise among women after decades of decline. The list goes on: type-1 diabetes, lupus, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and ulcerative colitis.

As previously mentioned, a growing body of evidence suggests that virtually the same trio of factors underpins most, and perhaps all, autoimmune diseases: an environmental substance that is presented to the body (in the case of celiac disease the trigger is gluten), a genetically based tendency of the immune system to overreact to the substance, and an unusually permeable gut.

Once diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, it is important to eat a gluten-free anti-inflammatory diet, so that your gut can heal. I wasn’t a big fan of oatmeal until I came up with the recipe below:

1/2 cup dry gluten-free rolled oats  (190 calories &  5 grams fiber)

1 small banana, 5″ long, sliced thin  (75 calories & 4 grams fiber)

1 tablespoon dried cherries  (35 calories & 3 grams fiber)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup non-sweetened almond milk  (40 calories)

1 tablespoon flaxseed meal (30 calories & 2 grams fiber)

In a 4 cup bowl, combine 1/2 cup of rolled oats, sliced banana, dried cherries, cinnamon and almond milk. Stir and then cook in microwave on high for 4-5 minutes. Cover and let rest 1 minute. The mixture will be creamy but have a slightly chewy texture. Sprinkle with flaxseed meal and enjoy.

This delicious breakfast weighs in at 370 calories and 14 grams of fiber and is a gut healing way to start any day. Not only do oats lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar, but they enhance our immune response to fight bacterial infection. Bananas are a good source of potassium and magnesium, plus they are full of soluble fiber and probiotics that help contribute to a healthy gut.  Cherries contain components called anthocyanins that have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Flaxseed meal contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats and beneficial fiber. Cinnamon has been used for centuries to help stop the growth of bacteria, fungi and Candida, all sources of problems for leaky gut syndrome. Almond milk helps balance acidity in the body.

For more gut healthy recipes go to http://www.foodphilosopher.com and order The Gluten-Free Good Health Cookbook!

Leaky Gut Syndrome May Cause Magnesium Deficiency which Correlates to ADHD in Children

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a syndrome with many contributing causes including environmental toxins, nutrition deficiencies, food sensitivities, and leaky gut syndrome (see my previous blog for more information about leaky gut syndrome). Throughout the United States, ADHD has become an alarming epidemic. About 10-15% of all school children have the disorder and the rates are doubling every 3 to 4 years. More than 3 million American children diagnosed with ADHD are treated with Ritalin®, a central nervous stimulant with properties similar to cocaine, and the amount of the drug being prescribed has more than quadrupled in the last 10 years with more than 10 tons being produced in recent years (1).

Leaky gut syndrome causes inflammation which can result in the malabsorption of many important nutrients, such as magnesium and zinc. A leaky gut also allows for the passage of environmental toxins into the body through the intestinal wall. Therefore, it is not surprising that a leaky gut plays a role in triggering most chronic diseases and ADHD hyperactivity behaviors. In fact, researchers have found lower than normal levels of magnesium in people with ADHD (2). Low magnesium results in a syndrome of abnormalities including depression, irritability, restless sleep, muscle spasms, memory loss and low physical endurance. In one study, 95% of a group of 116 children with ADHD had below normal magnesium levels. Treatment was administered to 50 children with low blood and hair magnesium with 200 mg magnesium daily for 6 months. Compared to a control group given ‘standard therapy’ without magnesium, the supplemented children showed a significant decrease in hyperactivity (3).

Magnesium is one of the necessary chemical elements in our intestinal tract and is required by every cell of the body. As an essential electrolyte, it works with calcium and phosphorus to build bones and it is needed for muscle and nerve function. Magnesium also helps to prevent and relieve constipation, regulates the heart and converts foods to energy. Consequently, magnesium deficiencies can cause hyperactivity, psychiatric disorders and convulsive seizures in children (4).

It is important for children with ADHD to eat a diet rich in magnesium. Foods rich in magnesium are green vegetables, (such as spinach and okra), nuts (almonds and peanuts) pumpkin seeds, and black beans. The recommended daily allowance for most people is between 300 and 400 milligrams per day of magnesium. A delicious child friendly way to get more magnesium in the body is to eat 1 ounce (142 seeds) of pumpkin seeds (equal to 151 milligrams magnesium) or 1 cup of okra (equal to 94 milligrams magnesium). My kids love okra roasted, and then sprinkled with sea salt. When they were small I told them it is nature’s pretzel.

ROASTED OKRA

Serves 4-6

1 pound fresh small whole okra (less than 3” in length)

1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line large baking sheet with foil and spray with olive oil.
  2. In mixing bowl, toss okra with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Roast for 10 minutes or until brown and tender. Turn okra once, after 5 minutes, while roasting. Transfer to serving platter and serve warm or at room temperature.

References:

(1) United Nations Nation’s Information Service Annual Report (1996). United nation’s warnings on rialin. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/medicating/backlash/un.html

(2) The Georgetown University Medical Center Office of Continuing Professional Education and The International Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of Immunology, Georgetown University Medical Center, and the International Health Foundation, Jackson, Tennessee Symposium (2000). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Causes and Possible Solutions NOHA NEWS, 1: 1-3. Retrieved from http://www.nutrition4health.org/NOHAnews/NNW00ADHD.htm.

(3) Kozielec, T., Starobrar-Hermelin, B. (1997) Assessment of magnesium levels in children with ADHD. Magnesium Research, 10 (2): 143-8. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9368235.

(4) Mousain-Bosc, M., Roche, M., Rapin, J., and Bali, (2004). Magnesium Vitb6 intake reduces central nervous system huperexcitability in children. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 23 (5): 5454-548. Retireved from http://www.jacn.org/cgi/content/abstract/23/5/545S