What Is Gluten?

Gluten is a natural plant derivative composed of glutenin and gliadin, both proteins which come from the endosperms of many plants. This nutrient provided ancient vegetarian cultures with a meat substitute after it was extracted from plant starches. It has the ability to soak up flavors, much like tofu and soy products.

Gluten Basics

Many edible plants contain gluten within their anatomical structures. In order for the gluten to become pure and independent from the rest of the plant material, a simple water-based extraction occurs.

Gluten does not dissolve in water. This characteristic allows it to become separated from plant starch.

This simple compound helps certain bread-like products maintain their shape and elasticity. Gluten adds chewiness to snack foods containing flour, while increasing baked goods’ ability to rise. These attributes further increase when combined with yeast additives and kneading. Gluten ultimately acts as a connective maintenance ingredient in products containing flour.

Gluten in the Body

Gluten adversely affects celiac patients. People who suffer from celiac disease do not have the ability to properly digest the protein compound, which usually causes intestinal-based health problems.

Normally, your body digests gluten along with the rest of the foods that you consume. In some cases, however, people feel sick to their stomachs after eating starchy foods–this is one sign of a negative reaction toward gluten or a sign of celiac disease.

Gluten only poses a fatal risk for celiac patients. If you do feel sick after eating products containing gluten, contact a medical professional in order to determine if you have celiac disease. This preventative measure helps save lives.

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