Following a gluten-free diet is helpful and even necessary for individuals with certain health circumstances. For those who do so, it is often recommended to supplement with particular vitamins and nutrients to make up for those who might be lacking in a gluten-free diet.
The Purpose of a Gluten-Free Diet
Gluten is a substance made up of two proteins found in bread and wheat. It is difficult for some people to digest, and can lead to mild and even severe health complications if consumed.
There are a few different reasons why someone might be compelled to follow a gluten-free diet. For instance, there’s celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder, that causes pain and digestive trouble when gluten reaches the lower intestine. The potential for this disease should incentivize someone beset with gluten-related issues to be food-conscious and, of course, avoid foods containing gluten, lest digestive problems arise leading to the development of worse health problems.
It is also possible for someone to have or develop a sensitivity to gluten, meaning that brain fog and bloating can occur when gluten is consumed. There is also concern among some dieticians that the digestive-resistant nature of gluten can cause “leaky gut,” an autoimmune response that can occur even in people who do not have celiac disease.
Supplements for Those with Gluten Sensitivity
Whether you know that gluten can affect you if you consume it, or if you just want to avoid gluten for the sake of improving your intestinal and overall health, certain additional dietary considerations need to be made. Many gluten-free foods are lacking in certain nutrients. This is often because they are not fortified with them, while many gluten-containing foods are.
The following supplements can prove beneficial for those on a gluten-free diet; that’s especially true for those with celiac disease. We recommend that you talk to a medical professional before taking any supplements for the first time.
Folate, also known as vitamin B9, can be of good use as an oral supplement beneficial to those looking to avoid gluten. The body needs a sufficient amount of folate in order to produce new cells. Those eating gluten-free are far less likely to get enough folate than others, because many gluten-containing foods are fortified with extra folate.
Probiotics are recommended for those avoiding gluten merely because of their benefits for the gut. Probiotics are particularly beneficial for those with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or any autoimmune condition.
Fish oil, which contains omega-3 fatty acids, is particularly beneficial for those avoiding gluten because it is gluten free, and these fats have a range of health benefits. Fish oil is most prominently recommended for its capacity to reduce inflammation.
Iron can be of particular benefit to those with celiac disease, because anemia is a common symptom of celiac disease. Iron is more common in fortified foods containing gluten than it is in most gluten-free foods (save for animal products and some beans).
Anyone avoiding gluten can benefit from bolstering their diet with an iron supplement.
A B-complex supplement can be helpful for those eating gluten-free. Studies have shown that those who avoid gluten are more likely to be deficient in B vitamins. This is because various B vitamins (besides folate) are more likely to be found in fortified gluten-containing foods than in many others. The B vitamins fill a long list of roles in the body, and supplementing with them can be beneficial for energy levels.
While avoiding gluten can be necessary, or merely helpful, for many people, it naturally means that one must be more conscious of their diet and nutrient intake as a whole. If you or someone in your family follows a gluten-free diet, then the right supplements can be a helpful and even a necessary addition.