Certain nutrient deficiencies are common in people first diagnosed with celiac disease, in particular iron, vitamin D, folic acid, calcium and zinc. The area these nutrients are absorbed in the gut corresponds to where damage is typically found with undiagnosed celiac disease. Once a gluten free diet is started and the gut heals, nutrients can be absorbed optimally again!
However, some effort needs to be made to ensure that you are getting enough nutrients from your food. Why is this not always easy?
- Commercially prepared gluten free foods are typically nutritionally lacking compared to the wheat based version of that food
- Whole grains tend to be lacking
As a dietitian, I encourage eating more whole grains. They are nutritionally superior to their processed version (i.e. brown rice vs. white rice) and are loaded up with B vitamins, fibre, minerals, protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and disease fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals. Whole grains have been linked to maintaining a healthy weight, gut health, reducing risk of certain types of cancers and diseases such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.Whole grains are nutrition power houses.
An easy whole grain to make? Brown rice!
The trick to making it taste fluffy and delicious? Cooking it properly!
Brown rice cooking tip: Bake it in the oven in a tight fitting casserole dish.
Perfectly cooked brown rice
1 1/2 Cups brown rice, rinsed
2 1/2 Cups water
2 Teaspoons butter
Dash of salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Boil water.
Rinse rice until water runs clear and add to medium sized casserole dish. Add the butter and salt.
Pour boiling water into casserole dish and stir well.
Cover casserole dish with lid or wrap with tin foil. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes.
Remove baking dish from oven and uncover. Fluff rice with fork, cover again and let rice stand for 5 minutes before serving.