Eat Wheat Again

Eight Ways to Restore Gut Health



5 second Studio/Shutterstock.com

The New York University Langone Medical Center recently reported that 74 percent of Americans experience some form of digestive distress, a quarter are obese and more than 100 million U.S. adults are pre-diabetic and don’t know it. While many blame such problems on eating wheat, some food scientists disagree, including those citing two major studies by Harvard researchers; following more than 100,000 people for 25 years, they concluded that those eating the most wheat compared to low-gluten folks had a 13 percent lower diabetes risk and no greater risk of heart disease.

While the standard American diet, which includes highly processed wheat, is likely responsible for many of these health concerns, plenty of science links a diet rich in whole grains, including whole wheat, to weight loss, better digestion and lower blood sugar. The Mediterranean Diet, replete with whole grains and wheat, is still revered as one of the healthiest-known diets. Centenarians that live in the famed “blue zones”, recognized for their longevity-enhancing environment and lifestyles, eat a non-processed, whole-food diet rich in whole grains and wheat.

Many Americans that are gluten-sensitive today digested wheat fine when they were young. At some point, our ability to digest foods that are a bit harder to digest, like wheat and dairy, became compromised. It’s possible to reboot.

Delete Processed Foods

The first step toward reestablishing digestive strength is avoiding all processed foods. A study in the journal Diabetes Care linked a processed food diet to a 141 percent increase in belly fat, high blood sugar and high cholesterol. It further showed that a diet of whole grains, including wheat, reduced the risk of these health concerns by 38 percent.

Monitor these ingredients to achieve a healthier diet.

• Avoid all added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Allow nothing more than six grams of naturally occurring sugar per serving.

• Avoid fried foods and baked goods made with refined cooking oils used to preserve them like bread, muffins, cookies, energy bars, most packaged foods and chips.

• Eat bread that’s only made of organic whole wheat, salt water and starter.

Restore Liver and Gallbladder Function

Highly processed vegetable oils are used as preservatives in most packaged foods, including bread. Processing these oils renders them indigestible. Linked to congestion of the liver and gallbladder, they disable liver bile so it can’t break down either good or bad fats, also making it insufficient to buffer stomach acids. Without adequate bile production to neutralize stomach acid, the stomach won’t produce the needed acid to digest proteins like gluten and the casein in dairy. This malady has effected a huge spike in gallbladder surgeries and epidemic levels of obesity, high blood sugar and food intolerances.

To boost bile flow, enjoy these foods daily:

• Eat one red beet and one apple a day—either raw, cooked, juiced or blended. Add celery and make a bile-flow smoothie.

• Consume one teaspoon of both coconut oil and high-quality olive oil per day.

• Eat more artichokes, bitter roots and leafy greens.

• Drink fennel and fenugreek tea with meals.

Strengthen Stomach Fire

Instead of taking digestive enzymes or a hydrochloric acid-based stomach acid pill, stimulate the stomach to make its own acid and the small intestine and pancreas to produce digestive enzymes. This is best done regularly with the following five spices:

♦ Use ginger, cumin, coriander, cardamom and fennel.

Studies published in journals such as Molecular Nutrition & Food Research and the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry suggest that when these five spices are used together—as a supplement, in cooking or to flavor food—they act as a total upper digestive reset. These five-star spices:

• Stimulate digestion

• Increase bile flow, pancreatic and small intestine enzyme activity, and fat and sugar metabolism

• Decrease H. pylori, an opportunistic acid-producing microbe, from adhering to the stomach

• Decrease gas and bloating

• Support optimal weight, microbiology health, growth of good gut bacteria and elimination

• Act as powerful free-radical scavengers

Following these simple steps of nutrition will set gluten sufferers on the right path to retraining the body to digest and enjoy wheat again.


John Douillard, a Boulder, CO, doctor of chiropractic and creator of the wellness website LifeSpa.com, is the former director of player development and nutrition advisor to the New Jersey Nets NBA team. He is author of the book Eat Wheat: A Scientific and Clinically-Proven Approach to Safely Bringing Wheat and Dairy Back into Your Diet. Learn more at EatWheatBook.com.


This article appears in the January 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Citizen Scientists Wanted

Science gathers data and knowledge that can lead to solving problems, making new discoveries and applying them to our everyday lives.

Gardening Asanas

Overdoing garden work can produce aches and pains, but by integrating yoga positions while planting and weeding, we can emerge pain-free after hours of being on our knees and bending.

Indigenous Wisdom

Indigenous elders from around the world meet together to pass down four sacred gifts of wisdom we would do well to heed.

Nature’s Remedies

Creatures in the wild ranging from microbes to elephants cope with parasites, pests and pain using natural substances; it all suggests why our preserving the natural world is good for us, too.

Healthy Climate, Healthy People

As the Earth slowly heats up, we’re being affected by rising allergens, disaster-related trauma and the increase in insects carrying dangerous diseases.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

Spiritual Leader Amma is Coming to Chicago

Mata Amritanandamayi, one of India’s foremost spiritual leaders and an inspiring humanitarian known globally as Amma (mother) for her selfless love and compassion toward all beings, will be visiting the Chicagoland area from June 20 to 22.

Community Center Offers Holistic Healing and Inspiration

INSIDE, a holistic and artistic community center, along with their sister organization, Inspire Massage, are connecting people with themselves and their community.

Chicago Tap Water Harbors Health Suspect Fluoride

The main, most well-known fluoride benefit comes from topical contact with the teeth, not ingestion.

AMMA Brings Hugs of Peace to Chicago Area

Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi—known as AMMA, which means “mother” in her native language—will hold five free events where all can experience her comforting embrace.

Terra Cotta Spaghetti Squash

Southwestern in sensibility, this makes a great alternative to pasta for kids and a complete, healthy meal for adults.

New Food Co-Op Opens in Oak Park

Sugar Beet Food Co-Op, located at 812 West Madison, in Oak Park, is now providing locally produced and organic food directly to the community.