Odds are favorable that either you or someone you know has eliminated gluten from their diet. For some people, it is a vital necessity because of celiac disease. Many without the condition often report feeling better when they eliminate wheat and items containing gluten from their diets. But is it necessary to completely eliminate wheat from our diets to feel better?
Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP (Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner), thinks otherwise. He is a globally recognized leader in the fields of natural health, Ayurveda and sports medicine. Over the past 30 years, he’s helped over 100,000 patients repair their digestive system and eat wheat and dairy again. He is the creator of LifeSpa.com and author of the book, Eat Wheat: A Scientific and Clinically-Proven Approach to Safely Bringing Wheat and Dairy Back into Your Diet, releasing this month (January 2017).
I found the book quite interesting because I am one of those people who often feel better omitting gluten from my diet. There are many points in the book that I totally agreed with Dr. Douillard, such as number 4 below in his suggestions for wheat consumption. Some things I am still not sure about, partly because I have a background in Western medicine (I’m a nurse), and he is an advocate of Ayurveda. I am not saying that he is wrong at all – I just need to do more research. Speaking of which, Dr. Douillard cites over 600 references throughout the book.
One of the things that he writes about that has really piqued my interest surrounds the lymphatic system in the brain: Researchers have found lymphatic vessels in the brain and central nervous system (CNS) that drain directly into the body’s main lymphatic system. Aside from the gluten issue, this fact could later show an association to Alzheimer’s disease.
In the book, Dr. Douillard explains how to reboot the digestive system through a dietary detox which helps flush congested lymphatics that are linked to food intolerance symptoms. He includes a recipe for Kitchari, an Indian superfood recipe that is a mixture of long grain rice and split yellow mung bean. It was designed to soothe and nourish the intestinal skin. I made the recipe and did find it surprisingly comforting. The dish is part of the detox that Dr. Douillard explains further in Eat Wheat.
- 1 cup split yellow mung dahl beans
- 1 cup white long grain rice (quinoa or millet can be used as alternatives)
- 8 cups water (or 4 cups vegetable broth and 4 cups water)
- 2-3 tablespoons of grass-fed ghee
- 1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (or 1 teaspoon freshly grated)
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder (or 1 teaspoon seeds)
- ½ teaspoon (or 1 teaspoon seeds)
- ½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds (or ¼ teaspoon powdered)
- ½ teaspoon brown or yellow mustard seeds
- 1 pinch hing, also known as asafoetida (optional)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 small handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- Rinse split yellow mung dahl beans and rice (or alternative) together a few times, until water is less murky.
- Toast the spices (optional): Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add spices and toast 2-5 minutes or until spices are fragrant and lightly browned, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Remove from heat.
- In a large saucepan, combine rice (or alternative), beans, water, and spices. Add 2-3 tablespoons of grass-fed ghee.
- Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until rice (or alternative) and beans are soft (at least 30 minutes, longer is ideal). If time permits, you can cook it longer by adding more water. Your goal is kitchari that is well-cooked and soupy.
- Garnish with salt and cilantro, and enjoy!
Recipe reprinted with permission from Eat Wheat by Dr. John Douillard, DC. CAP.
Click here for a printable version of the recipe.
I believe that Dr. Douillard provides a lot of information throughout the book that is worth examining, especially for those who are experiencing digestive difficulties that seem to be resolved when eating wheat.
Before you pick up your next loaf of bread, you might want to read the following suggestions from Dr. Douillard:
FIVE SUGGESTIONS FOR WHEAT CONSUMPTION
- Eat sourdough bread, which has been fermented. This can render the bread gluten-free.
- Make sure the ingredients of the bread you eat has only organic wheat, salt, water and a starter, with no added oils or sweeteners. If you do not recognize the ingredients, don’t eat them.
- Eat wheat in season allowing more to be eaten in the fall and winter when it was originally harvested, and less in the spring and summer.
- Make sure it is organic, as the pesticides and preservatives can damage the intestinal tract and set you up for weak digestion and intestinal inflammation.
- Try to eat your wheat in the middle of the day as part of your main meal. This is when digestion is strongest, so attempt to eat less wheat at night.