Two very common food allergies that children suffer from are gluten intolerance and lactose (or dairy) intolerance. Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat and it doesn’t break down very easily in our gut. Protease enzymes in our gut are effective at breaking down other proteins, but gluten is resistant to protease. This incomplete digestion process causes the immune system to treat gluten peptides, which are amino acids with large molecules, as potential invaders. This triggers certain immune responses. Regular consumption of dairy products may also cause digestive problems. Cow’s milk is not typically for humans and too much intake of dairy products may cause some rather unwanted effects.
With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of reducing or avoiding the consumption of gluten and dairy products from your child’s diet:
Gut Inflammation- inflammation is a common response to allergens. For some children, gluten is an irritant that causes inflammatory responses. Even for children who don’t have celiac disease, inflammation can still happen if there’s high level of amylase trypsin inhibitors in the GI tract.
Help for Autism- a gluten-free diet has been adopted by many parents in the autism community. Many say that, by eliminating gluten (along with casein, the protein in dairy) from their child’s diet, they were able to improve their child’s autism symptoms significantly.
Better Behaviour- children who avoid dairy products and gluten while eating a healthy diet have shown dramatic improvements in their overall behaviour. Many parents feel that a gluten-free and dairy-free diet is an alternative to prescription medications for many childhood behaviour issues including Attention Deficit Disorder and anxiety.
Improved Sleep- by removing both dairy and gluten from your child’s diet, you will often find that they have an improved sleep pattern. Children who avoid dairy products are able to fall asleep faster and sleep much deeper. When children awake more refreshed, they are able to learn and grow much more effectively than children who don’t get a good night’s sleep.
Reduced Childhood Obesity- children who eat a dairy and gluten-free diet have a reduced risk of becoming obese. With fewer carbs and saturated fats in their diet, children will feel much healthier and have more energy for exercise as well.
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