As we know, not all foods can be ingested by everyone, and a grain-free diet is a great example of this. The team of holistic pediatricians at CentreSpringMD [A1] may encourage you to consider a grain-free diet for your children, but only under certain circumstances. Recently, there has been a rise in food allergies, food intolerances (sensitivities), and diagnoses of auto-immune diseases in children. As a result, implementing a grain-free diet can rectify gut-related issues and reduce inflammation, but it may not be the best choice for your children.
Let’s explore the pros and cons of putting your children on a grain-free diet to determine if it is the right choice for your family.
Grains and More: Testing for Food Allergies and Sensitivities
Before cutting out any foods containing essential nutrients, vitamins, proteins, and fibers from your children’s diets, there should be a medical determination for doing so, as a lack of certain foods can be detrimental to their growth and development.
Do your children complain of discomfort or digestion issues after they consume grains? Have they experienced bloating, abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, headache, weight loss, or more? These symptoms could stem from food sensitivities or allergies to grains (1). There may also be deeper health issues present such as Crohn’s Disease, Colitis, or other auto-immune disorders.
To determine the cause of these symptoms, schedule your children for a food allergy and intolerance test or have other lab work done before deciding if a grain-free diet is the best option for them.
The integrative and functional medicine team at Atlanta’s top health and wellness center, CentreSpringMD, will know exactly what lab work your child needs.[A2] Most importantly, they are mom-approved doctors (2).
Schedule an appointment now with one of our expert physicians.
What is a Grain-Free Diet and Why Follow It?
A grain-free diet is one in which your children do not consume foods that contain grains (3) including:
- Bulgar wheat
- Wild rice
While it may not be easy to keep your children on a grain-free diet, it could be extremely beneficial to their overall health and wellness.
The Pros and Cons of a Grain-Free Diet
- Gluten is a protein in wheat that can be hard for your children to digest, causing abdominal cramping, gas, bloating, headaches, and other digestion issues (4). Putting your children on a grain-free diet can reduce or eliminate these concerns.
- Children diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder, such as Celiac Disease, can significantly reduce inflammation by cutting out grains.
- Inflammatory foods, especially processed grains, can lead to swelling of the joints and pain throughout the body. A grain-free diet may correct these issues.
- Studies have shown that children without auto-immune disorders or gluten allergies can damage their gut cells by consuming gluten (5). This is due to the complexity it takes for the human body to break down gluten. As a result, a grain-free diet can improve their gut health.
- Are you considering implementing a grain-free diet for your children solely because of gluten intolerance or allergies? Some whole grains are naturally gluten-free, such as steel-cut oats, buckwheat, and quinoa. [A3] Therefore, a grain-free diet may prevent them from getting certain nutrients they need.
- Choosing a diet rich in whole grains instead of cutting out grains can be extremely beneficial. Refined and processed grains are stripped of valuable and essential nutrients for growth and development. Whole grains contain many important elements for a healthy diet (6).
- Fiber, protein, and healthy fats (3 core factors of any healthy meal)
- Vitamin E
Receive Testing and Nutritional Counseling at CentreSpringMD
What should you do when you think a grain-free diet is not right for your children, but there are gut issues present? Are you having trouble deciding if cutting out grains is the right choice for your family?
Schedule an appointment today with the integrative pediatric physicians at CentreSpringMD. Our doctors will provide your children with an in-depth consultation to get to the root of their discomfort and symptoms. There are a variety of supplements and treatments available such as IV drip therapy, nutritional counseling, and more to help your children achieve optimal health and wellness.