What is Gluten and Why Gluten-Free?

Today is National Gluten Free Day and "gluten" has become part of our vernacular in the past 7 - 10 years, but do we all understand what it is and it's importance? Let's dig in.

Gluten is a protein found in the grains wheat, barley and rye. Common foods with gluten include bread, pasta, pizza, crackers, tortillas, cereals, baked goods, waffles, pancakes, and some sauces (soy sauce, malt), among others. However, the number of gluten-free items that have hit the shelves has drastically increased, making a gluten-free lifestyle much easier. 

So why do people go gluten-free? 

To start, the biggest reason is because they have celiac disease. This is an autoimmune disease where the immune system negatively reacts to any gluten consumed, causing damage to the intestinal tract. It is a very serious disease and all gluten must be avoided. Additionally, there are people who are sensitive to gluten. This is often seen as stomach pain, bloating, gas, headaches, and even a skin rash. Researchers are not entirely sure why some people develop a gluten sensitivity while others do not, but it is thought that it might have something to do with the integrity of our intestinal walls, which are allowing the protein to circulate into our bloodstream. 

All of this is to say that, providing gluten-free foods is actually really important to people who have to live by this diet. Our Founder, for example, created the company ensuring that all products were gluten-free to help to cater to her lifestyle. She was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, Lupus, and by following a gluten-free diet, symptoms decreased and living with Lupus has been a bit easier. Amy is not alone in her journey and if you haven't read her story, we recommend you check it out. Plus you'll understand why we continue to do the work we do here at Cali'flour! 

These gluten intolerances are serious and often frustrating for those who are trying to just live their lives eating the most delicious food possible. But the good news is, products like ours started to help cater to those diets and those lifestyles to meet people where they are and allow them to partake in pizza night and not have to compromise on favorites like tacos, sandwiches, and more. 

Happy Eating! 

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