Grain Addiction: Why Is Bread So Addictive
It’s often stated offhandedly that wheat is addictive. And absolutely, wheat for many people feels like something they could never give up. I hear it all the time: “I couldn’t live without bread.” “What would I do without cereal, dinner rolls, toast…..” And whaet is often the main culprit in the sugar/insulin roller coaster that drives sugar burners to need to eat (more wheat) every few waking hours? But is wheat addictive in a different sense – as an opiate like heroin and other drugs? Today I take a look at the research and attempt to separate fact from fiction. What do we really know about wheat as an opiate? Let’s find out…
Is grain addictive in a different sense – as an opiate like heroin and other drugs?
One of the most startling discoveries about grain is their effect on brain function. The blood-brain barrier is compromised of a group of cells that cluster together tightly, selectively allowing some substances to enter the brain while keeping other substances out. But the blood-brain barrier doesn’t always do its job. Zonulin keeps the cells of this barrier separated in much the same way as it keeps the cells separated in the mucosal lining of the intestine. What happens if foreign particles penetrate this barrier?
After eating pizza, pastry or a sandwich, one can feel dopey, brain-fogged, or even drunk (as though from alcohol). Wheat and some other grains contain proteins called exorphins that attach themselves to the opiate receptors in the brain. Thus, these grains have a narcotic-like effect on the person who consumes them. A single protein structure of gluten contains at least five distinct opioids. “Although exorphins are less potent [than morphine], . . . there can be little doubt that such a plentiful supply [of foods containing grains] has helped shape the Western diet,” write Braly and Hoggan. “Exorphins may be the determining feature of what we now call ‘comfort foods.” This is why it’s common for people to develop cravings for bread, cakes, donuts, pastries, pies, or breakfast cereal. However, what at first might be a mere “craving” can soon escalate into an addiction to grains, especially wheat.
It’s hard to be aware of the depth and scope of wheat addiction in American life since products made of wheat (and some other grains as well) are so prevalent. Since the gluten-derived exorphins can attach themselves to any part of the body, they also interfere with the action of the body’s natural “killer” immune cells, and incapacitating the microbes that threaten our health. This is why some people with gluten sensitivity are much more susceptible to infectious diseases, including cancer.
Wheat intolerance and Dairy Intolerance
Significantly, research shows that 50% of gluten-sensitive people are unable to handle dairy products. True, the research does not distinguish between commercial and raw dairy; and raw milk is seldom the subject of contemporary studies anyway. But chances are, if a product contains wheat, it will also be eaten with, or contain, commercial (non-raw) milk, cream, and/or butter. The same receptor sites in the body accommodate the proteins from both grain and dairy.
“Gluten grains and dairy products,” report the authors of Dangerous Grains, contain morphine-like substances that affect behavior, cause learning difficulties, change emotions and moods, and cause or worsen neurological diseases. These food-derived drugs even alter how our immune systems work.”
Adding to a wheat item not only dairy but sugar can make the food especially lethal. Perhaps it’s no accident that the most ubiquitous junk food in the United States is pizza — made with wheat, adulterated dairy, and nightshade vegetables. And favorite desserts tend to be made from wheat, dairy, and sugar.
Detecting Wheat Intolerance or Allergy
A few select (and expensive) blood tests can detect the presence of specific antibodies to gluten in the blood. Some people can tell immediately that they have a negative response to gluten, due to symptoms that may include brain fog, digestive disturbances (bloating and constipation), weight gain (possibly related to bloating) that is extreme and sudden, sleep disturbances, or alternations of mood. However, others may have a difficult time discerning that grains are problematic, as the symptoms are not obvious until the foods have been avoided for a month or even longer. It should be noted that a nursing, gluten-intolerant child, who is obtaining milk from a wheat-eating mother, will receive the offending proteins through the milk — and will react as though he/she has eaten the actual wheat. Childhood allergies and food intolerances, which can develop due to the detrimental materials in the mother’s milk, often manifest as colic and other digestive disturbances, crankiness, and sleeplessness.
Other Forms of Wheat Intolerance
Some people are sensitive to more than just gluten ingestion. One man reported inhaling the dust from wheat flour in a bakery, and suffering extreme gluten reactions. Some people react if they touch materials containing gluten. Several
building material companies, in the admirable attempt to use alternatives to formaldehyde-ridden particle board, are manufacturing something called wheatboard, which is made of recycled wheat chaff. Although free of toxic chemicals, and stronger and more moisture resistant than comparable materials, the board can be highly toxic to gluten-sensitive individuals. Clearly, gluten is becoming more of a problem than anyone could have realized even 10 years ago.
Repairing the Damage from Gluten
Some sourdough bread bakers claim that people can digest grain proteins if the bread sits long enough for the proteins to break down completely. They make their bread the old-fashioned way by fermenting the dough for over 24 hours. But while pre-digestion undoubtedly helps, the proteins still may not completely break down — as many gluten-sensitive individuals confirm. Why spend energy and time to manipulate something that’s inherently unfit to be ingested in the first place?
Some people opt for expensive (and sometimes inconclusive) testing for the precise antibodies their systems produce in response to allergens or antigens. They may want confirmation of what they already sense, or (more often) they hope they’re wrong so they can continue to eat what they want. But is a fleeting taste worth the long-term risk?
The best way to allow the body to heal is total avoidance. It takes a minimum of two years to repair the damage to your gut. And after your gut is repaired, the best way to maintain your new found health is to continue to avoid gluten and eat nutrient-dense foods rather than dangerous grains.
What can you do besides abstinence? Digestive enzymes are key, since the damage began in the digestive tract. People who are ill, as well as individuals over 35 or 40 years old, are routinely advised by holistic health practitioners to supplement their diet with amylase, catalase, protease, lipase, hydrochloric acid, and beneficial flora. Eating aloe vera, and small amounts of edible clay (such as calcium bentonite) with meals, can also help heal the digestive tract.
If you have autoimmune damage, an even bigger repair job awaits you. You may suffer from heavy metal or fluoride poisoning, or need to repair your liver; so see a qualified holistic medical professional.
The good news is, often even serious medical conditions can completely heal if you avoid dangerous grains and other unsuitable foods. Once you feel better, you will see that dietary restrictions are a small price to pay for such a huge improvement in your health and well-being.
-NENAH SYLVER, Phd
How NAET helps to get away from grain addiction or any kind of addiction
NAET offers the prospect of relief to those who suffer from addiction and allergies by reprogramming the brain to perfect health. Just like rebooting a computer, we can reboot our nervous system through NAET to overcome the adverse reactions of brain and body.
To fully understand NAET, one needs to know some Oriental medical principles since NAET is developed from Oriental medical theories and techniques among others. NAET has taken the acupuncture and Oriental medical theories and developed a technique that can eliminate the reaction from the root.
Addictions can definitely cause illness. Continuous contact with an allergen produces toxins in the body and causes blockages in the meridians. If these blockages are not cleared, reactions to the allergens often produce symptoms that mimic other diseases.
With NAET, the allergy test is done by way of muscle testing (kinesiology). An energy vial of the substance is placed in your hand while you are muscle tested. A weak reaction will indicate that this substance needs to be treated through Acupressure. On the following appointment, the first allergen will be retested and strengthened if necessary. Afterwards the next item on the NAET Basic protocol is checked and if found weak, it will be treated. NAET Protocol will be strictly followed. The purpose of this process is to improve a person’s immune system. There are 15 to 20 items in the basic protocol that should be tested.
By clearing foods from the basic protocol, we strengthen the immune system, improve digestion and absorption. This allows the body to get the necessary nutrients, which are essential for life.
One allergen is cleared per visit. Each individual has a different genetic makeup and health history so the number of sessions required varies from one individual to another. For some people, allergens are cleared immediately however, for others it may take many sessions to accomplish the desired results.
EIGHT YEAR-OLD SON’S WHEAT-GLUTEN ALLERGY
Eight-year-old Don complained of having a stomach ache every day for six months. He became very, irritable at times His parents noticed how his personality was changing. he was becoming antisocial, refusing to go out and play with other children. he stayed home when he was not in school. he did not do his schoolwork or homework and began to get poor grades. his teacher reported that he was turning into a loner. His parents were called to the school many times because of his problems. They took Don to the Pediatrician, after administering a battery of test he was diagnosed as having ADHD.
One of his mother’s friends, whose son was successfully treated in our office for celiac disease, had similar symptoms and behavioral problems initially. He became normal when the celiac disease was under control by treating with NAET. She referred him to us. Don was examined by NTT and found to be allergic to 18 basic groups of foods from the NAET list. His treatments were very successful until he reached the grain mix. He failed grain mix three times. He was highly allergic to the wheat and gluten in the mix, which caused him to fail the treatment. His strange behavior and stomach ache were under control when he passed the treatment for a grain mix.
Mala Moosad R N., L.Ac., Ph.D.
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