Coeliac Awareness Week

Last week was Ceoliac Awareness Week here in Australia, so we thought it was a prime opportunity to share with you some of our favourite delicious and totally gluten-free recipes!

What is coeliac disease?

Coeliac disease is a permanent autoimmune disorder that causes an intestinal reaction to the gluten found in wheat, barley, rye, and oats.  If someone with coeliac disease eats gluten the cells lining their small bowel will become inflamed and damaged, which restricts the bowel’s ability to absorb vital nutrients from food.(1) This can lead to deficiencies in vitamins and minerals and cause a range of significant health problems. While the disease is hereditary, there are a number of genetic and environmental factors that can also contribute. There are more than 200 symptoms of coeliac disease, with the most common being bloating and pain in the stomach, digestive issues like diarrhoea, vomiting and constipation, weight loss and fatigue. (2)

Coeliac vs gluten sensitivity

Gluten sensitivity is a term used to describe people who experience symptoms similar to those with coeliac disease but, when tested, don’t present the same antibodies and intestinal damage as those with the disease.(3)  For these people, eating a gluten-free diet may reduce their symptoms. However, there are other other conditions which could be at play and need to be considered, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), wheat intolerance, and malabsorption of fermentable sugars (FODMAPs).

Great gluten-free meals:

You don’t have to have coeliac disease, or even gluten sensitivity, to enjoy a delicious meal free from gluten. Here are a couple of our favourite recipes:

Chia & Zucchini Meatballs: Don’t let this classic pasta plate fool you, our version (created by @healthyfrenchwife!) is totally gluten-free and vegan.

Chocolate Chia Pudding: Call it breakfast, call it dessert, call it whatever you like – our chocolate chia pudding is super quick to make and (thanks to all that fibre from the chia) surprisingly filling.

Banana Raspberry Muffins Muffins without gluten, you say? Yep, you can do it. Hot tip: make a double batch of these at the start of the week and store them in the freezer – grab one in the morning on the way out the door and hey presto, a gluten-free afternoon snack will be thawed and ready to eat in time for those 3pm hunger pangs.

Balance is key

At The Chia Co, we believe in balanced, wholefood diets and that unnecessary food restrictions should be avoided as much as possible. If you think you’ve been experiencing symptoms related to coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity, speak to your doctor before adopting a strict gluten-free diet.