Celiachia- English Version: cereals, minor cereals and pseudocereals

Cereals – with about 500 genuses and nearly 5.000 species – are generally of the Gramineous Family.

As for most of the vegetable species there is a wide range with the same characteristics and/or different and well distinct properties from those of the other vegetable species, such as productive potential, adaptability, disease resistance and characteristics of quality.

From a nutritional point of view cereals are the best source of complex carbohydrates, predominantly starch, dietary fibre; as well as proteins, minerals and vitamins. Recent literature indicates that cereals make an important contribution in terms of phytocompounds such as phenolic acid, phenolic compounds (lignans, tannins), phytosterols (sterols, stenols), phytoestrogen and carotenoids (beta-carotene). (1, 2, 3, 4).

Historical overview……………..
Cereals have been cultivated for 10.000 years when man understood that their seeds could be easily stored for a long time. Moreover, cereals constituted an important food for humans because they are a good source of nutrients and they ready complement the scarcity of game.

The spontaneous collection of cereals was the first step towards cereal domestication, which spread during Neolithic helping with the first type of farming, the origin of Mediterranean civilisation in an area called the “Fertile Crescent”. There was also cereal domestication in the Middle East: Syria, Palestine e Kurdistan while its diffusion is linked to the migratory flow which reached the Mediterranean.

Why should we talk about cereals, minor cereals and pseudo-creals?

Cereals is a common term which indicates wide variety of plants cultivated by man in order to use seeds, seeds transformed in to flour and other products.
The pseudocereals are non-grass plants but very similar to cereals for cultivation, products and nutritional use. Buckwheat, quinoa and amaranth grain are some examples of them. Lastly there are the minor cereals. They are defined in this way because they are less common and they are only should cultivated in a few small regions of the world such as Eritrea, Ethiopia…..

Why celiac individuals be interested in all of these? Patients with celiac disease, as is well known don’t get along with cereals and therefor they are not allowed. Moreover celiac individuals have to remove all wheat-based cereal products from their diet. In fact it isn’t so only a few cereals have the storage proteins such as prolamins (gliadin in wheat, secalin in rye and hordein in barley), which at the time of re-hydration of flour and/or meal with water, will recombine to form the three-dimensional lattice of gluten. Gluten is an artifact!

The most important cereals used by man are durum, wheat, corn, rice, barley, sorghum, oats, millet and rye. Only corn, rice and sorghum are safe for celiacs. However if you want to increase your variety of food you can use pseudocereals. In fact buckwheat, quinoa and grain amaranth could be safely included in a gluten-free diet, because they are gluten-free. The variety increases greatly if you include the minor cereals. Panic, fonio (white and black), teff, teosine, leusine, coracana and lacrime di Giobbe are gluten-free and so recommended in the GF diet.

So “minor cereals and /or the neglected ones” are becoming the “cereals of the future”!
In particular fonio is an African cereal crop which has had a marginal importance. Its seeds are very small but are full of potential uses! How small are they? One gram of fonio conteins nearly 2000 seeds. They are only 1 mm long and 0.7 mm wide. We talked about fonio in a previous post and we presented as a super cereal.

Fonio has an interesting nutritional profile. It provides a good source of carbohydrates (55% wheat vs 60% fonio or tef) and proteins (12% wheat vs 10% fonio or tef). Moreover, it has a low concentration of lipids (2% wheat vs 1.9% fonio or tef). Another important consideration is that fonio has appreciable amounts of inorganic compounds such as iron (23-40mg in 100g vs 1.3mg wheat and 2.3mg corn) and copper (0.1-1.2mg vs 0.4mg wheat and 0.17mg corn).

Celiachia- English Version: dietary fibre

Some days ago we talked about salt and sodium. We will now talk about another phytochemical component: dietary fibre.

Why did we decide to talk about fibre? Because recently the study findings showed that often the GF diet and gluten-free products are usually low in fibre and vitamin B, calcium, vitamin D, zinc and magnesium, too.

Let’s take a closer look at component!

Continua a leggere

Celiachia – English Version: the salt

Già in passato avevo fatto dei tentativi per scrivere alcuni post in inglese….. Ora ripartiamo con convinzione!

Now we will talk about the salt and the sodium, two very important minerals for our health.

Salt – sodium chloride is the technical name- is an ingredient which has been known since the beginning of mankind. It used to preserve meat, fish and vegetables and to improve the taste of food. NaCl is the chemical formula: Na=sodium and Cl=chlorine, two minerals of crucial importance for our good health if used correctly. It’s very important to consume 6g of salt a day.

The World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) held its 2nd annual World Salt Awareness Week, from 2 to 8 February 2009 and focused on salt eaten outside the home. In Italy the Società Italiana di Nutrizione Umana (SINU) sponsored the same event and prepared some materials (i.e. leaflets, posters and brochures).

Now we will try to clarify somethings about salt. First of all… salt or sodium? Sodium is the most important part of salt but the two terms aren’t synonymous. The body needs a certain amount of sodium to function properly. Typically 0.4g of sodium is the concentration in 1g of salt.

Why is too much salt bad for you?
Many scientists, although not all, believe that when salt levels are too high there are:
– hypertension
– a greater risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
– a close relation with stomach cancer and H.Pylori
– a major cause of kidney stones
– a loss of hip bone density.
Moreover, epidemiological evidence suggests that the severity of asthma may be related to salt intake.

Continua a leggere

Coeliac disease – english


Before closing your traveling bag …… a T-shirt for all members of the family! Obviously gluten-free. Good shopping!

The cyber-hypocondriac suffer coeliac disease (CD), too.
The Italian dictionary acquires always new words and the CD it is more and more to the focus of the attentions not only of the doctors but also of the persons who are annoying on Internet.
From a telephone test survey from the Harris Interactive Institute it emerges that in the last two years the people who have frequently or occasionally looked for information on health has increased to 37% and in 2007 in USA they have reached 160 million.
Continua a leggere

Celiachia english version

Come promesso il secondo report settimanale in lingua inglese.

La celiachia in cucina: mangiare bene senza glutine, a book written by Pietro Semino. 200 pages to explode a myth: the kitchen without gluten is necessarily colourless, flavourless and monotonous.
The author demonstrates in contrary giving fanciful indications for the prescription realization easy, plates and mixture base. Not only, it enriches its publication with a glossary, an allowed directory of alimony and at last does not add suggestions on like making the expense and where to find modernized information.

Continua a leggere

Not only gluten-free english version

Da oggi inizia english version, un report – in lingua inglese – dei post della settimana. Speriamo di riuscire nell’impresa!

opinion of EFSA on Dietetic Products for person with gluten intolerance, on a request related to a notification on wheat-based maltodextrins, syrup of glucose and the alcohol distilled from cereals. It’s stated that the components based on wheat starch are not likely to trigger adverse reactions. This statement is based on the description of the manufacturing process which includes protein removal by active carbon treatment. The evidence of non-allergenicity allows to include all products in the gluten-free diet.

– a new and useful guide of Unione dei Commercianti di Prato (Toscana). In these guide old people and tourists will can find a list of exercises that they will remain opened during the summery period. From this year has been inserted new activity – all restaurants or hotels or B&B or pizzerie that belong to the network of Associazione Italiana Celiachia. You can find it here.

vodka, whisky, gin and other superalcoholic ones newly are admitted to the consumption. Alcoholic drinks added of aromas and other substances and the beer remain prohibited. All this comes justified supporting that the working process is such to guarantee the gluten absence also in the products not allowed to the celiac person.

Bennet offers some products gluten free. At the moment in Italy, 15 products are available by Pauly and DS Food. You can find pasta, wafer with chocolate, cracker and bread while in deep freeze there are Lasagne, Rosette, Pizza Margherita and IceCream Cones.

– an articleon The New York Times speaks about celiac disease.

– a biopsy of the intestine (before beginning a gluten free diet) is needed to make a final diagnosis (1). Before the diagnostic protocol of the ESPGHAN previewed three internal biospy. Today the protocol advices a single endoscopy with biopsy that allows to exceed the limits of the serologic testing, concur a differential diagnosis them in the cases of minimal lesions of intestinal mucosa, develop internatinal criteria for the classification of mucosal damage and at last is useful in order to decide the dietetic and therapeutic iter and the follow up in the subjects genetically predisposed.