Naturopathy FAQ: Supplements & Gluten Free Diets
From the desk of Dr. Jacqueline S. Rho, ND… What does it mean for a supplement to be whole-food based?
For a supplement to be whole-food based, it has to be made from food. Whole-food based supplements provide a variety of nutrients (e.g. vitamins and minerals) in their natural state. I always prefer these over synthetically made supplements because they provide more bioavailable nutrients. When a nutrient is more bioavailable, it means the body recognizes it and uses it. Another advantage to whole-food based supplements is that the nutrients are present in a balanced state. A great example is Vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the most common nutrients available in stores and is present in several multivitamins. If vitamin C is taken in isolation, it can cause more harm than good. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, but it requires other nutrients like bioflavinoids to do its job. When we eat an orange or have 100% freshly squeezed orange juice, we are ingesting Vitamin C along with the other nutrients that help Vitamin C act as an antioxidant. Whole-food based supplements use food as the source of nutrients, being more effective and beneficial for our health.
What is a gluten-free diet?
A gluten-free diet refers to a diet void of a protein called gluten. Gluten is found in various grains, such as: wheat, spelt, kamut, barley, and rye. It is also used as a food additive and can easily be cross-contaminated with other grains and prepared foods. If a person needs to avoid gluten, it is important for him/her to know which foods naturally contain gluten and which are commonly contaminated with gluten. The increase in “gluten-free” labeled foods and “gluten-free” options in restaurants have made it much easier to avoid gluten.
When should someone go on a gluten-free diet?
It is essential for a person with Celiac’s disease to have a gluten-free diet. Celiac’s disease is a disease of the digestive tract that can cause stomach pain and even a rash. A gluten-free diet is pretty much the cure for Celiac’s disease. Who else should avoid gluten? People who have developed a food sensitivity to gluten should avoid gluten for a certain period of time. Naturopathic doctors are experienced in identifying and removing food sensitivities, and are able to determine how long one should avoid gluten.
Is a gluten-free diet a healthy diet?
The term “gluten-free” has become more popular in the media and in our food markets. Many people are going on gluten-free diets because they think it is a healthy for them. I always recommend to eat foods in moderation, including gluten containing foods, for the prevention of developing food sensitivities. If you don’t have Celiac’s disease or a known gluten sensitivity, a gluten-free diet is not necessarily the healthiest diet for you. There is more to a healthy diet than just being gluten-free. As more products are being labeled “gluten-free” and as more eateries are providing “gluten-free” options, the more likely you’ll consume more refined carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates lack nutrients and fiber, and can increase risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity. I teach all my patients what it means to have a healthy diet, whether it is gluten-free or not.
Dr. Jacqueline S. Rho, ND
Dr. Jacqueline S. Rho is a naturopathic doctor, specializing in preventative and family care medicine. She treats her patients as a whole, addressing the root cause of illness, rather than just the symptoms. Dr. Rho has a focus in women’s health, cardiovascular conditions, gastrointestinal disorders, and autoimmune conditions. She treats many other health conditions as she utilizes clinical nutrition, Classical Homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and functional medicine in an integrative approach to provide individualized health care. She has helped many with weight loss and detoxification, teaching her patients the lifestyle changes that are needed to improve their health and prevent disease.
Book online for any naturopathic service at our Boston location or contact OMBE for additional information. Dr. Rho is providing complementary 20 minute consults. Come in and discuss how she can help you today!