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Wheat Allergy

Wheat is a grass cultivated for its seed and cereal grain. It is a staple food throughout the world. Together, the multiple species of wheat make up the genus Triticum. The most widely grown is common wheat (T. aestivum).

The world production of wheat is 749 million tonnes as of 2016, which makes it the second most-produced cereal – maize being the first. As an important source of carbohydrates, it is the leading source of vegetal protein in food containing about 13% protein, which is high compared to other cereals. Wheat is a source of multiple nutrients and dietary fiber when eaten as the whole grain.

Gluten is the major part of wheat protein and can trigger coeliac disease, non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, gluten ataxia, and dermatitis herpetiformis in a small percentage of the population.

A wheat allergy typically presents itself after consumption or through contact. A wheat allergy involves immunoglobulin E and mast cell, like all allergic responses. Usually, the allergy is due to the seed proteins of wheat.

Wheat intolerance/sensitivity

Wheat intolerance or sensitivity is where a person presents digestive symptoms after the consumption of wheat products. This condition can still be uncomfortable and embarrassing for the individual, despite being a less severe condition than an allergy.

wheat graphic - Wheat Allergy

Nutrition

Wheat is quite a nutritious grain, containing vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folic acid, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, copper, and iron. It is also rich in dietary fiber. In bleached (white) wheat flour as much as 40% of the original grain is removed, including the bran and germ of the wheat, which are the most nutrient-rich parts.

Wheat-free grains are used to make wheat-free products, but can also be found in flour or flake form for baking and cooking.

Wheat-free grains

  Amaranth
  Barley
  Buckwheat
  Corn (or maize)
  Millet
  Oats
  Quinoa
  Rice
  Rye
  Sorghum

Wheat-free products include:

  Flour
  Almond
  Arrowroot
  Millet
  Brown rice
  Buckwheat
  Potato
  Coconut
  Cornmeal (maize)
  Garbanzo
  Oat
  Rye
  Sorghum
  Teff

Bread and bread products

  Almond
  Millet
  Brown rice
  Rye
  White rice
  Buckwheat

Replacing key nutrients when eliminating wheat

It is important to use alternative items in your diet when undertaking either a short or long term elimination diet to maintain nutrient balance.

Below good examples or nutritional alternatives when eliminating wheat:

B Vitamins

Grains

Oats, rye, buckwheat, brown rice, quinoa

Other

Brewer’s yeast, peanuts, mushrooms, soybean flour and soybeans, split peas, pecans, sunflower seeds, lentils, cashews, chickpeas, broccoli, hazelnuts, peppers

Vitamin E

Spinach, kale, broccoli, Swiss chard, turnip greens, collards, avocado, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, sunflowers seeds, prawn/shrimp, crayfish, salmon, smoked salmon, swordfish, herring, trout, olive oil, sunflower oil, sweet potato, squashes, kiwi, mango, peach, nectarines, apricots, guava, raspberries, blackberries

Calcium

Watercress, kale, broccoli, low-fat mozzarella, low-fat cheddar, yogurt, pak choi, tofu, sugar snap peas, almonds, tinned sardines in oil with bones, tinned pink salmon.

Magnesium

Grains

Buckwheat, rye, millet, brown rice, quinoa

Other

Kelp, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, peanuts, walnuts, tofu, coconut, soya beans, figs, apricots, dates, prawns, corn, avocado, spinach, kale, broccoli, Swiss chard, turnip greens, collards

Manganese

Grains

Rye, oats, brown rice, barley, quinoa

Other

Mussels, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pecans, lima beans, chickpeas, aduki beans, lentils, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pineapple, spinach, kale, tofu, soybeans, sweet potato, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries

Zinc

Grains

Rye

Other

Spinach, beef, lamb, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cashew nuts, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, pork, chicken, chickpeas, mushrooms

Iron

Grains

Rye, oats

Other

Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chicken liver, oysters, mussels, clams, cashews, pine nuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, beef, lamb, lentils, white beans, soybeans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lima beans, spinach, Swiss chard, kale, dark chocolate

Selenium

Grains

Brown rice, rye

Other

Brazil nuts, mushrooms, shrimp, sardines, oysters, tuna, sunflower seeds, liver, eggs, beef, turkey, cottage cheese

Copper

Grains

Rye, oats

Other

Sesame seeds, cashews, soybeans, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, tempeh, garbanzo beans, lentils, walnuts, lima beans, liver, spirulina, dark chocolate, collard greens, Swiss chard, spinach, kale

Phosphorus

Grains

Brown rice, oats, rye, quinoa

Other

Chicken, turkey, pork, liver, sardines, scallops, salmon, mackerel, crab, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews

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