Celiac Disease is an autoimmune condition that is popping up more frequently in both children and adult populations. Unfortunately, the cause of Celiac Disease is unknown, but it may be inherited from relatives who have the condition.

The disease stems from an immune system reaction to gluten, a protein found in foods containing wheat, barley, and rye. When gluten is consumed, the immune system battles with the protein and the result is damage to the small intestine. Your small intestine is a crucial part of the digestive system, and damage to it will affect the absorption of food and its nutrients.

Common symptoms of Celiac Disease include gas and bloating, weight loss, abdominal cramping, and chronic diarrhea or constipation. You should see your doctor if these, or any other unexplained symptoms, occur for proper diagnosis.

Those individuals who do have Celiac Disease need to avoid eating foods containing gluten. Fortunately, the food industry is more aware of the condition and creating gluten free products that can be found at your local grocery store! As a final note, always check the ingredients list to make sure the food product is indeed gluten free.

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/celiac-disease/celiac-disease-topic-overview

https://www.celiac.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=9

You might go to a supermarket and see many different labels for breads or flours, such as whole wheat, whole grain and multi-grain. If you are like most people, you think multi-grain and whole grain are interchangeable terms, but they are not.

Whole grain is the whole parts of a grain kernel, which includes the bran, germ and endosperm. The bran contains the fiber and vitamins. The germ includes vitamins A&E and phytonutrients. The endosperm has the majority of carbohydrates, proteins and vitamin B.

Multi-grain means the food contains more than one grain, although none of them may necessarily be whole grains. This means that you are not getting the benefits from all the parts of the grain.

Whole grains are the healthier choice because they include all of the nutrients from the grain. Whole grain means a whole part of any grain. Whole wheat means only wheat is used, and either term means that it is a good source of fiber vitamins and minerals. Stick to whole grain or whole wheat products to ensure you are receiving the maximum nutrients.

Sources

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/multigrain/AN02047

 

Fish are a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Their fats are mostly unsaturated and are a great source of omega three fatty acids.

Heath benefits:

Omega three fatty acids might prevent blood clots and irregular heartbeats that can lead to heart attacks or strokes. Adults who consume two servings of fish that are high in omega three fatty acids reduce their risk of sudden death and coronary heat disease (CHD). It is also a good source of protein, vitamin D and iron.

Mercury:

Fish also contain mercury; a naturally occurring heavy metal .One of biggest sources of mercury emission is from coal burning power plants (About 40 tons of mercury into the air a year). This emission makes its way to nearby waterways. In pregnancy, the mercury crosses the placenta and goes into the brain and nervous system of the developing fetus.

Fish contains many vital nutrients that are important for the mother and the fetus!  So it is important to incorporate fish into your diet even when you are pregnant.  However, avoid the following fish in order to keep mercury levels at a safe level.

Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel or  tilefish

Eat  albacore (6oz) tuna only once a week

Try to increase your intake of the following fish which are low in mercury:

       ·  Flounde                        ·  Herring

       ·  Pollock                         ·  Crayfish

       ·  Haddock                      ·  Salmon

       ·  Tilapia

Increase your intake of low mercury fish to ensure you and your baby are receiving adequate nutrients but avoid the high mercury fish.

Kale is gaining more and more attention from health enthusiasts- and for a good reason! Not only is kale delicious, it is loaded with the nutrients you and your family needs. Kale is rich in Vitamins A, C, and K which can contribute to a healthy immune system. The leafy green also contains potassium, iron, and fiber!

Kale can be cooked in a variety of ways. Here are a few recipes that will allow you to get your daily dose of this celebrity vegetable:

Kale Chips (it is scary how much these taste like actual chips!):

1 bunch kale

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

1.       Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2.       Using kitchen shears or just your hands, tear the leaves from the stems into bite size pieces.

3.       Wash the leaves thoroughly in a colander and pat dry.

4.       Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

5.       Bake until crisp, about 10-15 minutes

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/baked-kale-chips/

Kale Banana Smoothie:

2 cups kale

1 banana

1 cup ice

1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt

1 cup low fat milk

Directions:

1.       Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth!

http://kitchenability.com/recipes/breakfast-recipes/green-smoothie-kale-banana-smoothie-recipe/

 

Other Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/the-truth-about-kale

image: http://www.muranakafarm.com/products/kale.php