Gluten is the protein found in wheat. It gives wheat the elastic quality that helps it rise and keep its shape while making bread. It does so by creating a gluten network in the dough to trap carbon dioxide during fermentation. This causes the dough to rise and results in a chewy texture.
Over time, wheat varieties that have more gluten have been selected for cultivation. Foods rich in gluten are fairly acid-forming since it is not easy for our bodies to digest gluten. An acidic environment is created in the body which leads to a host of problems – fatigue, acidity, obesity, cancer, diarrhea to name a few.
Today, we eat a diet in which gluten forms a major component whereas our ancestors who ate wheat did so along with many other grains that did not contain gluten. Our bodies can process a little bit of gluten (not in the case of people with celiac disease who cannot eat any gluten) but not if wheat and wheat products become the staple in our diet. Most, if not all, processed food contain gluten – biscuits, noodles, pizza, bread, pasta, breakfast cereals. These foods are the mainstay of our diet today.
Millets are grains that do not have any gluten. Those who have experimented with rolling out ragi, jowar or bajra rotis will vouch for how much easier it is to roll out wheat rotis. However, this makes millets easy to digest and mildly acidic, if not alkaline. If your diet is rich in gluten, consider adding millets to your diet to help create a more alkaline medium in your body. This will go a long way towards improving your health.