Like gluten, corn - and its many derivatives are in everything. And I do mean - EVERYTHING.
From packaged foods to dairy products and chewing gum. It’s even in so many of your favorite household, health and beauty products -- toothpaste, aspirin, perfume, shampoo and makeup?!
Ever get a hint of popcorn when you lick an envelope to seal it? Yep, corn’s in the adhesive strip too. (told you, EVERYTHING!)
Just take a look at the ingredient list of most packaged or processed foods, and you’ll surely recognize a few sources of it: cornstarch, corn oil, and the often-vilified - high-fructose corn syrup, also known as glucose-fructose.
Similar to how gluten is sometimes camouflaged by other names (like ‘malt’ and ‘durum semolina’), corn can also hide by assuming other identities such as dextrose, dextrin, modified starch, ascorbic acid, and cellulose.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, even when corn is not actually in the food, it’s used in plastic containers that hold our food. For real?!
Ok, but what’s really wrong with corn?! C’mon - a plate of nachos at the pub, fresh corn on the cob, hot buttered popcorn at the movies...?!
Although corn is often referred to as a “healthy” food, just like gluten, it can cause a leaky gut. Wait, what...a gut that leaks?
If your intestinal wall is damaged, thinned, or has gaps in it – known as impaired intestinal permeability, the breakdown and absorption of the food you eat is also impaired.
Partially digested compounds, bacteria, and chemicals that shouldn’t be absorbed can quite literally “leak” across the intestinal membrane and into your bloodstream.
This is because the protein in corn - zein, can look like gluten to a person’s body, and those who are already sensitive to gluten can “cross-react” to corn.
And then there’s high-fructose corn syrup (HCFS)...75% sweeter than sugar and cheap to make.
But, as we mentioned, corn and its derivatives (much like gluten) have made their way into everything, especially when it comes to processed foods - which are designed by food manufacturers to be tasty, yet cheap. This includes our unassuming salad dressings, innocent pasta sauces and dip-worthy condiments - that we love to dunk our corn tortilla chips in!
Here’s the thing: even if you’re diligent about avoiding packaged foods and generally stick to a regime of whole fruits, veggies, and some high quality animal products...corn can still sneak into your otherwise healthy daily diet!
Just remember this: what you eat also eats! So, unless an animal food product is certified as “grass fed”, most poultry and livestock are fed corn - which is usually GMO too.
If you're still experiencing health issues or symptoms of a poorly functioning digestive system after removing gluten from your diet, consider that corn could be the new ‘gluten’.
Making just a few small changes in your health routine can bring about a big, positive impact. Why not try reducing the amount of corn in your life?
It may sound a little weird, but why not try this easy “corn-free” DIY Calming Body Powder recipe? Every little bit helps and it’s so silky smooth on your skin right after a bath. Talk about self care!
So I'd love to hear what you think, “Is corn safe to eat for those with gluten sensitivity?”
DIY Calming Baby/Body Powder (cornstarch & baking soda-free
Makes about ¼ cup – recipe can be doubled or tripled for larger amounts/frequent use.
2 Tbs white kaolin or bentonite clay
2 Tbs arrowroot powder
6 drops of your favorite essential oil -- suggested: 3 drops chamomile + 3 drops lavender essential oils for use with babies; up to 15 drops for use with adults.
Other essential oils – If using on adults, experiment with other essential oils that are appropriate for skin/topical use; suggestions: rose, geranium, vanilla, sweet orange, ylang ylang, frankincense, lemongrass, sandalwood, or patchouli.
In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients and stir carefully, trying to keep dust down.
Drip essential oils on top of dry mixture, then stir gently to combine - again, trying to keep dust down.
Transfer by teaspoonful to a shaker bottle (a clean spice bottle with shaker top works too).
Always shake a small amount into your hand before applying to baby or body, and not directly (potentially hazardous and also messy!).
Here are some interesting sources, just in case you want to know more:
Think living a long and healthy life well into your nineties or even one hundred years old is only for those lucky few who hit the genetic lottery? Think again.
Lifestyle factors, i.e. the things you do everyday over the long-term – can add up to increase the number of quality years in your lifespan.
Look no further than the people of Blue Zones for proof of how powerful everyday habits are when it comes to staying healthy for the long haul.
The Blue Zones are regions around the world where people have very low rates of chronic disease and live longer compared to other populations.
They are located in regions of Greece, Sardinia, Costa Rica, Japan, and California, where a large number of Seventh Day Adventists reside.
Because these communities are home to the greatest number of people who live healthfully into their nineties and even hundreds, researchers have studied them to determine just how they age so healthfully.
Do you have to live in an actual Blue Zone to guarantee longevity? If not, you can adopt some of the well-studied lifestyle traits of these folks to promote health and longevity right where you are.
Here’s the top 5 life “hacks” of the world’s longest living people:
You don’t have to become a strict vegetarian or vegan, but it’s important to eat a variety of plant foods daily - they contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and powerful antioxidants that help decrease inflammation and protect you from chronic disease, like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
A simple rule of thumb is to fill half your plate with vegetables at every meal. Yep, every meal!
Getting enough omega-3’s helps decrease disease-causing inflammation and keeps your heart and brain healthy.
Eating enough fat also keeps you feeling fuller longer, which can help prevent overeating that leads to weight gain - bonus!
Blue Zone communities avoid overeating and eating beyond feelings of fullness, which again, can help prevent weight gain.
Of course, moderation is key. Four ounces of wine is considered a glass and drinking more than that is associated with negative health effects. Also, choose a red wine that is organic. The grapes of many non-organic wines are heavily treated with pesticides and other chemicals that also show up in the wine.
Lack of physical activity and prolonged sitting is linked to weight gain, obesity, and increased mortality. Be sure to look for opportunities to add movement into your regular routines.
You might try:
The world’s longest living people live active lives that include daily physical activities, like gardening, walking, and manual tasks.
Beans are a daily staple among the world’s longest-lived peoples, in all five blue zone regions, so stock up on red beans, chickpeas, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, and all other beans and pulses and enjoy this recipe.
Mediterranean Bean Salad
1. Combine beans, cucumber, pepper, onion, tomatoes, and olives in a large bowl.
2. In a small bowl or sealed jar with a lid, whisk or shake together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper.
3. Toss salad with dressing and enjoy at room temperature or refrigerate unused portions.
I'm sure you've heard a lot about juicing and green smoothies, especially with the celery juice trend happening right now. Have you ever wondered if there are any notable differences between juicing and blending, and what those differences could be?
With juicing and smoothies, the similarities are simple...they’re both healthy ways to get in more fresh nutrients from fruits and vegetables. The key differences are how they're prepared.
Juicing separates the indigestible fibers from the juice itself. This helps your digestive system avoid strain so it can focus on absorbing the benefits of the nutrients left in the juice. These nutrients absorb very rapidly into your body, faster than you’d get from eating the same fruits or veggies you put into your juice. If you have problems with fiber irritating your digestive system, then juicing is a great way to get what you need.
With smoothies, you use your blender to pulverize your produce whole. You use the entire fruit or vegetable and all its fiber. The blender helps break down the fiber for easier digestion and makes smoothies a good choice since they don’t cause a spike in blood sugar. They’re fast to make and ideal for replacing a meal because they’re quite filling.
To get the full benefits from your juice or smoothies, there’s something very important to know...
Drink them immediately
When you blend or juice, you get the most nutrients from drinking it as soon as you make it. It's ideal to consume within 15 minutes, before those essential nutrients you’re trying to provide your body with begin breaking down from contact with the air and light.
Pack your produce into a sealed mason jar the night before so you can simply dump and make your fresh juice or smoothie first thing in the morning without any preparation. This will be the fastest way to get the freshest, most nutrient-dense juice or smoothie on your way out the door.
Get the right equipment
The differences indeed are a bit subtle, and both require the right equipment to make it happen. If you prefer juicing, find yourself a quality juicer.
Most people have a blender in their home, but if yours is a bit subpar, replace it with a top-of-the-line model, and you’ll be amazed how much better your smoothies are. I use a Vitamix, and in my opinion, it's the best. However, I also occasionally use the Nutribullet; it's not as powerful as the Vitamix, but it's does a good job at blending and it's just a fraction of the cost.
So, what's the verdict? Do you prefer juicing or smoothies?