At Healthy and Delicious, our aim is to give our customers the opportunity to enjoy delicious, beautifully fresh food with friends or family, safe in the knowledge that they won’t be susceptible to the side effects which are commonly associated with gluten-rich menus.
Although the Healthy & Delicious team are not all strictly gluten-free, we’ve all (to various degrees) experienced the less than pleasurable symptoms of overindulging in wheat-based products. Louisa (the founder of H&D) has opted for a completely gluten-free lifestyle because in the past, wheat intolerance was causing her severe illness - and now she’s never looked back.
When the idea of launching Healthy and Delicious first came about, Louisa was a one-woman gluten-free research machine - becoming well informed on the science and holistic facts about eating gluten as well as learning the extensive range of benefits to be gleaned from reducing or omitting it completely,
In case you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, or you’re just thinking that your gluten-related knowledge is a little hazy, here’s the Healthy & Delicious concise guide to gluten:
Gluten gives products like bread and pasta the chew-ability and elasticity we’re all so familiar with. It’s part of a protein found in various specific grains - wheat (including wheat varieties like spelt, kamut, farro and durum, plus bulgar and semolina), barley, triticale (which is a hybrid of wheat & rye), rye and barley. There is also a particular type of gluten protein in oats, which around 1 in 5 coeliacs are intolerant to.
Gluten may cause sensitivities or allergies because it can damage the villi in the small intestine - the finger-like projections which line the gut and absorb nutrients. Not only can this damage affect the intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients, it can also create or exacerbate other health issues.
For some, gluten poses no notable problem but there are three generally recognised types of gluten intolerance:
1. A wheat allergy is when the body’s immune system becomes sensitised and over-reacts to gluten. It’s a classic food allergy affecting the skin, gastrointestinal tract or respiratory tract.
2. Coeliac disease is where the immune system mistakes substances found inside gluten as a threat to the body and attacks them, in turn mistakenly attacking healthy tissue. Coeliac disease isn't an allergy or an intolerance to gluten and the onset of symptoms is usually gradual and ongoing.
3. Gluten sensitivity is when both allergy and coeliac disease have been ruled out through diagnosis but sufferers experience particular recognised related symptoms nonetheless.
There is a long list of symptoms associated with gluten intolerance, ranging from bloating and gassiness, constipation or diarrhoea, irritability or depression to joint pain, skin rashes and mouth sores. Some coeliac disease sufferers can even experience life-threatening symptoms like extreme weight loss or anaemia.
There are many possible benefits to ditching the gluten. In addition to improving or eradicating the above symptoms, people on a gluten-free diet report that their skin improves and skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis show improvement. This in part may be due to the inevitable switch to less processed foods that comes with a gluten-free diet but an increasing number of people are entirely confident that cutting the gluten is key to feeling healthier, more energised and better all round.
If you have plenty of time (plus a culinary inclination) there are plenty of ingredients and recipes available that are gluten-free, delicious and healthy. However, maintaining a healthy, tasty gluten-free diet ongoing and for the long term can be a challenge, particularly if you’re also trying to provide meals for the family or meals for you and your friends to enjoy together. That’s where we come in. We can deliver Healthy and Delicious Italian food, scrumptious puddings and beautiful canapés straight to you, and they’ll perfectly suit the kind of social occasions which can be a catering challenge for those following a gluten-free lifestyle.
For the full Healthy & Delicious menu - just click here.
Please pop back to the blog in the next week or two to read more.