Coeliac Australia’s 2021 Coeliac Awareness Week campaign will commence on the 12th March and will aim to raise awareness about Australia’s relatively low coeliac disease diagnosis rate. An estimated 80% of people with coeliac disease don’t know they have it, yet early diagnosis reduces the risk of long term health complications.
ION friend and practicing Nutritionist, Naturally Nicolette, has put together this article on the disease and provided us with a delicious recipe for gluten free Pesto Pasta!
This disease affects the immune system of an individual’s body due to an abnormal reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats leading to damage of the small intestine, where nutrients are absorbed. There is no cure for coeliac disease however it can be managed with a strict gluten free diet.
Approximately 1 in 70 Australians will be diagnosed with coeliac disease, affecting both men and women of all ages. To be affected you must be born with a genetic predisposition however it can develop any time through your life.
Diagnoses is via a blood test; due to specific markers in the blood able to reflect this. Intestinal biopsy and gene testing can also help to confirm if the disease is present.
Short term symptoms of coeliac disease vary person to person however the main affects include diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, bloating and gas as its main affects along with weight loss, nausea and vomiting. Long term symptoms include chronic inflammation and the struggle to absorb nutrients as required.
The main foods to look at for avoidance are baked goods, wheat-based pastas, certain sauces and spreads and processed foods. The food industry is constantly changing and adapting with gluten free alternatives now available across all areas. For example, gluten free bread or pasta is easily accessible in all supermarkets and now restaurants adding this option as well to support customers. If purchasing a product and unsure if it is gluten free the best thing to do is check the ingredients list.
Gluten Free Pesto Pasta Recipe
▫ 1 large bunch of basil
▫ 2 garlic cloves
▫ 1 tsp Himalayan rock salt
▫ Drizzle of olive oil
▫ Sprinkle of parmesan cheese (remove for a vegan option)
▫ 1/4 cup walnuts or toasted pine nuts
Blitz all the ingredients together in a food processor and leave aside
▫ 1 tbsp olive oil
▫ 2 cups gluten free spirals or penne – Barilla (available at most supermarkets)
▫ ½ fresh lemon juiced
▫ Homemade pesto
▫ 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced
▫ ¼ cup fetta
1. Cook pasta as instructed until al dente
2. Save ¼ cup of the salted pasta water, before draining the pasta
3. Stir through the pasta, the salted water, olive oil, lemon juice, tomatoes and pesto
4. Serve with salt and pepper and fetta