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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
An Ayurvedic proverb states, “When diet is wrong, the medicine is of no use, when diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” Our bodies need the ability to properly digest food in order to maintain good health. With the increasing negligence of proper eating habits, as in eating three regular meals and sitting down to relax while one eats, and the frightening amounts of additives in all of our foods, not to mention the genetically modified foods and the over-processing of foods like dairy and wheat, it’s not surprising that the human body is losing its ability to properly digest foods like wheat and dairy. That doesn’t mean our diet should exclude these foods. Rather, it means we should further study the issue and find ways in which we can keep these foods in our diets without jeopardizing our digestive health and, consequently, our overall health.
It has become a fad in the last couple of decades (or more) to remove dairy and wheat from the diet, much like in the 1960s and 1970s when it was deemed beneficial to eliminate high cholesterol foods like eggs from one’s diet. There are some people who definitely have allergies to wheat and dairy and they should not try to eat these products, but, for most of the population, wheat and dairy, when included in our diet appropriately, can indeed be beneficial to one’s overall health.
John Douillard is an expert in his field. His recent book, Eat Wheat, takes away the myths surrounding wheat (gluten) and dairy. As he points out in his well-researched book, “The issue is not to banish wheat and dairy from your diet because they cause you sensitivity-related symptoms; the deeper issue here is that your digestion is compromised and weak, and that’s why you’re having trouble digesting these foods.” With that in mind, the author discusses the overall, very complex issues surrounding wheat, dairy, and the human digestive system.
Among the suggestions, exercises and even a few recipes, the author points out that historically humans only ate certain foods in the seasons that they were available, so foods like wheat should only be eaten in the fall and winter when the body can and will better digest it. Something so simple and yet overlooked in the contemporary context when one can buy and eat any food, any time of the year. This is a wonderful resource to help us better understand our bodies and our digestive system, with the ultimate goal of our better health. A very thorough guide to good digestion, even if we do decide to eat wheat and dairy.