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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Eat Like a Bird for Better Gluten-free Diet?

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 08/12/2013 - Here's a story that will likely interest many people living with celiac disease.

    Photo: CC--Lisa ConnollyTypical dietary grain options for people with celiac disease include gluten-free cereals like corn, rice, teff, quinoa, millet, buckwheat and sorghum.


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    Until now, canary seed was off limits for humans and used only as birdseed. That's because tiny hairs on the seed made it inedible for humans.

    Researchers looking to broaden dietary options for people living with celiac disease are saying that a new, hairless variety of canary seeds bred specifically for human consumption would make an ideal gluten-free cereal for people with celiac disease, according to a study published in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

    In the article, Joyce Irene Boye and her team describe research on a new variety of "hairless," or glabrous canary seed that they have verified as gluten-free.

    Boye also noted that canary seeds have more protein than other common cereals, are rich in other nutrients and are suitable for making flour that can be used in bread, cookies, cakes and other products.

    The promise of better nutrition and good flour for baking could appeal to many people with celiac disease.

    What do you think? Sensible? Too wild? Would you try canary seeds as a gluten-free food option? For baking?

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    I have never heard of canary seeds. Are they from the canary palm? Any form of new food not previously eaten by humans needs to be thoroughly tested, but I would certainly try it! Love trying new flours and if it made good bread or chips and was nutritious too, HOORAY!

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    I would LOVE to try it! I'm looking forward to the invention of this seed flour and cereal! My son and I are celiac and it gets hard to keep him interested with such small variety. This will be great!

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    I think it is really time for celiacs to give up on grains altogether. The more research that is done the more we find out that grains once thought to be okay for celiacs are not. Witness the finding that certain forms of quinoa can cause problems, and the more recent realization that certain proteins in corn can act in certain celiacs in the same way that wheat does. Researchers are finding more and more that the grain list considered to be okay for us contains grains that really are not at all okay.

     

    What to do? Be grateful that there are a wealth of squashes, yams, potatoes and vegetables that are delicious and health enhancing. Some of us may have descended from lines of hunter gatherers who ran into trouble when agriculture came along. The great irony of it all is that if you eliminate grains and start to feel better, you are also enhancing your options for a good body weight and many cardiovascular benefits.

     

    Canary seeds? Who made us so desperate for grain, any grain, that we would focus on a bird seed rather than dive into a gorgeous Japanese yam?

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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