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  • Melissa Reed

    Vitamin Deficiencies and Celiac Disease

    Melissa Reed

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Caption: Photo: CC--Steven Depolo

    Celiac.com 08/19/2014 - It is common for many people with celiac disease to have vitamin deficiencies. Eating a wide variety of foods such as meat, fish, eggs and vegetables can assist in with fixing those deficiencies. Children need vitamins to promote growth, development and good immune health. As adults we need them to prevent disease and stay healthy.

    Photo: CC--Steven DepoloFirst, including small amounts of free-range, grass-fed beef in the diet will help you recover from iron deficiency. Fresh fish may help lower cholesterol, as it contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Egg whites from free range hens are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Eating a balanced diet is the best way to receive the daily allowance of vitamins, rather than taking supplements, although many celiacs will also need to take supplements for some time to fully recover.

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    Next, vegetables supply vitamins and minerals, contain no cholesterol, and are low in calories. Vegetables that are colorful are very important in the daily diet. Bell peppers, broccoli and string beans are good sources of vitamin A. Fresh dark green leafy vegetables like kale are a strong source of folic acid, which assist in red blood cell formation. Spinach is full of vitamin D, Iron and Calcium. Vegetables are also high in complex carbohydrates and fiber. Try Romaine and dark leafy green lettuce for salads, as they will have more nutrients than Iceberg lettuce, which has a high amount of water and sodium.

    Last, what are some of the best methods for cooking food to keep the most vitamins and nutrients in them? Steaming vegetables can retain the majority of nutrients, while boiling them can overcook them and cause a loss of vitamins. Try to cook vegetables, poultry and fish without extra fat by steaming them over low sodium broth, instead of water. Another healthy alternative is to stir fry vegetables. Since stir fry uses a small amount of oil, it is a fast and low-fat method to cook meals. The best part about cooking with the stir fry method is that food will retain vitamins and flavor better, since it is a fast healthy alternative.
    Always talk with a doctor about dietary needs before making changes to your diet, and have your doctor test you for celiac disease before going on a gluten-free diet.

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    I have severe restless legs, and read that 34% of celiacs do. My grandmother had foot and leg problems and used to get B vitamin shots as she could not absorb some vitamins. I started getting B vitamin and magnesieum shots and it helped my restless legs a lot. I was able to take a lower dose of my restless leg RX. Walking several miles also helps my legs, but sometimes hard to find the time.

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    So happy with this article! I started a gluten-free bakery few years ago because of several celiacs in my family. Also Hashimoto, restless legs, burn out are an issue in our family. High quality food supplements did help several members of my family (me, my mom, my hubby) so I started distributing them myself. For me it's the perfect joint venture: gluten free bakery (nutrition) and food supplements (nutrition again). But lot of my clients don't see a link between auto immune diseases and nutrition. That's why I'm happy to read this article!

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    Spinach is NOT "full of vitamin D". While it is a good source of many things, vitamin D is not one of them. This article is (besides this misinformation) vague and poorly sourced.

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  • About Me

    Melissa Bess Reed has been living gluten-free after diagnosed with celiac disease in 1998, and Hashimoto Thyroiditis in 2012. Both autoimmune disorders require a gluten-free diet. Melissa is a Chef in California where the farm to table is popular cuisine. She has professional membership in ACF Chefs. She is a Certified Medical Assistant via an Associate of Science Degree. She graduated top of her class Alpha Beta Kappa, enjoys volunteering and is an advocate for awareness. Melissa has a Harvard Medical School CME Certification for Celiac Disease Gluten-Free Diet Education and a current TAMU Certification for Celiac Disease. Holds a Great Kitchens NFCA Gluten-Free FOH Training Certificate. Gluten-free cookbook author, food blogger and recipe developer. Owns a Gluten-free business.
    PHOTO CREDIT: Kelly Segre

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