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NGF Digest 002: Holiday Tips and Recipes, Skin Care, Science News and Book Review
December 12, 2021

Welcome to December, AND welcome to Issue 002 of Naturally Gluten-Free Digest!

Thanks so much to our early subscribers who made the inaugural issue a success. I got so many kind and encouraging comments and I’m happy that you are enjoying it as much as I enjoy putting it together for you.

Go ahead and pass this along if you know someone who would benefit from info on living gluten-free and some of my best recipes.

Gluten-Free Skin Care:

With the frosty weather, do you find your skin pays the price? I’ve been doing some research so that you and I can both have the most up-to-date info on gluten and your skin. Believe it or not, with all we've learned about celiac disease in recent years, this topic is still controversial, which makes it hard to really know what to do. I’ve tried to give you everything you need to make informed decisions for yourself and to boil it down to what I think will be the most helpful. Check out my updated article and let me know what you think and how you approach skin care in the comments.

Gluten-Free Holidays

Are you stressed out about how to navigate the holidays? Even though our gatherings are smaller this year, I hope you’ll be able to share some time, some laughs and great food with loved ones and still feel relaxed and safe. Whether you’re the host or a guest, these tips for holidays and dinner parties will help.

Do like the traditional turkey or ham?

Or do you prefer to change it up a bit? My adult kids make the rounds to many branches of the family over the holidays and everyone kind of gets turkey’d out, so I usually try to to find festive alternatives. Sometimes it’s a mid-morning brunch centered around a glazed ham or a roasted peameal (Canadian bacon for my U.S. friends), or this year I’m thinking about doing my Herbed Pork Tenderloin with a Warm Cabbage Salad. This is so tasty and hearty to warm your insides and got rave reviews when I recently served it to guests. The Herbed Pork Tenderloin Recipe is in the link above, and the Warm Cabbage Salad will be up later this week so bookmark the page or add it to your RSS feed so you will get it as soon as it’s posted.

News From the Scientific Community

This month’s research was all about celiac disease and your skin. I mentioned in my website article linked above that, beyond dermatitis herpetiformis which is essentially celiac of the skin, people with celiac often report itchy sensitive skin, rashes etc.

A 2009 study entitled, Celiac Disease: From Gluten to Skin, investigated links between celiac and 23 different skin diseases including: eczema, psoriasis, alopecia areata, and chronic urticaria (hives) and found a positive correlation with many of them. This same research paper called out that many skin diseases seem to be characterized by dysregulation of the immune system and demonstrate a link between the gut and skin, calling it the gut-skin axis.1

The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation (CDHF) has also made the gut – skin association saying that inflammation that starts in the gut often manifests on the skin, as do vitamin deficiencies, especially of skin supporting nutrients like A, C, E, K3, B3, B3, selenium, zinc, silica, sulfur and omega-3 fats. Celiac disease can interfere with vitamin and mineral absorption which is likely to show up in a variety of symptoms, including skin issues.2

What does all this mean, beyond just being interesting. Here is what I take away:
• There is a link between the skin and celiac disease even though these links aren’t all proven or well understood.
• Anyone who is having chronic issues with their skin should be tested for celiac and regardless of the result, may benefit from a gluten free diet.
• Be sure to get all your vitamins and minerals and hydrate well.
• If you think anything is missing from your diet talk to your doctor or a dietician and consider taking a supplement.

What I’m reading

Last month I promised the full book review on A Hunter Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century. I hate to break promises, so here you go .
I also mentioned last month that I’d just started reading Food, Genes and Culture: Eating Right for Your Origins by Gar Paul Nabhan. He goes deeper into the notion of how the foods our ancestors ate interacted with their DNA and how ignoring that may be contributing to 21st century disease. Well, I had lens replacement surgery a few weeks ago so my reading was put on hold for a bit. This means I’ll have to get back to you on that one. Instead, I started listening to the audio book of the Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. It’s not about food at all so I won’t be reviewing it on the site, but it certainly is eye opening!

That’s all for this month.

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Talk to you in January.

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1. Abenavoli L, Proietti I, Zaccone V, Gasbarrini G, Addolorato G. Celiac disease: from gluten to skin. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2009 Nov;5(6):789-800. doi: 10.1586/eci.09.46. PMID: 20477697.

2. How does your gut health affect your skin? Canadian Digestive Health Foundation. (2020, August 10). Retrieved December 12, 2021, from

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