Spices have been used for thousands of years to enhance the flavour and taste of food. They are invariably added to EVERYTHING. From sauces and curries to chutneys and jams, food wouldn’t taste the same without spices. However, food habits are fast changing. So is food sensitivity within populations.
Coeliac disease is one of the most common digestive conditions where sufferers are hypersensitive to gluten. A gluten free diet is the only treatment for the condition. With spices being used in all our meals, they could inadvertently and collectively contribute to a daily gluten intake.
While individual spices do not contain high levels of gluten, spices can sometimes be adulterated with wheat flour or wheat starch to reduce cost. Also, depending on how the spices are processed and packaged, cross-contamination with a gluten source is possible. Additionally, poor manufacturing practices reduce the quality of spices and take away the medicinal benefits that they offer. For example, turmeric: the wonder spice, improves digestion and healing. Were it contaminated with gluten, this would impede its effectiveness on a Coeliac sufferer. Similarly coriander and black pepper are amazing for improving digestion and alleviating gas but contamination will reduce efficacy for a gluten sensitive digestive track.
Aim to improve the quality of spices you use. Stock your spice rack with certified organic spices. Organic ensures they are free of additives and chemicals. Gluten free tells you these have been tested and are found free of wheat sources.