Gluten-Free Summer Pesto Zoodles | Food Confidence

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Gluten-Free Summer Pesto Zoodles

As an integrative dietitian and empowerment coach with 20+ years of experience, my main goal is to help women age well, feel confident in their bodies, and create the healthy lifestyle they desire and deserve.
danielle omar

If you’re following a gluten-free diet, you might be lacking important nutrients. I’m partnering with Pure Encapsulations today to help you learn more about what nutrients are missing in a gluten-free diet and what you can do if you accidentally get “glutened.”

What Nutrients Are Missing In a Gluten-Free Diet?

Several studies have looked at the nutritional quality of a gluten-free diets. The results are mixed.

One study evaluated 7 categories of foods, comparing 63 gluten-free foods to 126 of their gluten-containing counterparts based on nutrient composition, nutritional information, and cost. They found a greater-than-2-fold decrease in protein content of gluten-free products across more than 50% of all food categories. The majority of gluten-free products were lower in sodium and fiber.

Other studies have shown that nutrient intake on a gluten-free diet is less than the recommended RDA. This could be because many gluten-free foods are not enriched, thereby containing lower levels of several key nutrients, most notably fiber and iron, but also B Vitamins like folate, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamine.

Clearly the type of gluten-free diet you follow makes a big difference in nutrient intakes. If you’ve been surviving on highly processed, packaged gluten-free foods like gluten-free Fruit Loops (or avoiding grains altogether) —  you might have a problem. If you’re eating naturally gluten-free foods like quinoa, brown rice, and other grains, you may be totally fine.

We just don’t know yet the effect that eating a gluten-free diet has on nutritional status and everyone is different.

What we DO know is this — more and more people are choosing to go gluten-free. So whether you have non-celiac gluten sensitivity or you have Celiac Disease (which is a gluten allergy), removing gluten from your diet can greatly improve how you feel and how well you digest your food.

I got “Glutened” – Now What?

If you DO have a gluten allergy or sensitivity and have been eating GF for a while, you’re probably pretty good at avoiding gluten and you’re likely an expert label reader.

But I bet you didn’t know that you’re still getting exposed to an average of 150 to 400 mg of gluten per day.

Yup, you’re getting “glutened” on the regular. And that’s not a good thing if you’re highly sensitive to it.

Getting “glutened” is an unscientific term for accidentally ingesting gluten. It can happen pretty easily from cross contamination at a restaurant, a friend’s dinner party, a work event – even in your own kitchen!

The symptoms for getting glutened can range from diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, and reflux to brain fog insomnia, dry mouth and headaches. Gluten-induced fatigue is another common symptom.

Until now, there hasn’t been much you could do about it except wade through a few days of misery and discomfort.

But today is your lucky day, because some serious help has arrived.

The folks at Pure Encapsulations recently launched a new product called the GlutenAssure Multivitamin and I’m super excited to share it with you!

It was designed specifically to support the nutritional needs of those avoiding gluten and it’s pretty great what it can do.

How does it work?

The GlutenAssure Multivitamin includes an enzyme called prolyl-endopeptidase that targets gluten breakdown. It’s actually designed to be taken with meals to help digest the small amounts of gluten that result from inadvertent exposure.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, individuals consuming prolyl-endopeptidase enzyme and gluten showed lower α-gliadin (a main component of gluten) concentration in the stomach and duodenum. The enzyme specifically degrades the immunogenic parts of the gluten protein and research shows that gluten-sensitive T-cells no longer react after gluten has been degraded with this enzyme.

Pretty amazing, right?

In addition to the Tolerase®, the GlutenAssure Multivitamin is just a great high-quality multivitamin for GF folks. It provides enhanced levels of the nutrients often shown to be missing in gluten-free diets, including Vitamins A, D, E, K1 and K2, iron and calcium. It even has lutein to support macular health.

It also contains activated B vitamins, including B12, pyridoxal-5-phosphate, riboflavin-5-phosphate, and Metafolin® L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (L-5-MTHF), the naturally occurring, universally metabolized form of folate.

I think it’s great that they also formulated it to support the health of the gut lining, which is a priority with gluten exposure. It contains 5-LOXIN® boswellia extract, which is concentrated to provide 10 times as much AKBA as typical boswellia extracts. Research suggests that AKBA promotes cytokine balance to support joint and gastrointestinal health, in part by maintaining healthy immune activity in the epithelial lining of the digestive tract.

If you’re interested in trying GlutenAssure, contact me here and let’s talk!

How Else Can You Enjoy Gluten-Free Food?

Do some strategic swapping! Summer is the PERFECT time to test out fresh alternatives to gluten-based pastas. There are plenty of gluten-free pasta alternatives to whip up in the kitchen that won’t leave you feeling sluggish. My go-to pasta alternative? Zoodles.

This Pesto Zoodle Pasta recipe is super simple and literally takes less than 15 minutes to make using store bought pesto and fresh cherry tomatoes!

zoodles with pesto

Gluten-Free Summer Pesto Zoodles

Transform your zucchini into noodles and toss with fresh pesto.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1.75 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced


  • Trim the ends of your zucchinis and spiralize them into noodles.
  • Add the basil and garlic cloves to your food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. With the food processor on, slowly pour in the olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Scrape the sides your food processor. Sprinkle in sea salt, black pepper and pine nuts. Pulse until desired consistency. 
  • Toss zoodles with pesto until coated. Top with sliced cherry tomatoes and serve chilled.
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Why I Recommend PURE Encapsulations

Pure Encapsulations is a professional line of supplements that are certified gluten-free and free from wheat, dairy, eggs, peanuts, trans fats and hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners, and GMOs, making them a great choice for people with food allergies and sensitivities (and anyone looking for high quality vitamins).

Pure Encapsulations is also super transparent about their quality standards and manufacturing process, so you know exactly what you’re putting in your body.  They also dismantle, sterilize, and inspect all equipment before each production run, so they can ensure that cross-contamination is never an issue for customers with food allergies and sensitivities.

I recommend you speak with a Registered Dietitian or healthcare professional before starting a supplement regimen so you can accurately identify what nutrients may be missing from your diet and to determine the best supplement plan for your unique needs. I’m happy to help! Just get in touch here.


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