The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Traditional dishes of Costa Rica are the perfect match for people who are gluten sensitive or celiac, since dishes like casados and gallo pinto rarely have wheat-based ingredients.

According to the nutritionist from the Ministry of Health, Dr. Elizabeth Lopez Mora, in Costa Rica there are a number of foods, which are also readily available, save a lot of money, and don’t require gluten to be delicious.

“In Costa Rica we have a variety of foods for those sensitive to wheat products. A household can consume vegetables, fruits, vegetables, rice, beans, chickpeas, lentils, and others; It is not necessary to purchase foods that are imported and expensive for proper nutrition,” she said.

“I went back to the traditional food”

Gloriana Oconitrillo who has suffered from celiac disease for four years, said that when she was diagnosed she had to return to traditional food.

“To me it made me a little easier because it’s back to the traditional food, such as rice, beans, salad, everything was usually consumed but prepared in a natural way, the concern is when you want to taste a different product, and that means that you should pay more for a cake or cookie. Not that the supermarkets have tried to capitalize, but somehow or another, they have raised the cost of these products,” said Oconitrillo.

According to this 21 year-old, her family grew accustomed to preparing foods in a more healthy way.

Although the figures on how many Ticos are celiac is debatable, it’s clear that there is at least 2% of the population suffering from this disease.

For those with celiac disease, gluten damages the villi in the small intestine, whose function is to absorb nutrients from food. When these ‘hairs’ suffer any damage, the body cannot absorb the nutrients it needs.

The disease is described as a permanent intolerance to gluten in wheat, barley, rye and oats, it hinders the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine.

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

San Jose, Costa Rica