Leaky gut syndrome is a common issue that inflicts millions of people, many of whom don’t even realize that they have it.
The reason is that leaky gut can cause many diverse symptoms people don’t usually associate with gut issues. Everything from low energy to autoimmune conditions to thyroid problems and much more.
Leaky gut is also referred to as intestinal hyperpermeability, and is when the food particles begin to leak through the intestinal wall which can lead to all sorts of problems including systemic inflammation.
The issue originates because the muscoa lining in the intestines becomes weak and thin. Overtime gaps are created in this membrane and particles can leak out which are not supposed to.
This article will outline what you can do to heal leaky gut syndrome from good!
How to Know if You Have Leaky Gut Syndrome
One of the most obvious signs and symptoms of leaky gut is having multiple food sensitivities or allergies.
Since food particles are getting through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream where they don’t belong, the body sees them as foreign invaders and creates antibodies in response to the food particles.
The reaction you may experience from food sensitives could be:
- Digestive distress (stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, gas, etc)
- Fatigue/low energy
- Skin issues
- Joint pain
When ignored these can turn into even bigger problems like irritable bowel syndrome, eczema, chronic pain, arthritis, thyroid disorders, and more.
Scientific evidence even suggests that leaky gut can be a major cause of autoimmune conditions like type 1 diabetes. (1)
If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned issues it is likely you are dealing with the leaky gut to some degree.
Keep in mind, it’s a spectrum. You can have a severe case which is resulting in numerous food allergies and debilitating problems or a mild/moderate case which can manifest as digestive distress or low energy.
Another issue that leaky gut causes poor absorption of many nutrients. Proper digestion is a critical component of absorbing the vitamins and minerals our bodies need from our food. When digestion is impaired, we can’t absorb and utilize these essential nutrients which then leads to deficiencies.
The good news is, whether you are suffering from severe leaky gut or not, the recommendations below will be sure to improve your overall health!
Naturally Healing Leaky Gut FOR GOOD!
The most fundamental aspect to healing leaky gut is removing the foods that are causing it!
Without completely eliminating the problematic foods for at least 30-60 days (longer the better) you will never be able to fully resolve the issue.
Even just consuming the culprit foods one time can restart the whole process.
It would be like if you fell down and scraped your knee. As it healed a scab formed. Then every 2 weeks you fall again and scrape open the scab. You repeat this process over and over again and the wound would never heal!
That is what is happening to your gut. Without complete elimination for an adequate length of time for your gut to fully heal, you will never fully resolve the problem.
The most common culprits of leaky gut are inflammatory foods such as:
Conventional produce with pesticide residue, especially the dirty dozen
- Alcohol (especially drinking on an empty stomach!)
- Grains and grain products (pasta, bread, crackers, cereal, etc.)
- Sugars and artificial sweeteners
- Conventional produce with pesticide reside (especially the dirty dozen)
- Vegetable oils and unhealthy fats
- Processed foods
- Conventional/pasteurized dairy products
- Any foods you are allergic or sensitive to that cause a reaction (even if they are generally recognized as being healthy)
Nightshades and lectin containing foods can also be a culprit for some folks as Dr. Steven Gundry discusses in his book “The Plant Paradox”. If you are unsure if you are reacting to them, try a trial elimination and see how you feel. Then bring them back into your diet one at a time.
Additionally, many over the counter and prescription drugs can lead to leaky gut so check with your health care provider when assessing what medications may be causing this issue.
The next step is to repair your gut lining with these 5 gut healing foods.
Top 5 Foods for Healing Leaky Gut
Bone broth is very healing and nourishing to the gut and body. It’s easy to digest making it an excellent option to incorporate into your diet when resolving any digestive issues.
Bone broth contains many important amino acids like proline and glycine which help to repair the gut lining. It’s also a great source of collagen protein which is essential for healing connective tissue and also helping your hair and skin.
Homemade bone broth is ideal, but if you must buy it choose organic grass-fed/pasture-raised bone broth.
Vegetable juice contains numerous micronutrients that are easy to absorb and very bioavailable!
It’s incredibly nourishing to the body and digestive system.
While fiber can be a healthy part of your diet, raw vegetable fiber can be very difficult to digest and hard on the intensities. Since it’s so rough it can aggravate the intestinal lining so for people dealing with digestive issues it’s best to have fresh-pressed vegetable juice.
As an added benefit, vegetable juice can also be very alkalizing to your body which can help your body in many ways!
Check out our article on Juicing Vegetables to learn how to get the most out of your juice and common mistakes to avoid.
3. Healthy Fats
Good fats like coconut oil, avocados, egg yolks, butter/ghee are all easy on digestion and promote healing. Raw nuts and sprouted seeds can also be beneficial for those who can tolerate them.
Omega 3 fats DHA and EPA found in wild-caught fatty fish like salmon have powerful inflammatory properties and be really helpful.
4. Fermented Foods
Fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles contain beneficial bacteria called probiotics. These probiotics can help to balance the bacteria in your digestive system and benefit the gut.
Lacto-fermented foods like kefir, yogurt, and cultured raw dairy products can also be beneficial. (must be grass-fed and organic)
5. 100% Grass-fed & Pasture-Raised Animal Protein
High-quality animal protein contains an excellent amino acid profile for healing and regenerating the tissue in the gut.
Avoid conventional, factory farmed (CAFO) animal protein. This can contain harmful compounds and has an inferior fatty-acid profile compared to grass-fed/pasture-raised animal protein.
Grass-fed organ meats, beef, lamb, pasture-raised poultry and eggs are excellent to include in your diet when healing leaky gut. The rarer you prepare these meats, the better. Avoid overcooking your animal protein.
Wild-caught fish like salmon, mahi-mahi, sardines, etc. can also be a great choice.
Best Supplements for Healing Leaky Gut
In addition to the healing foods mentioned above, good quality nutritional supplements can be incredibly helpful to heal leaky gut and improve your digestion!
Colostrum is the first food of life and contains many growth factors and healing compounds that help to repair the gut.
It’s the single most effective supplement I’ve used with the people I work with to heal their gut, improve digestion, and enhance their overall health.
As with any supplement, not all colostrum is created equal. This is by far the best colostrum I have found and the most superior product on the market.
2. Systemic Enzymes
Systemic enzymes are very different from digestive enzymes and are critical to repair and regenerate tissue in the body.
They are one of my go-to supplements to improve the healing and recovery in the body.
These are the systemic enzymes I use in my practice and get the best results with: Vitälzym Extra Strength Systemic Enzymes
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body and is especially important to repair leaky gut. Jarrow Formulas L-Glutamine Powder, Supports Muscle Tissue & Immune Function, 8 Oz
Collagen is a type of protein that helps with connective tissue, skin, and hair. It can be a great type of protein when healing leaky gut.
The best way to get your collagen in is by drinking bone broth, but as an added supplements it’s great to include in your diet for faster results and on days you can’t get your bone broth in.
5. Digestive Enzymes
When suffering from poor digestion, taking some digestive enzymes during your meal can help your body break down the food you eat.
This can be helpful when attempting to repair the gut and restore your bodies normal digestive processes. Thorne Research – Bio-Gest – Blend of Digestive Enzymes to Aid Digestion – 60 Capsules
The simple act of not eating food for a prolonged period of time may very well be the most powerful and effective strategy to heal leaky gut and improve your overall health!
Giving your gastrointestinal tract a break provides it time to heal and recover, something it can’t do when having to digest food.
You can even do a bone broth fast where you only consume bone broth and water for a prolonged period of time.
Multi-day fasting can amplify the gut healing benefits but work your way up to this and consult with a qualified health care provider before attempting.
Stress, lack of sleep, and poor lifestyle choices can also lead to leaky gut among many other issues so do your best to implement healthy lifestyle practices in addition to these nutritional recommendations.
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