What A Day On A Leaky Gut Diet Might Look Like
Take a break from your usual white toast and breakfast cereal, instead scramble some eggs with sauteed onions and tasty greens. Or opt for a chia seed bowl with plain yoghurt, walnuts, flaxseed and blueberries.
As well as giving your gut the best start to the day, the protein and healthy fats in these options will keep you feeling fuller for longer!
Try to dial back the processed and allergen-containing sandwiches and tacos, instead get a healthy dose of fibre and nutrients with a large, colourful kale, red cabbage and carrot salad, layered with healthy goodies like turkey, sunflower seeds and a miso dressing.
If youre not a salad person, try a scoop of tuna or chicken salad folded into a romaine lettuce bun and a side of kimchi.
Muesli and protein bars are full of sugar and refined oils so stay well clear. Instead, focus on whole food snacks that are high in fibre and have a healthy dose of protein to help properly balance your blood sugar. Snacks are also a great way to up your fruit and veggie intake:
- Yogurt and berries
- Apple slices and nut butter
The Fabulousness Of Fiber: Why Its Critical For Gut Health
While people tend to get up in arms about protein consumption, theres another nutrient thats more worrisome as far as deficiency risk: fiber.
Approximately 97% of Americans get at least the recommended amount of protein. But only about 3% of Americans get the recommended 40 grams of fiber they need per day and fiber is the most crucial ingredient for gut health.
Fiber feeds the good bacteria weve been talking about, so its vital to eat fiber-rich foods as often as possible.
Our microbes extract the fibers energy, nutrients, and vitamins, including short-chain fatty acids, which can improve immune function, decrease inflammation, and protect against obesity.
How To Calm A Gut Flare Up: Example Menu
Use limited spices: sea salt and black pepper only. Oregano and thyme may be OK. NO garlic or onion powder, spice blends, or any spices with heat.
Note that you can adjust this however you like. Some people do meat patties with hard boiled eggs for breakfast and gut healing soup for lunch and dinner. The worse your flare, the more limited ingredients you want. Decreasing vegetables and focusing on meat and broth only may be the best option for some.
Breakfast: Smoothie with bone broth protein and/or collagen protein, banana , additive-free coconut or almond milk, frozen blueberries. 2 hard boiled eggs with sea salt if you need additional protein.
Lunch: Turkey burgers with roasted carrot .
Snack: mug of bone broth with sea salt
Dinner: gut healing soup with shredded chicken, zucchini, spinach, carrot. Add sweet potato if you can have potatoes, or use white rice, which is easy to digest. Jump to Recipe
Breakfast: 2-4 scrambled eggs with sea salt and spinach or chard. Smoothie if needed.
Lunch: leftover gut healing soup
Snack: smoothie or mug of bone broth
Dinner: leftover turkey burgers with roasted carrot and white rice
Breakfast: smoothie with 2 hard boiled eggs
Lunch: gut healing soup
Dinner: bunless beef burger with roasted carrot or carrot puree + sauteed chard and/or white rice
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Foods To Repair Your Gut
Science Based Amy Myers, MD
Amy Myers, M.D. is a functional medicine physician, trained and certified by The Institute of Functional Medicine. Dr. Myers earned her Doctor of Medicine at the LSU Health Science Center, and completed her Emergency Medicine residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Dr. Myers retired from her functional medicine clinic, Austin UltraHealth, where she served thousands of patients, to empower those who were failed by conventional medicine. Shes a 2x New York Times bestselling author, and the founder and CEO of the health & lifestyle e-commerce brand, Amy Myers MD®.
Repairing your gut is one of the most important steps to take in your autoimmune journey. It will not only improve your ability to absorb nutrients, it will also support your inflammatory response and immune system. By replacing toxic and inflammatory foods with nutrient-rich options that help proper digestion and absorption, you can drastically improve your nutrient intake and take back control of your health.
There are plenty of gut-repairing foods that you can incorporate into your diet in fun and delicious ways. My cookbook, The Autoimmune Solution Cookbook, features recipes that include a number of these gut-friendly foods, and there are tons of diet-friendly recipes on my blog that are FREE for you to enjoy.
Lets take a look at some of the best foods that you should be eating to help repair your gut.
How To Improve Gut Health Naturally
Improving your gut health naturally requires considering a variety of lifestyle factors. These include diet and nutrition, the amount of sleep you are getting on a consistent basis, the status of relationships in your life , exercise, stress, mental health, and many other key elements.
Beyond diet and lifestyle factors, there are many natural treatments that can help to support a healthy gut. The key is knowing where to start, and how and when to use these treatments.
Dr. Ruscio and his team will listen to your concerns and create a customized plan that is proven and effective to help restore your gut health naturally.
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Dandelion Greens Or Bitter Greens
Bitters like dandelion greens and other bitter leaves have been used throughout history to aid digestion. This is because they may increase the production of stomach acid and digestive enzymes.
Although no studies on humans have been carried out, research using animals has shown that dandelion greens may also be useful in reducing inflammation.
Whats more, they contain a prebiotic fiber called inulin, which has been shown to help food move smoothly through the digestive system and reduce the risk of constipation.
Aside from increasing their digestibility, cooking dandelion greens reduces their bitterness. Try boiling them for a few minutes, then sauteing them in a hot pan with garlic and olive oil for 3 minutes more. Serve as a side dish, or try stirring the cooked greens into scrambled eggs.
See my list of the best green vegetables.
How To Heal Your Gut Naturally
The best thing you can do to quickly heal your gut is to start eating the right foods and stop eating the bad foods. Using simple elimination diets can help you determine which foods are wrecking your stomach.
Going on a low FODMAP diet can also work wonders for getting rid of digestive problems. FODMAPs are short chained carbohydrates that commonly cause problems like constipation, gas, bloating, diarrhea, etc.
The Journal of Diabetesfound leaky gut to be responsible as the major cause of autoimmune diseases and type 1 diabetes. Along with eating the right foods, its critical for you to stop eating the bad foods that are causing it in the first place. Going on a low FODMAP diet has helped a lot of people with gut issues.
Leaky gut syndrome is one of the biggest underlying health problems that can be difficult to diagnose. You may have gut health problems then you most likely have at least some of these side effects:
- constipation and diarrhea
- slow metabolism
Leaky gut syndrome is when your digestive tract is damaged. Eating too many bad foods creates bigger holes in your digestive tract allowing unwanted things to pass through.
Think of the lining in your gut as a net. Some things are supposed to pass through. But when you have leaky gut syndrome the net widens. This allows stuff you dont want to get into your bloodstream.
Bad bacteria, toxic waste, and undigested food particles are some of the bad guys that can leak into your body.
10 Best Gut Health Foods
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Here’s Exactly How To Start Healing The Gut
What to expectWhat are die-off symptoms?Slow downmy genes couldn’t process toxins very wellsupplements to process toxinsHow to minimize die-off
- If your die-off symptoms are making you feel miserable, then you’re killing bad gut bugs too quickly. Slow down, support your liver , take epsom salt baths to support your body’s ability to get those dead gut bugs out of your body as quickly as possible, and eat collagen or foods with collagen to keep the bad stuff in your gut and out of your bloodstream.
- If you feel fine one day and then complete crap the next, you might be getting die-off from parasites. It can be confusing because they have weird lifecycles, they die, reproduce, and create symptoms at weird times. It might be worth doing a parasite cleanse.
- If your symptoms are consistently getting worse or staying the same over time, even though you haven’t been adding new gut healing strategies, then it’s likely NOT a result of die-off. See a doctor to make sure your symptoms are not a result of another health issue.
How To Calm A Gut Flare Up
Healing isnt linear. If you have IBS or IBD, and you are working to restore and heal your gut, setbacks are part of the process. Just when you thought everything was going swimmingly, bam! You get hit with a flareup of diarrhea, bloating, gut pain, bleeding, cramping, fatigue, change in stool, and/or frequent bathroom visits.
If youre experiencing a gut flare, this post is for you. I created this little reset for my clients to calm inflammation and pain and regulate stools and digestion if youre in a flare. If you have Crohns, colitis, diverticulitis, or any inflammatory gut-related issue that causes flares, you can use this reset.
This 3-5 day plan incorporates limited and easy-to-digest fruits, protein, and vegetables. You can do this plan anytime you experience gut pain or a flareup of symptoms. Get creative as to how you want to prepare the foods, but Ive given you suggestions and two recipes below.
Before we get going, you might be wondering what causes a gut flare? Unfortunately there isnt a black and white answer , but here are a few main causes:
- stress, which raises cortisol levels and can affect the terrain of the gut or trigger diarrhea
- food sensitivities or a change in diet
- certain strains of gut bacteria growing out of balance
- NSAID drugs: Aleve, Advil, aspirin
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Get A Good Night’s Sleep
While there’s still a lot to learn about the links between the gut and the brain, Nova Southeastern University research suggests that poor sleep may lead to poor diversity of gut bacteria, and some scientists predict this may lead to us intentionally adjusting gut microbiome to impact sleep quality. Fortunately, that’s a long way off, and you can still aim for at least seven hours of sleep every night based off the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation for average adults.
Your gut does a lot of good â not just in digesting food, but also in regulating immune responses and supporting other critical bodily functions. So take care of it, and if you think something may be wrong, see your doctor. In addition to helping you diagnose any possible underlying problems, they can also give you some tips on how to heal your gut in the long term.
Overview Of Gut Issues
If youre like many people, you may suffer from a variety of gut issues that make it hard to feel your best. From constipation to Crohns disease, gut problems can be incredibly frustrating and debilitating.
The good news is that there are changes in your diet and lifestyle that can help. Lets review the most common gut issues.
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Kefir: One Of The Most Probiotic
While this cultured product is traditionally made with dairy, its coconut or water-based counterparts can be even better and keep you free from the controversial health effects of cows milk.
You may be able to find dairy-free kefir in your area. Or you can order kefir starters and make it yourself using coconut water or nut milk. Just be sure that you dont oversweeten it because sugar can be bad for your microbiome.
The Benefits Of Fiber
Fiber is a prebiotic that keeps our guts healthy by by feeding the good bacteria in our guts. Fiber reduces inflammation in our guts, and can be extremely beneficial for those that struggle with constipation.
Fiber rich foods:
Flaxseed: Flaxseed is fuel for good gut flora, it can help to improve regularity and aid in digestion. Flaxseed works best when it is consumed in ground form. You can incorporate it into your diet by adding it to fruit smoothies or putting in on top of salads.
Beans: Beans are full of fiber, protein, and Vitamin B and they play a big role in regulating the health of our guts.
Polenta: Polenta is super easy to make, and goes with almost any meal. It is very high in fiber making it another great food to eat for gut health.
Fermented foods are great because they fill our digestive systems with healthy microorganisms that help to get rid of the unhealthy bad bacteria.
I used to hate pickles, but after learning of some of the great benefits, I have started to eat them more often. I like them so much now, that I will snack on a couple pickle slices.
When foods are fermented, they create lactic acid that helps to preserve the food. During the fermentation process large amounts of probiotics are produced, and if you remember from above, our bodies need probiotics.
In addition to pickles, here are more fermented foods you can add to your diet.
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Chia Seeds And Flaxseeds
Fiber is one of the best ingredients for your overall health as well as your gut health, and chia seeds and flaxseeds are both forms of concentrated fiber, making them great gut-healing foods. Without proper digestion, not only can you experience uncomfortable side effects, but it can actually make it harder for your body to absorb the nutrients youre eating. Just one ounce of chia seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of fiber . Both seeds contain insoluble fiber, which helps speed digestion and relieve constipation and diarrhea. They are also great plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Two tablespoons of flaxseeds contain 140% of the recommended daily amount of omega-3s. Try adding two tablespoons of one of these gut-healing foods to your morning smoothie, stir into your oatmeal, or whip up our favorite overnight chia seed yogurt.
Adding these gut healing foods to your daily intake is a wonderful way to start supporting your gut and beginning to heal any underlying digestive issues that may be stemming from a leaky or imbalanced intestine.
How To Calm A Gut Flare Up: Foods To Eat
The goal is to eliminate foods that can trigger flares, are inflammatory, or are harder to digest. Youll be focusing on a very limited number of easy-to-digest and lower FODMAP foods. The FODMAP foods contain starches that can irritate the small and large intestines.
- Shredded chicken, ground meat or wild salmon
- Smoothies made with limited ingredients like bone broth protein and banana.
- Banana, blueberries
- Spinach or Swiss chard , potato or sweet potato*, cooked carrot, zucchini
- Grated fresh ginger
- Peppermint tea , slippery elm
- Canned pumpkin, which soothes diarrhea
*potatoes will not work for everyone and may worsen IBS if you have SIBO.
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Best And Worst Foods To Eat For Gut Health
What you eat directly influences the makeup of bacteria in your gutknown as the microbiomewhich in turn impacts your health. A healthy gut helps keep chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer at bay, and also can reduce inflammation, keep your brain healthy and help you maintain a healthy weight. It’s never too late to change your diet to support better bugs in your gut. Research shows that switching from a mostly animal-based diet to a mostly plant-based diet can change the makeup of your microbiome in as little as 24 hours.
So how do you do itThe short answer?
Eat more: Probiotics, prebiotics, fiber, polyphenols and fermented foods
Eat less: Artificial sweeteners, red meat, processed foods and alcohol.
Here, we break down each category and explain why you should eat up with some to have a healthy gut.
Super Fruits To Improve Gut Health
These super fruits are prebiotic foods for good bacteria in the gut. Add them to your healthy gut diet to restore your intestinal lining, strengthen your gut wall, and combat inflammation.
Find out the perfect foods for your gut bacteria with the Atlas Microbiome Test and get personalised weekly recommendations to improve digestive health.
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How To Restore Gut Health
At the Ruscio Institute for Functional Medicine, we focus on minimally invasive, scientifically validated, predominantly natural solutions for gut health. We improve your gut health through diet and lifestyle changes and other natural treatments, all introduced at the right time, and personalized to you.
Our recommendations come from a combination of real-life experiences with patients and a dedication to scientific research. Our holistic gut health doctors and care team look beyond symptoms and treat the root cause so you can restore your gut health and feel better, faster. Get competent care today.
What Are Probiotics And Can They Help Heal My Gut
Probiotics are often misattributed as good bacteria in your gut, but thats inaccurate, according to Dr. Damianos. The proper definition of probiotics, as recently updated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization , is “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host.”
The average person doesnt need a probiotic supplement for a healthy gut, but if youre having certain gut issues , your doctor may prescribe you specific strains of probiotics to help.
One big word of caution, notes Dr. Damianos, is: You can’t just pick any probiotic off the shelf. There are just so many supplements out there that have no clinical data to support their use. Anything that claims it will cure your bloating or, yes, even heal your gut is most likely trying to take advantage of you. As part of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Alliance for Education on Probiotics, Dr. Damianos points to its clinical guide to probiotics as a good resource to assess your probiotic needs.
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