Leaky Gut Diet Foods To Eat
If you suffer from leaky gut syndrome, youre overdue to consider adopting a leaky gut diet. Such a diet contains foods that support healing because they are easy to digest and can help repair the lining of the intestines.
Here are the best foods to include in a leaky gut syndrome diet:
In addition to eating a leaky gut diet, you can help repair your gut with certain supplements.
In a leaky gut treatment plan, there are many supplements that support digestive health as well as protect the gut lining from further damage. I believe the six most beneficial leaky gut supplements are:
What Is A Leaky Gut Or Leaky Bowel
Our digestive system is made up of many organs. Each of these organs work together to break down the food we consume while absorbing all the nutrients and removing waste. The intestinal lining behaves like a barrier to prevent any harmful substances from entering the bloodstream. Leaky gut is the condition where gaps form in the intestinal walls. These gaps or holes make it easier for bacteria, toxins, and undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream. As a result, this may lead to triggering inflammation and changes to the good bacteria in the gut.
But what causes leaky gut? What you may not be aware of is that everybody has some level of leaky gut. As the intestinal lining is not impenetrable, it is normal for some food particles and bacteria to enter the bloodstream. However, this should be limited amounts.
It is believed that what may be causing leaky bowel in most people is our diet. The modern diet is a world away from how our natural diet should be. We tend to consume foods that are low in fiber, sugary, high in saturated fats, and consume alcohol too frequently. Therefore, our modern diet may be causing leaky gut.
What Foods Should You Avoid If You Have Leaky Gut Syndrome
If your doctor feels confident that you likely have leaky gut, they may recommend adjusting your diet to remove inflammatory foods that could impact gut flora, such as:
- Processed foods
- Foods that may trigger allergies or sensitivities, such as gluten or dairy
Additionally, the doctor may also recommend a low FODMAP diet. Usually, this diet is recommended for people with IBS or even celiac disease, but it may help relieve some of the symptoms from leaky gut as well, especially since there is so much symptom overlap.
Creating a diet rich in foods that aid the growth of beneficial gut bacteria is important as well. Some great options are vegetables , roots, fruit, sprouted seeds, fish, cultured dairy products and nuts .
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Who Does Intestinal Permeability Affect
The known causes of intestinal permeability involve systematic erosion of the intestinal lining. This is not a simple feat. Your intestinal lining has many layers of defense. And while it can be injured temporarily, it is designed to constantly repair and replenish itself. To actually wear it down enough to penetrate the lining requires a significant assault. That usually means a chronic disease, chronic drug use or alcohol abuse or radiation therapy.
The theory of leaky gut syndrome suggests that anything that injures your gut lining can lead to intestinal permeability if the injury is persistent enough. Therefore, common everyday factors such as diet and stress may cumulatively wear down your intestinal lining until it becomes permeable. Scientists arent sure about this, but they do agree that these everyday factors may cause inflammation in your gut lining and uncomfortable GI symptoms for you.
What Are The Symptoms Of Leaky Gut
As mentioned, leaky gut, or increased permeability is not fully recognized by the medical community at large, which makes finding symptoms a tough task. Many of the symptoms are shared with other health conditions, making the disorder difficult for doctors to identify. Leaky gut may cause or contribute to the following possible symptoms:
- Chronic diarrhea, constipation, or bloating
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Skin problems, such as acne, rashes, or eczema
- Widespread inflammation
These symptoms overlap with many other health conditions, leading experts to believe that leaky gut may actually contribute to their manifestation. While it is not clear if LGS is a cause or a symptom, it has been linked to irritable bowel syndrome, Crohns disease, celiac disease, diabetes, and food allergies, among others. A peer-reviewed study suggested that increased intestinal permeability may actually contribute to the development of inflammatory bowel disease . However, more peer-reviewed studies need to be conducted before any firm conclusions can be drawn.
Furthermore, scientists have closely looked at the gut-brain axis, which is the relationship between the GI tract and the brain. Some research has shown that leaky gut may be a factor for mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression
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What Is Yeast Overgrowth And How Is It Related To Leaky Gut
Hippocrates said years and years ago that all disease begins in the gut and were finding more and more just how right he was. Your gut houses 70 percent of your immune system and of course the intestinal cells that break down food. Its where nutrients are absorbed and toxins are removed. Your gut is composed of about a tennis court worth of lining all scrunched together to soak up as many nutrients as possible.
Very simply, a yeast overgrowth happens when your bodys bad bacteria outnumbers its good. Candida, the most common fungus present in your mouth and gut, can be productive in small amounts, but when it is overgrown, it breaks through your intestinal wall and leaks into the bloodstream. When this happens, toxins that are supposed to be eliminated by the gut circle back into your system. This spillage of toxins into the blood is called leaky gut, and it is the root of many of our health problems.
What Disease Is Associated With Leaky Gut
There are diseases that are known to be associated with intestinal permeability, and there is a lot of speculation about other possible diseases that might be connected to it.
Known disease associations
Intestinal permeability is a recognized feature of several inflammatory and autoimmune diseases affecting the digestive system, including inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease. In these cases, scientists generally consider it to be a symptom, not a cause. These diseases cause chronic inflammation in the intestines, which leads to erosion of the intestinal barrier gradually over time.
There have been cases where scientists found intestinal permeability in people before they were diagnosed with these diseases. This has led to some speculation that intestinal permeability might develop independently from these diseases, and might even be a contributing cause. But scientists concluded that intestinal permeability in these cases wasnt enough to cause the disease by itself. It was more likely to be an early sign of disease.
Possible disease associations
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Putting A Stop To Leaky Gut
Leaky gut gets blamed for everything from everyday stomach issues to pain to anxiety, yet it is one of the most mysterious ailments to diagnose and treat.
Part of the reason for this medical mystery is because the gut is such a vast and complex system. “Science continues to find new ways that the gut can influence everything from heart health to keeping our brains young,” says Dr. Alessio Fasano, director of the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. “There is much we know about leaky gut in terms of how it affects peoples health, but there is still so much that is unknown.”
Properly Digesting These Foods Is Super Important Because
Apart from chewing our food more , the easiest way to digest the 16 food groups better is by increasing the presence of enzymes the hard workers that break down our food.
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Why Do We Need To Nurture And Heal A Leaky Gut
The gut is integral to our vitality, energy and happiness and its not possible to be truly healthy if our gut is unhappy. Leaky gut is one of the main reasons we experience all sorts of health concerns, from bloating and digestive discomfort to brain fog, autoimmunity and skin issues such as eczema and psoriasis. Luckily, we can address this at home without too much effort!
In the modern world, we often do not think of our gut when we experience skin issues, energy slumps, or low mood – but we should!
Leaky Gut: What Is It And What Does It Mean For You
- By , Contributor
Before the medical community had better understanding of the mechanisms that cause disease, doctors believed certain ailments could originate from imbalances in the stomach. This was called hypochondriasis. This concept was rejected as science evolved and, for example, we could look under a microscope and see bacteria, parasites, and viruses. The meaning of the term changed, and for many years doctors used the word “hypochondriac” to describe a person who has a persistent, often inexplicable fear of having a serious medical illness.
But what if this ancient concept of illnesses originating in the gut actually holds some truth? Could some of the chronic diseases our society faces today actually be associated with a dysfunctional gastrointestinal system?
The expression “leaky gut” is getting a lot of attention in medical blogs and social media lately, but dont be surprised if your doctor does not recognize this term. Leaky gut, also called increased intestinal permeability, is somewhat new and most of the research occurs in basic sciences. However, there is growing interest to develop medications that may be used in patients to combat the effects of this problem.
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What To Eat For Leaky Gut
Though it may appear complicated, the best leaky gut diet plan is an anti-inflammatory diet that suits your uniquebody.
Though there are many possible diet options, there are onlytwo simple principles you need to follow:
- Eat a diet made up of real, whole foods.
- Avoid processed, artificial, and inflammatory foods.
I would add one more important principle:
- Avoid any food that you have a clear reaction to.
You may be tempted to religiously follow one of the many diets out there. But the truth is that your body and digestive tract are unique and need a custom approach. The best way to get there is to create your leaky gut food plan using basic principles, and to personalize the specifics for you.
Treatment And Improving Gut Health
Since many doctors do not consider leaky gut to be a legitimate medical condition, there is no standard treatment.
However, certain dietary and lifestyle changes may help people to improve their gut health. This, in turn, may alleviate leaky gut symptoms.
The following dietary tips may help to improve gut health:
- eating more probiotics to boost beneficial gut bacteria
- eating foods rich in prebiotic fiber, such as vegetables and whole grains
- eating less meat, dairy, and eggs
- avoiding added sugar and artificial sweeteners
The following lifestyle changes can improve digestion and support a healthy gut:
- exercising regularly
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So Should I Just Follow A Low Fodmap Diet
Since weve seen just how much digestive distress high FODMAP foods can cause, shouldnt we just switch to a low FODMAP diet?
Nein! Nyet! No! Heres why
If you start Googling around for low FODMAP diets, youll probably fall out of your chair as you find many of our leaky gut foes on the YES list of these diets!
From canola oil to cheddar cheese to sugar-filled pineapple, these low FODMAP diets just lump them all on the okay list!
Heck, even table sugar is on the okay list since it combines fructose and glucose in even amounts, and is thus not a FODMAP problem. Crazy!
I mean, sure, these foods are not high in FODMAPs. But heck, they sure are high in other gut irritants like gluten, sugar, lectins and whatnot.
It is quite funny how people can have their world view so narrowed. i.e. high FODMAP = bad, and everything else = good.
So instead of following a low FODMAP diet, what we want to do is simply filter our leaky gut diet against the high FODMAP foods.
Which is exactly what Ive done for you in the list above.
Say Hello To Digestive Enzymes A Guts Best Friend
Digestive enzymes are amazing, but the key is knowing which enzymes you need in a supplement, since different enzymes help with different foods. So lets run through that now.
Enzymes for healthy fats
- Lipase is the main enzyme that can help us break down the healthy fats we eat on the leaky gut diet. From extra virgin olive oil to avocados to tasty macadamia nuts, lipase makes turning fats into fatty acids and glycerol much easier. Can help with weight management too.
Enzymes for vegetables
- Amylase can help break down the starches in our vegetables into simple/soluble sugars. An absolute digestive angel.
- Cellulase, Hemicellulase and Xylanase can help us unlock key nutrients from vegetables, as well as fruits, by breaking down the fiber in them, eg cellulose.
- Alpha-Galactosidase can help with cruciferous veg , as well as other carbs , meaning less bloating and gas! One of my favorites, especially since I no longer have to blame poor puppy Mr McShmoogles for ye olde flatulence!
Enzymes for our clean protein
- A blend of alkaline, neutral and acid stable Protease enzymes can help us break down the protein in fish, chicken, meat, nuts and eggs, into peptides and amino acids. A big win with better protein break down is less bloating. Food baby be gone!
Enzymes for the harder-to-digest foods
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Suggested Treatments Range From Bogus To Dangerous
The Myth: Many solutions that leaky gut syndrome proponents recommend are based in fad diets, which declare that normal foods cause serious problems in most people. For instance, proponents of leaky gut syndrome recommend that patients avoid any foods with high sugar content , claiming that the excess sugar causes an overgrowth of a certain strain of yeast in the GI tract that is responsible for the damage to the intestinal wall. In addition, they say that sensitivities to gluten or lactose damage the intestine, and they recommend avoiding all dairy products and anything containing gluten.
Debunked: Fruit will not cause yeast to attack your intestines. While a small percentage of the population have symptoms related to gluten and lactose intake, these foods cause no problems for most individuals. Following these practitioners instructions is more likely to lead to nutritional deficiencies rather than reduced symptoms.
Another issue in this field is that many people in the popular media who support this unverified condition try to sell special products as a treatment for leaky gut syndrome. They offer unproven treatments for a condition that has no medical basis. Additionally, since many of these supplements havent been well researched, taking them could cost you a lot of money, do little to reduce your symptoms, and could even be dangerous.
Why Most Leaky Gut Diet Advice Sucks
Youve probably spent hours Googling around trying to work out what foods to eat for leaky gut.
And yet, it can still feel so confusing! Which makes sense, since no one has summarized the leaky gut diet onto one page.
Instead, doctors, bloggers and health sites, prefer to bombard you with
- Short posts, like 8 foods to eat for leaky gut
- 400 page books that leave you more confused than when you started
- 10-page shopping lists of weird foods youve never heard of and have zero chance of finding in your local supermarket
The problem is that you then end up feeling extremely overwhelmed .
And if youre crazy enough to soldier on, you might end up running into lots of conflicting food advice .
Well, dont worry, because Ive simplified it all for you. And now you can find the ultimate leaky gut diet food list on one page!
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Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Leaky Gut
ACV is naturally acidic, and so for people with low stomach acidity, using ACV may help raise stomach acid levels to aid digestion. In theory, this could prevent gas and bloating, which a slow digestion can cause. ACV is also an antimicrobial substance , meaning it may help kill bacteria in the stomach or intestines.
Level 2 Foods Enjoy Often
These foods are delicious and nutritious .
The range of flavors and textures available here should hopefully make sticking to the leaky gut diet easy or as easy as can be.
Some quick tips on eating level 2 foods
- Clean protein the quality matters, a lot. So try to opt for wild caught, pastured, grass fed etc. And limit it to 5 ounces per serve, which is healthier and more affordable.
- Probiotic and prebiotic foods start small and work up to larger serving sizes over time . And if you find these foods hard to eat often, try a probiotic supplement and prebiotic powder.
- Nuts, fruits & starchy veg eat them often, but in small serving sizes. Eg 7-8 nuts, 10-12 berries, ½ a sweet potato. And if any of them dont sit well for you, ditch em!
Typically, this group of foods will be 40% of our daily calories.
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