Leaky gut is a condition that allows bacteria and toxins to escape through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream. Those with it often experience a range of digestive symptoms, including diarrhea, constipation, or bloating. Now, that all sounds pretty intense. Fortunately, there are some pretty simple ways to relive those symptoms, and a lot of them revolve around what you eat. Read on below to get started with the Leaky Gut Diet Plan.
The gut works hard to transport, digest, and absorb nutrients. It's also lined with a mix of mucous and cells that form a barrier to prevent harmful substances from entering the bloodstream. Unfortunately, certain situations can cause that lining to become increasingly permeable. As a result, harmful substances such as allergens, larger undigested food particles, bad gut bacteria, carcinogens, and toxins “leak” into the bloodstream. This is also known as a leaky gut.
In turn, your immune system responds to the threat with its first line of defense; inflammation. In addition to triggering gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, chronic intestinal inflammation can lead to inflammatory bowel disease. The condition also leads to chronic inflammation beyond the digestive tract.
Since a leaky gut puts pressure on different systems in the body including the immune system, it's important to understand how you can best support your digestive health and help heal a leaky gut.
Some studies suggest that increased intestinal permeability could be linked to an autoimmune disease. Gastrointestinal conditions like Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are known contributors to increased intestinal permeability.
Other potential causes include chronic stress, bacterial imbalance, toxin overload, smoking, alcohol, and some medication. Diet is another important factor to consider, especially one that's high in inflammatory foods. Before we take a closer look at foods that promote leaky gut, let's learn more about foods that can help with leaky gut symptoms.
You've probably heard that food is medicine, and when it comes to chronic diseases like gut inflammation, research clearly shows the link between diet and overall health.
In other words, just as some foods can promote disease, others can prevent, manage, and even reverse disease. Let's find out how the following foods can relieve leaky gut symptoms.
Every culture favors its own go-to fermented foods, but most of us are familiar with yogurt, pickles, raw cheese, and sourdough bread. Other popular fermented foods include sauerkraut (sour cabbage), miso, kombucha, and kefir made from milk or coconut milk.
As one of the oldest methods for preserving and preparing food, fermented foods have benefits that go beyond preservation. Fermented foods contain probiotics, which are live bacteria and yeast that are good for your digestive system.
Probiotics can also enhance immune response, lower cholesterol, prevent cancer, and more. If you're looking for the ideal leaky gut diet, it's best to start with these superfoods.
We've all heard that chicken soup is good for the soul. Well, turns out it's good for the gut as well. In fact, all bone broths - beef, chicken, lamb, fish, and others - are big contributors to digestive health.
As a unique source of protein, bone broth is rich in amino acids. That component helps reduce gut permeability and inflammation. Meanwhile, the gelatin in bone broth protects the mucosal lining. Unsurprisingly, people with inflammatory bowel diseases tend to have lower levels of both.
It's no secret that your immune system relies on a healthy gut to perform optimally. Fiber-rich foods help increase beneficial bacteria by clearing toxins out of the body. A high-fiber diet is a great way to ensure those toxins are eliminated through bowel movements and don't get reabsorbed into the bloodstream. Studies also show that dietary fiber is a protective nutrient for the intestinal barrier. Some examples of fiber-rich foods include artichokes, avocado, banana, brussel sprouts, lentils, and nuts.
Fiber can also help reduce the risk of diabetes, coronary heart disease, obesity, gastrointestinal diseases, breast cancer, and colon cancer as well as regulating blood sugar levels and, supporting weight loss.
Omega 3s are compounds that we can't produce ourselves, which is why we find ways to incorporate them into our diet. These acids have powerful properties that aid in their ability to fight inflammation, a common symptom of leaky gut syndrome. Foods that are rich in omega 3 include anchovies, egg yolks, salmon fish oil, chia seeds, sardines, and whitefish.
The powerful health benefits associated with Turmeric may surprise you. Curcumin, its most active ingredient, contains powerful properties that fight inflammation. It's even been found more effective than other anti-inflammatories including aspirin and ibuprofen.
Almonds are one of the most popular Leaky Gut Diet foods. They contain healthy fats and prebiotic components; fibers that are metabolized by gut bacteria. Prebiotics help with digestion and can boost short-chain fatty acids, which help maintain a healthy gut lining.
As “food” for your beneficial gut bacteria, prebiotics are important for maintaining balanced gut flora, which is key for overall digestive health. Almonds also contain phytonutrients (also called phytochemicals) which help promote the growth of new and healthy bacteria.
These superfruits contain powerful compounds that can help fight leaky gut, especially flavonoids; a group of diverse polyphenols that have stellar antioxidant properties. Flavonoids not only reduce inflammation but also condition our cells to respond better to future inflammation issues.
Just as important as the foods you incorporate into your leaky gut diet plan are those you eliminate. Though you may enjoy eating junk food regularly, your digestive system requires items with anti-inflammatory properties to do the job right. Below, we've listed a few foods that can actually compromise the body's efforts to improve digestive health.
If you want to heal a leaky gut then you should avoid artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose (E955), and saccharin (E954). About 600 times sweeter than sugar, consuming artificial sweeteners increase the risks of type 2 diabetes, weight gain, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.
Studies show that artificial sweeteners also change the balance of your gut bacteria, and not in a good way. Remember, artificial sweeteners aren't only added to "diet" sodas and baked goods. They're also in salad dressings, toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gum, alcoholic beverages, breakfast cereals, prescription drugs, and even cough syrup.
Now, you may be confused, having already read about the incredible health benefits of fermented dairy products like yogurt and kefir. But the truth is, not all dairy products are created equal. While fermented dairy products, as well as unpasteurized milk, have powerful health benefits, the same cannot be said about conventional dairy products.
For example, conventionally raised livestock are given hormones and antibiotics, and this poses risks to overall health. This doesn't only lead to antibiotic resistance and difficulties in digesting dairy products, but also to common food allergies associated with dairy. To help combat symptoms associated with leaky gut, avoid conventional dairy products and opt for dairy-free alternatives instead.
The proteins found in barley, rye, and wheat are known as "gluten." While gluten does provide certain health benefits it can also have a negative effect, which is why gluten products have been linked to increased intestinal permeability. Gluten is also a strong trigger of zonulin, a protein that appears much more prominent in individuals suffering from leaky gut and celiac disease.
If you're suffering from either condition, try replacing gluten products with items like brown rice, buckwheat, oats, and quinoa instead.
As inflammatory foods, baked goods are linked to a higher risk of diabetes, stomach cancer, and coronary heart disease. This isn't so surprising, considering that some of the most common ingredients in baked goods include artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, and synthetic preservatives, which are linked to changing the gut flora and disrupting the immune system.
The refined oils, sugars, preservatives, and artificial flavors in junk food help the bad bacteria in your gut thrive. The more "junk" they're fed, the stronger they become. Before long, these bad bacteria will multiply until they outnumber the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
While red meat has many health benefits, processed meat - which is part of the Standard American Diet - is linked to heart disease and cancer. Sadly, the studies that focus on meat don't distinguish between processed and unprocessed red meat.
As part of your elimination diet, it's a good idea to remove red meat, especially if you aren't able to find grass-fed and unprocessed red meat.
FODMAPS are a collection of food molecules that are poorly absorbed in the gut. They can also cause sensations of bloating and discomfort. This is why it's important to avoid high FODMAP foods and stick to a low FODMAP diet instead.
In addition to eating healthy foods to soothe the symptoms of a leaky gut, it's important to support your gut health in other ways. Exercise is one way to maintain optimal gut health. The activity can even change the composition and functionality of the gut microbiome. Studies found that even moderate exercise is enough to influence gut bacteria so you don't need a gym membership. Brisk walking, jogging in the park, or doing cardio at home can do wonders.
Another way to improve your gut health is limiting your medication intake if possible, especially antibiotics and NSAIDs. While these can help you feel better, they can lead to intestinal permeability.
In addition to a leaky gut diet, consider leaky gut supplements such as probiotics. Combined with leaky gut foods and stress management, this measure will go a long way in protecting the integrity of your intestinal tract.
Modern life can be tough on your gut health and overall health. With a poor diet, chronic stress, and a sedentary lifestyle, the good bacteria that thrive in your gut can become weak and are outnumbered.
New and exciting ways to keep track of gut health are also on the way. Designed with high-quality biometric sensors, the Çava Seat can track your gut health, heart health, fitness progress, and more, without changing your daily routine. Daily bathroom visits provide some of the best information needed to identify gut imbalances and food sensitivities.
By tracking your vitals, body composition, and waste quality the Çava Seat is able to learn over time and make recommendations to help you live a healthier life.
The best foods to repair leaky gut are anti-inflammatory foods or foods that promote beneficial bacteria while maintaining healthy gut lining. These include turmeric, bone broth, fermented foods, omega 3s, almonds, and fiber.
Foods to avoid a leaky gut include processed foods like baked goods, artificial sweeteners, junk food, gluten products, and conventional dairy products.
A change in your diet is the fastest way to heal a leaky gut.
Eggs contain many health benefits including reducing the risk of heart disease and are part of a low FODMAP diet. In addition, eggs are rich in omega 3, which is important for reducing inflammation associated with leaky gut. Still, no two bodies are alike. If eggs trigger symptoms for you, then it's best to avoid them.