People often ask me: What is the optimal diet to resolve chronic conditions such as leaky gut?
As we discussed in the last article, leaky gut doesn’t only affect your digestion as it might sound. Since leaky gut essentially means that toxins and undigested food particles can escape the gut and enter the bloodstream, it understandably can cause a hoard of other issues.
The good news though is that you can take steps on your own to heal your leaky gut, and consequently, alleviate the widespread symptoms it causes. The biggest thing you can change right now is your diet. I won’t say it is easy! It takes willpower, but it’s not too complicated.
What to Remove from Your Diet
There are a host of foods that irritate your gut causing inflammation and eventually leaky gut. Simply by removing these foods from your diet, you’ll see an improvement over time in your symptoms because the chronic irritation is removed! Our bodies have the power to heal themselves if we can remove the obstacles.
You will want to remove:
- Carbohydrates like wheat, rice, spelt, soy, and legumes contain certain types of lectins, prolamin and agglutinin, which are proteins that can be hard to digest and can cause intestinal permeability. Sprouting grains makes these proteins more digestible, so once your gut is healed, you can add sprouted, gluten-free grains back into your diet in moderation. (Source)
- Sugar feeds yeast and bad bacteria in your gut which creates an imbalance in your gut flora and creates conditions like candida, bacterial dysbiosis and SIBO, which contribute to leaky gut.
- Dairy – it’s no surprise that dairy causes leaky gut since it’s designed to create permeability in infants when it’s important for nutrients from mothers’ milk to make its way into babies’ blood. Some dairy contains A1 Casein which irritates your gut lining, plus the pasteurization of the milk goes destroys digestive enzymes.
- Alcohol consumption not only creates holes in your gut, but it also creates overgrowth of bad bacteria in your gut like E. coli and peptidoglycan which act as endotoxins when they are released into the bloodstream.
What to Add In to Your Diet
Some general tips for lessening gut irritation are to eat healthy good fat and grass-fed protein, while consuming smaller meals and chewing food thoroughly.
Chewing your food thoroughly?! YES! Something as simple as that can help. Chewing breaks down your food creating less work for your gut when digesting, plus your saliva will create more digestive enzymes.
Additionally, if you eat the following foods regularly, you can speed up your healing process by feeding your gut probiotics that promote healthy bacteria growth, reducing inflammation, and giving your gut what it needs to boost healing the permeability (like collagen, proline, and glycine):
- Amasai yogurt
- Grass-fed butter, ghee, or butter oil
- Naturally fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles (without sugar)
- Bone broth (from grass-fed animal bones)
- Cultured whey water
- Fermented cod liver oil
Prebiotic foods promote the growth of good gut bacteria by providing soluble fiber. Things like dandelion greens, chicory root, jicama, Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, onion, and leeks are excellent choices.
It takes time to heal leaky gut, so it also takes patience and consistency. If you don’t see improvement right away, take heart and stick with it. You are also welcome to reach out to me for additional guidance into regaining your health. Call my office at 831-373-6204 if you need some support! That’s why I am here, after all.