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Is Quinoa Bad For Leaky Gut

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Grains And Legumes Can Lead To Bacterial Overgrowth

What is Leaky Gut & How to Avoid It

An overabundance of partially digested food in the intestinal tract provides food for bacteria. A healthy balance of good bacteria is essential for your bodys overall well being. Because some bacteria will feed on partially digested grains and others wont, its easy for an imbalance to occur. Bacterial overgrowth can lead to a wide array of problems and can even help to break down the gut lining.

Multiplex Cytokine Profiling Of Mice Plasma

As shown in Fig. , the DSS exposure increased circulating levels of all tested inflammatory cytokine levels . When comparing the two diet groups with DSS treatment, plasma level of IL-6 in QDSS was significantly reduced to 174.8pg/ml, which was much lower than that of the MDSS group . A decrease was observed for IL-1 and a surprising increase of IFN- was observed in the QDSS group when compared to the MDSS group, but neither of them reached a statistically significant degree.

The levels of inflammatory cytokines in the plasma of mice. All data were analyzed by two-way analysis of variance followed Fishers LSD post hoc tests. *Indicates significant difference with P< 0.05,**Indicates P< 0.01 and ***Indicates P< 0.001 NS indicates lack of statistically significant difference.

Crucial Leaky Gut Foods To Avoid

Posted by Michael Bogden | Oct 13, 2020 | Functional Sports Nutrition | 0

Dealing with a leaky gut, AKA intestinal permeability is tough. Adding to the difficulty is figuring out which foods to eat or not eat after you find out you have a leaky gut.

If you havent read our post on The Ultimate Guide to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome Fast, you may want to check it out as we describe indetail the major causes of a leaky gut and the lifestyle changes that best help heal leaky gut.

But, what if youre specifically looking for the top leaky gut foods to avoid? Here it is, a brief, research-backed list of the essential leaky gut foods to avoid and a free leaky gut diet food list PDF so you know the most offensive foods to avoid at all costs.

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A Nutritional Staple Or Unnecessary Filler Food

While quinoas nutritional profile may look good on paper, there are several reasons to avoid it namely saponins, prolamins and phytic acid not to mention unnecessary carbohydrates.

Get your complete protein source from grass-fed beef, wild fish, pastured poultry, pork and eggs, with an assortment of mineral-rich leafy greens, colorful seasonal veggies and low sugar, antioxidant-rich fruits like organic berries and cherries.

Youll nourish your body with all of the nutrients it needs, while avoiding the potentially harmful immune-stimulating substances that were never a concern for our ancestors.


  • Quinoa: An ancient crop to contribute to world food security, UN FAO
  • Irma Podolak, corresponding author Agnieszka Galanty, and Danuta Sobolewska. Saponins as cytotoxic agents: a review. Phytochem Rev. Sep 2010 9: 425474.
  • Johnson IT, Gee JM, Price K, Curl C, Fenwick GR. Influence of saponins on gut permeability and active nutrient transport in vitro. J Nutr. 1986 Nov 116:2270-7.
  • Zevallos, VF, et al. Variable activation of immune response by quinoa prolamins in celiac disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 10.3945/ajcn.111.030684
  • Isabel Comino, María de Lourdes Moreno, Ana Real, Alfonso Rodríguez-Herrera, Francisco Barro, and Carolina Sousa. The Gluten-Free Diet: Testing Alternative Cereals Tolerated by Celiac Patients. Nutrients. Oct 2013 5: 42504268.
  • Vikki Petersen, MD. Celiac Alert: Quinoa Causes Problems in some Celiacs
  • About The Author

    Do Certain Foods Make Leaky Gut Better

    Is Quinoa Healthy? (Gluten, Leaky Gut + More)

    Interested in learning about the BEST foods and our top tips and tripos to help heal your leaky gut? Check out our post on the 5 Best Foods for Healing a Leaky Gut and our Top 7 Tips to Heal the Gut Naturally to learn more.


  • Fassano, A., Flaherty, S. Gluten Freedom: The Nations Leading Expert Offers the Essential Guide to a Healthy, Gluten-Free Lifestyle. Wiley. 2014.
  • Axe, J. Eat Dirt: Why Leaky Gut May Be the Root Cause of Your Health Problems and 5 Surprising Steps to Cure It. Harper Wave. 2016.
  • Recommended Reading: Can Ibs Come And Go

    Leaky Gut Diet Foods To Avoid

    What foods should you avoid if you have leaky gut syndrome? Its essential to avoid or greatly limit allergens and inflammatory foods when following a leaky gut diet.

    Foods/ingredients to avoid include:

    • Unsprouted grains, especially those containing gluten note that sprouting and fermenting grains reduces phytates and lectins, making these foods easier to digest
    • Processed foods made with added sugar
    • GMOs foods

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    Foods To Avoid For Leaky Gut

    There are two main categories of foods to avoid if you are working to heal leaky gut:

    • Processed, artificial, or inflammatory foods, and
    • Any food that you have a reaction to.

    Here is a list of foods that are often inflammatory for the intestinal lining, and should be removed, no matter what diet you are using to heal your gut lining:

    Gluten and Wheat-Based Products: One of the main foods to avoid while healing leaky gut is gluten grains. Gluten has been shown to increase zonulin in the intestines of celiac disease patients , and has been shown to increase zonulin in cell lines of celiac and non-celiac people . This includes foods such as wheat bread, pasta, tortillas, crackers, and cereals, and the grains wheat, spelt, rye, barley, and kamut.

    Sugar: Sweeteners, including sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, and alcohol, are inflammatory. They also feed the bad bacteria that may be causing your leaky gut.

    Processed and Snack Foods: Snack foods often contain gluten, sugar, inflammatory oils, and other additives. Includes chips, cakes, cookies, pretzels, etc.

    The sugar infoods such as candy, cake, cookies, and treats feeds bad bacteria and may increase leaky gut.

    Artificial Sweeteners: Sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin, which are included in diet sodas and other products, may cause intestinal permeability and negatively affect the gut microbiome.

    Industrial Seed Oils: Oils such as canola, corn, cottonseed, soy, and safflower may increase inflammation.

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    Why Should You Avoid Grains And Legumes

    Superfood Quinoa-The Bad Side Effect of Quinoa and How to Avoid It!

    The edible portion of these plants is the seed, which contains the embryo. A plants mission is to pass on its genes. Because a plant cant move around, it relies upon animals to spread its seeds. A seed, therefore, is designed to withstand digestion, moving through the body in order to be planted on different soil.

    There are several properties of a seed that allow it to survive the gastrointestinal tracts of animals. These properties all have the potential to cause harm and an inflammatory response.

    Here are the four main problems with grains and legumes.

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    Leaky Gut Diet: What To Eat

    Does diet help heal leaky gut? Learn what foods to eat on a leaky gut diet for autoimmune disease and other health conditions.

    Note: The information provided in this post is not meant to diagnose or treat any disease. Please consult with your physician or qualified health care provider before undertaking any therapeutic diets.

  • References
  • Up until recently, the established medical community hadnt recognized leaky gut syndrome as a medical condition, but theres growing research to suggest leaky gut, aka, increased intestinal permeability, may be associated with gut troubles, autoimmune disease and other health conditions.

    What exactly is leaky gut? Do you have it? How does it happen? Is there a diet for leaky gut?

    Quinoa Protects Vital Organs

    The antioxidants present in quinoa, such as polyphenols, total phenolics, and anthocyanins, do more than protect the kidney. It also protects the heart, liver, pancreas, and lungs against oxidant activities. In fact, compared to other pseudocereals such as amaranthus, quinoa has higher levels of antioxidants. The antioxidant properties are exaggerated when quinoa seeds are germinated and consumed as sprouts.

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    Is Quinoa Safe To Eat If I Am Gluten Sensitive

    Hi Dr Hagmeyer here! because I work with a lot of patient with either food sensitivities, celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and other intestinal related health problems, a commonly asked question is, Can I eat quinoa?

    So first off What is Quinoa?

    Quinoa while it looks like a grain actually is not. It is a pseudocereal seed used by many as a gluten free substitute. Because many people looking for ways to improve health have eliminated gluten, they are now eating Quinoa and many other non traditional grains like millet, spelt, buckwheat.

    Perhaps thats you. Maybe you have celiac disease or you have a known gluten sensitivity and you have eliminated Wheat and Barly, Rye and Oats but you have only noticed marginal improvements in your health.Maybe you have fallen into and even more dangerous trap. Believing that because your stomach no longer hurts the way it used to that these other grains are safe to eat.

    There are Three problems that I see with QuinoaAgain while quinoa is not a gluten containing grain the Storage proteins found in Quinoa are similar enough to gluten whereby a person with a gluten sensitivity could have a problem with it this is known as Cross Reactivity- And I should say that testing can be somewhat helpful here.

    A recent study found that 41% of processed products randomly pulled from grocery shelves contain enough gluten to cause damage to those with gluten sensitivity.

    Any grass bearing seed can be a problem for this reason.

    The Most Effective Ways To Help A Client With Leaky Gut Syndrome

    Is Oatmeal Bad For Leaky Gut

    Everyone and their mother seem to be talking about “Leaky Gut Syndrome” lately. As a wellness professional, you may even have clients coming to you with symptoms asking, “Do you think it might be leaky gut!?”.

    Leaky Gut Syndrome refers to an increase in intestinal permeability or intestinal hyperpermeability in extreme cases.

    A healthy gut lining allows only specific components of food to pass through into the bloodstream. This is how nutrients enter the bloodstream and promote health.

    However, poor diet, stress, and some medications can damage the gut lining over time. The result is a more permeable gut lining, which allows larger particles to enter the bloodstream while failing to properly absorb key nutrients.

    Undigested food particles, gut bacteria, proteins, and toxic waste shouldnt be able to enter the bloodstream. But when the gut lining becomes compromised they do, causing negative consequences.

    While Leaky Gut was once thought to affect only those with serious medical conditions such as Celiac Disease, we now know that even slight increases in intestinal permeability can cause chronic health issues.

    Common signs and symptoms of Leaky Gut include autoimmune disease, food sensitivities, digestive issues, inflammatory skin conditions, compromised immunity, joint pain, brain fog and low energy.

    Today I’ll be discussing the most effective ways to help a client with leaky gut syndrome including

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    Lectins And The Intestinal Wall

    As food passes through the gut, it causes very minor damage to the lining of the GI tract. Normally our cells repair this damage quickly. Since the purpose of the gut lining is to let small nutrients pass into the bloodstream, but still keep larger particles contained, its important for this repair system to be working well.

    But lectins can impair this systemand our cells cant regenerate as fast as they need to in order to keep the intestinal lining secure. If the damage continues, our gut becomes inflamed and doesnt function as well. The normally tight junctions of our intestinal wall widen, allowing various undigested food particles, toxins, and bacteria to pass into the bloodstream.3

    This might sound scary, but before you give up beans, peas, and lentils, know this: Its easy to reduce lectins from foods before you eat them. In fact, youre probably already doing it.

    Soaking, cooking, and sprouting, among other techniques, all dramatically reduce the amount of lectins, to the point that most of us dont get symptoms.

    Heres an important caveat, though: Some people are more sensitive to lectins than others, especially if they already have a bowel disorder . In these people, even small amounts of lectins generate immune-related symptoms .4 For them, a low lectin or lectin-free diet may be helpful.

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    So Are Grains Okay When Healing Your Gut

    Carbohydrates are hard to digest even for those with a healthy gut, so it stands to reason that those with digestive issues have a harder go of it. As a population, we have become more and more intolerant of carbs. Nowadays, even properly prepared grains are difficult for a damaged gut to handle.

    Ancient, soaked, or sprouted grains may be tolerable at first, but in time, if the gut is damaged and candida, yeasts, or bacteria are present, healing will be prevented and further damage is unavoidable.

    If your gut is damaged, I recommend you eliminate all grains from your diet for at least 3 months. Elimination diets are the most straightforward way to pinpoint the foods that affect your health.

    Usually, properly prepared grains can be added back to the diet eventually but everyone is different and healing times will vary. Some people may find that excluding grains for the most part, with occasional consumption , goes a long way to improving digestive issues and overall health.

    Given the evidence, it is a good idea to remove most carbohydrates in order to heal the gut. Ultimately, however, the choice is yours.

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    But the leaky gut story doesnt end with saponins! Grains, pseudo-grains, and dairy contain protease inhibitors. Protease inhibitors are the seeds attempt to escape digestion completely. These are compounds designed to neutralize the digestive enzymes that would normally degrade the plants proteins into their individual component amino acids. However, when protease inhibitors are present in our digestive tract, it affects degradation of all proteins present at that time. When our bodies sense the need to increase protein digestion, the pancreas secretes more digestive enzymes into the small intestine.

    The bottom line? Avoiding grains, legumes, and dairy on a Paleolithic diet is about more than replicating the actions of our ancestors. We have ample evidence that these foods can harm our gut health , and that replacing them with nutrient-dense foods that support rather than damage the gut is key for getting and staying healthy!

    S To Repair Your Leaky Gut

    Leaky Gut ~ Causes & Cures!

    Your best action is to follow the 4R approach that I used successfully with thousands of patients in my clinic.

    1. Remove. Remove all inflammatory and toxic foods, including sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Youll also want to eliminate any gut infections you have, whether caused by Candida overgrowth, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth , or parasites.

    2. Replace. Replace whats missing. Adding digestive enzymes to your regimen will help support optimal digestion and nutrient absorption, as well as assist your bodys intestinal repair and inflammation responses. Low stomach acid leads to a whole host of digestive issues that cause inflammation, swelling, and fluid retention in the stomach and digestive tract, so I recommend supplementing with HCL, which can help support a balanced pH in your gut.

    3. Reinoculate. Restore the beneficial bacteria in your gut with high-quality, high-potency probiotics to re-establish a healthy microbiome. I recommend 100 billion CFUs while dealing with a leaky gut, and 30 billion CFUs as a maintenance dose.

    4. Repair. Provide your gut with the essential nutrients it needs to repair itself. My most comprehensive weapon against leaky gut is Leaky Gut Revive® powder, which contains powerful gut-repairing ingredients l-glutamine, larch arabinogalactan, aloe, licorice, slippery elm, and marshmallow root.

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    So Is Quinoa Really That Dangerous

    WellNo, you just have to handle it properly. The common foodie will be well acquainted with washing rice, salad, vegetables and fruit, so whats another food on the list! While it might seem like an inconvenience when youre hungry, quinoas health benefits definitely outweigh an extra rinse to remove saponins.

    There are so many ways to add quinoa into your meals, adding not only a nutritional boost to your diet but great taste too!

    Recipes For Gut Health

    Now that you see what are the best types of foods for your gut, it’s time to put those tips into action. I don’t necessarily purposefully cook with gut-friendly foods, but after doing more and more research, there are quite a few recipes on this site that support good digestion.

    Here are my favorite gut-friendly recipes:

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    Is Quinoa Good For You

    The former darling of the superfood scene is under fire from some paleo enthusiasts.

    Their claim? Quinoa can cause a leaky gut .

    So, what’s going on, here? They blame saponins, which are compounds in the quinoa seeds outer coating, says Dr Megan Rossi of Kings College London. These bind to other vitamins and minerals in food, and can make it harder for your body to digest and absorb them.

    But lets not get overexcited if that were reason enough to purge your cupboards of quinoa, youd need to empty your vegetable drawer, too.

    Saponins are found in spinach as well, but the leaves are worth eating because theyre an excellent source of dietary fibre, explains Dr Rossi. ‘Plus, rinse your quinoa pre-cooking and youll remove most of the saponins anyway.’

    The bottom line? If quinoa or any other food causes you an issue, talk to a dietitian. If not: as you were.

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