Dandelion Greens: An Edible Weed That Is Great For Your Gut
This super healthy green is GREAT for your gut. Dandelion greens are full of minerals, improve blood lipids, and they are rich in inulin, a particular prebiotic fiber that boosts your guts production of healthy, good-for-you bacteria, like bifidobacteria.
David Perlmutter, MD, : Boosting bifidobacteria has a number of benefits including helping to reduce the population of potentially damaging bacteria, enhancing bowel movements, and actually helping boost immune function.
They can be bitter. But Dr. Perlmutter recommends sauteeing them with onions or drinking them as tea. You can also use them in soups and salads.
A Keto Diet Was First Used To Treat Seizures
A ketogenic diet or keto is an eating plan that is very high in fat and low in carbohydrates and protein. The preferred fuel for our brain and body cells is glucose, a kind of sugar. If we dont have enough glucose available because of a low-carb diet, our body makes ketones a substitute fuel.
Ketones are then used for energy, but they also suppress hunger. Going into ketosis is a survival mechanism that allows us to stay alive during food shortages.
The ketogenic diet was first investigated as an intervention for those with epilepsy or seizure disorder. Although currently quite popular, it is very restrictive and difficult to follow long-term .
A ketogenic diet influences the kinds of bacteria that thrive in our gut and may reduce inflammation . There are no known studies linking keto and gut permeability directly just yet.
Structure Of Our Digestive System
The lining of the digestive tract is made up of cell types called epithelial cells .
Our gut lining is only one cell thick of these cells!
This lining of the gut is called the brush border. The brush border protects us from the outside world, from unwanted bacteria, toxins, viruses, and more.
The digestive wall is like our skin, only much thinner and much more vulnerable. This digestive lining completely turns over every week .
This is faster than any type of cell turnover in the body. While very vulnerable, it is also very receptive to repair for this very reason!
The following factors help provide support for this digestive structure:
- Tight junctions
- Short-chain fatty acids from foods
- Healthy bacteria and microbes
The digestive wall also makes enzymes called brush border enzymes . Why is this important? Brush border enzymes help break down your food into usable forms for the body.
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Now Lets Take A Look At The 4 Different Levels
- Level 1 this is where youll find the 3 main types of food that you can eat like crazy. They are so healthy that theres no need to count calories!
- Level 2 here youll see the 8 groups of food that you can eat often . Youll find some of the tastiest foods included here, which hopefully makes this diet much easier to stick to.
- Level 3 & 4 this is where youll discover 5 more types of food, which you can eat occasionally IF you can tolerate them. Further below, Ill talk about how to test yourself to see if you can handle them.
To make sure this food poster is super handy for you, I will now go through each level in detail, including telling you exactly how much to eat of each level. This portion control can make a huge difference.
Side note some of the foods fit into multiple categories. For example, avocado could be in 3 different categories. And so Ive placed foods wherever they make the most sense.
And for a few foods, Ive added them to more than one category .
Removal Phase: Foods To Avoid With Leaky Gut
During this phase you will be removing any foods believed to cause gut inflammation, imbalances between levels of good and bad bacteria in the gut, or an immune response.
This diet aims to reduce inflammation and help improve the integrity of your gut lining. This phase may last 30-90 days depend on the improvement of your symptoms. Once you see an improvement in your symptoms and are feeling much better, you will reintroduce the healthy foods gradually to determine which contribute to your symptoms and how much you can tolerate. The overall goal is to have a varied diet and only limit the foods that are contributing to your negative symptoms.
This diet focuses on replacing potential toxins with gut nourishing foods that are thought to heal the gut and reduce inflammation.
It is very restrictive, and it is recommended that you perform this under medical supervision. Please note, the list below is not all inclusive but just a guideline.
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First Work With Your Medical Provider To Find The Root Cause
Leaky gut is not a medical diagnosis, but an underlying cause/symptom related to many conditions. Studies have shown what types of environmental and lifestyle habits can typically lead to a weakened gut lining, but it is helpful to identify your own root cause. This will help you identify what personal changes you need to make to your daily lifestyle and what specific interventions you will need to make.
The treatment recommendation will be focused on the underlying condition/cause of the leaky gut. Building up our immune system and improving the diversity of our gut microbiome is the key to overall health.
Always see your doctor when you are having abdominal pain that is causing you concern or lasting more than a few days for example, experiencing persistent heartburn, or any discomfort that interferes with your routine.
Seek emergency medical assistance if you have severe pain and abdominal tenderness, fever, bloody stools, persistent nausea, and vomiting.
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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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
Gum Arabic: Sap From The Acacia Tree
You may not have heard of this superfood, but its a prebiotic and has a substantial amount of fiber.
A 2008 study in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that gum arabic increases good bacterial strains, particularly Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.
Also known as acacia fiber, you can stir the powder in water and drink it or take it as a supplement.
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What Is The Fastest Way To Heal Leaky Gut
Leaky gut doesnt happen alone. Its always part of a picture of poor gut health, and is often accompanied by conditions like IBS, autoimmune disease or allergies. Solving your health puzzle is never a quick fix, but testing can help you find a good place to start.
For example, a Gut Health Test could reveal you have dysbiosis, a yeast overgrowth or an H. pylori infection. Tackling these issues will also address leaky gut.
The fastest way to start healing leaky gut is to clean up your diet.
However, nothing is a quick fix. It takes more than a couple of weeks of cutting out pizza to get good gut health.
Because everyone is different, everyones ideal diet is different too. For example, some people like to include lots of whole grains, like quinoa, brown rice and oats in their diet. Whole grains feed their good gut bacteria, regulate their bowel movements and maintain their energy levels throughout the day.
For other people, grains can exacerbate their gut dysbiosis , resulting in bloating, diarrhoea or constipation.
Still, there are some diets which have been found to be helpful for leaky gut:
- Gluten free5
- Intermittent fasting9
Leaky Gut Diet Sample Menu
Based on the recommendations above regarding the best and worst leaky gut foods, here is what a few days of meals might look like when following a leaky gut diet plan:
- Breakfast: avocado on sprouted grain toast topped with sauerkraut and tomatoes
- Lunch: salad topped with sliced grass-fed steak and cooked or cultured veggies
- Dinner: stir-fry made with mixed veggies and protein of our choice
- Breakfast: yogurt parfait made with plain yogurt, chia seeds and berries
- Lunch: cooked fish, such as salmon, with steamed veggies topped with olive oil
- Dinner: seared chicken served with a mixed salad or vegetable soup
- Breakfast: smoothie made with coconut milk, kefir or raw milk, sprouted almond butter and collagen protein powder
- Lunch: chicken salad made with yogurt and avocado, served with veggies or salad
- Dinner: steak or fish served with vegetable soup
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How To Improve Gut Health
There are a number of natural ways to improve gut health. Lets start with what to stop or phase-out. Its always best to eliminate the cause, so lets avoid giving our guts junk to deal with. How about eliminating added sugars, processed foods, and alcohol? Try that for a few weeks, and you may be amazed at how much better your body feels.
A review of the literature in 2016, showed that an increased consumption of sugar negatively impacts the gut bacteria colony, leading to dysbioisis . When our gut bacteria becomes unbalanced, it affects the integrity of our gut barrier .
You may also want to work with a Registered Dietitian to investigate other gut irritants and embark on an elimination protocol. Dairy and grains contain common compounds known to irritate some peoples guts . Sometimes you only need to eliminate them for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference for your health.
And its not only about the sugar! This systematic review indicates that dietary fat can also impact the composition of our microbiota. In fact, some evidence implies that a diet high in saturated fat may promote inflammation, with a plant-based diet having an anti-inflammatory response.
The Leaky Gut Diet And Treatment Plan Including Top Gut Foods
Leaky gut syndrome is a condition thats thought to affect millions of people, many of whom dont even know it. The good news is following a leaky gut diet can help overcome this condition.
From the sound of it, you might think leaky gut syndrome only impacts digestive health, but in reality it can lead to many other health conditions. For example, according to recent research, the cause of your food allergies, fatigue, joint pain, thyroid disease and autoimmune conditions may be a leaky gut.
What is the fastest way to treat leaky gut? Following a healing leaky gut syndrome diet is one of the best strategies for getting your body back on track.
In this article, I outline specifically how a leaky gut diet works, so you can break through some of the stubborn health problems youve been struggling with.
Jicama: Also Known As A Mexican Turnip
This fresh, sweet and crunchy root vegetable is power-packed with fiber. One cup of raw jicama chopped up and added to a salad will bring a whopping 6g of fiber to the table 15% of your daily recommended intake.
And jicama is also great for weight loss and blood sugar control. Plus, its high in vitamin C.
This uniquely textured veggie is perfect for salads, smoothies, and stir-fries.
Eat Fewer Fodmap Foods
FODMAP is an acronym for fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols. These foods are highly fermentable, and they are not well absorbed in the small bowel. They pass from your stomach through your small intestine and into your large intestine mostly undigested and unabsorbed. Foodss high in FODMAPs are fast food for the bacteria that live naturally in the large bowel. This can lead to bowel distention if your bodies gut microbiome is out of balance. If you are suffering from dysbiosis, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or leaky gut, you will want to repair your gut first before you reintroduce these foods.
Foods that may trigger digestive symptoms in sensitive individuals:
Fructan sources: Wheat, Rye, Garlic, onion, leeks, scallions, artichokes, nectarines, persimmon, tamarillo, watermelon, white peaches, chamomile and fennel tea, and chicory-based coffee substitutes.
Galacto-oligosaccharides sources: Beans, lentils, soybeans and soy products (textured vegetable proteins, and cashews and pistachios.
Lactose sources: Dairy products and ingredients from cow, goat, or sheeps milk.
Fructose sources: Certain fruits , asparagus, artichoke, sugar snap peas, Rum, Honey, high-fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, fructose, fruit juice concentrate.
Note: When reintroducing FODMAP, you can test one FOODMAP group at a time, and not each individual food.
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Importance Of Gut Health
When your gut health isn’t right, bloating, diarrhea, stomach pain for no reason, and many other conditions can occur, seemingly out of nowhere. When a person’s microbiome is thrown out of function, he or she can suffer from physical problems.
Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohns disease can affect any area of the gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus, either in continuity or as isolated areas. If these diseases permeate the intestines, it can impair GI function.
Even anxiety and depression put GI impairment into effect. The functionality of a person’s gut is directly proportional to the diversity of the gut microbiome.
Foods To Eat And Avoid In A Leaky Gut Diet
While you might need help from a health professional to help pinpoint the origins of your leaky gut problems, that doesnt mean you have to just sit and wait. Over time, keeping proactive and taking steps towards a healthier gut can help heal a leaky gut. While there are some lifestyle changes that you can make to help heal your gut, here are some foods to both eat and avoid in a leaky gut diet!
The 5 Foods to Eat in a Leaky Gut Diet
Prebiotic + Probiotic foods
Amongst some of the most important foods to consume during a leaky gut diet, or even on a normal basis, are prebiotic and probiotic foods. Our gut contains trillions of tiny bacteria, with the majority of them being good and just some of them bad. Keeping that balance towards good bacteria is the key to maintaining a health gut and a properly functioning body!
Including prebiotic and probiotic foods into your leaky gut diet, or even your day-to-day diet, will help bolster your gut health. Most prebiotic foods consist of healthy fiber, which well get to in just a bit. Some probiotic foods that you can include are kefir, kombucha, kimchi, legumes, sauerkraut, probiotic supplements, etc. Maintaining that healthy gut environment, filled with good bacteria, will not only help heal leaky gut, but can also help prevent it .
Bone Broth + Collagen
Fiber Filled Foods
The 5 Foods to Avoid in a Leaky Gut Diet
Sugar + Artificial Sweeteners
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This Condition Is Not Typically Diagnosed But Could Be Affecting The Health Of Many People
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My body never completely bounced back after I had my first child15 years ago. I’ve told myself that my symptoms were part of being a busy mom: fatigue, digestive problems, joint pain, insomnia, low libido, even mild-grade depression. Many moms I know suffer the same ailments, or worse. They’ll subside at some point, I told myself. My health care provider tested me over the years for various medical conditionsfrom anemia and thyroid disorders to mononucleosis and Lyme disease. The tests always came out negative. “You just need to sleep more and manage your stress better,” he told me.
I found an answer four months ago when I went to see Willie Victor, a nutritionist in Mill Valley, California, whose practice is based on the healing properties of food. She asked me to keep a food diary and take a blood test for food allergies and sensitivities.
The results were shocking. It turns out I was “highly sensitive” to a number of foods that had been a regular part of my daily dietdairy, soy, sugar, caffeine and gluten.
10 signs you have a leaky gut:
According to Dr. Leo Galland, director of the Foundation for Integrated Medicine, the following symptoms might be signs of leaky gut: