The Mystery Of Leaky Gut
The reason doctors cannot agree on the reality of leaky gut syndrome is that research produces conflicting evidence regarding the specifics of it. The symptoms are reported and tests are done to confirm inflammation, but much of what causes the condition is a mystery.
The condition is related to the intestinal permeability of your gut, which typically only allows nutrients to pass through. With leaky gut, other, toxic particles are able to escape too.
Tight junctions are gaps in your intestinal wall that allow nutrients to pass into the blood. Leaky gut is marked by increased intestinal permeability and the loosening of these junctions.
What specifically causes that is still under research, but the result is very well known: Undigested food, toxins, and other harmful substances are allowed to pass into the blood. Once these are in your body, the immune system marks them as foreign targets.
While this may seem like a good thing, it is not. Your immune system targeting something foreign is good, but not when those particles or toxins reach a healthy organ in your body. The result is that this organ or part of your body is also attacked.
Studies have shown the link between autoimmune problems and the presence of leaky gut, and because of the severity of autoimmune diseases, clogging the leak is becoming a point of focus.
Which Probiotic Supplements Are Best
There are thousands of probiotic products on the market, with each company claiming theirs is best. Scan the supplement aisle at your local grocer and youre likely to be overwhelmed with options.
If you decide to take a probiotic supplement, here are four factors to look at when you shop:
Good Gut Bugs And How To Get Them
Positive bacteria are often called healthy gut bugs.
Good gut bugs help your body digest and absorb nutrients, synthesize certain vitamins, and rally against intruders, such as the flu and toxic-forming carcinogens.
In the wise words of David Perlmutter, MD: A healthy microbiome translates into a healthy human.
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What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome
There are 4 main reasons for the leaky gut syndrome:
Feed Your Gut Bacteria With The Right Leaky Gut Diet
Since the problem involves the small intestines, its only right to pay close attention to the types of food you eat. When you have a leaky gut, you can consider:
- Increasing your fiber intake as bacteria love to eat it as well
- Nourishing your body with plenty of greens to reduce inflammation and improve immune function
- Staying away from processed and junk food, which is usually high in sugar and boosts inflammation risks
- Eating healthy or good fats such as avocados, olive oil, and some nuts
- Adding sprouted seeds to introduce essential nutrients such as zinc and reduce the anti-nutrients like lectin
What are Anti-Nutrients? These are compounds present in plants that reduce the ability of the body to absorb nutrients.
Healing a leaky gut may take a while, but its definitely possible. Even better, you can do it naturally since medications may only make the situation worse.
Before you do anything, though, always consult with your doctor. Work with them to find out the best course of action.
You can use this as your guide when you want to ask the right questions or make informed health decisions.
What are your tips on how to treat a leaky gut? Share them in the comments section below.
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How To Find Your Best Leaky Gut Diet
The most powerful thing you can do to improve leaky gut is to listen to your body and stoplistening to everyone else, especially regarding diet.
Diet templates you may have heard about, such as the paleo or low FODMAP diet, are a helpful place to start figuring out what to eat.
But the main goal of eating for leaky gut is to reduce gut inflammation by eating healthy, whole foods and avoiding most of the processed foods that cause gut inflammation.
Leaky gutfoods to eat include:
- A wide range of veggies and fruits.
- Healthy fats, such as coconut oil, olive oil, andavocados.
- Clean, grass-fed or wild proteins, like beef, pork,poultry, fish, and eggs.
- Gluten-free whole grains
- Berry sorbet
Foods To Avoid For Leaky Gut
There are two main categories of foods to avoid if youare 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 intestinallining, and should be removed, no matter what diet you are using to healyour gutlining:
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, areinflammatory. They also feed the bad bacteria that may be causing your leaky gut.
Processed and SnackFoods: Snack foods often contain gluten, sugar, inflammatory oils, andother additives. Includes chips, cakes, cookies, pretzels, etc.
Thesugar infoods such as candy, cake,cookies, and treats feeds bad bacteria and may increase leaky gut.
ArtificialSweeteners: Sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin,which are included in diet sodas and other products, may cause intestinalpermeability and negatively affect the gut microbiome.
Industrial Seed Oils:Oils such as canola, corn, cottonseed, soy, and safflower may increaseinflammation.
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Leaky Gut Diet: 20 Best Foods To Heal Leaky Gut
7. Nightshade Veggies & Spices 8. Conventional and Processed Meats & Cheese9. Artificial Sweeteners10. Canola Oil and Vegetable Oils
No, not all of these foods are not bad , but for optimal digestive purposes, these foods are correlated with leaky gut as they can be more difficult for the gut to break down. Experiment with what works for you.
The Whole30 Is A Specific Clean
The program eliminates added sugar, additives, grains, alcohol, dairy, and legumes for 30 days. After 30 days, you try foods one at a time to see if you feel good after eating them . The ultimate goal is to continue eating nutrient-rich, unprocessed foods and avoid problematic foods for you.
There are no specific research studies on this eating plan, but it is based on a familiar nutrition principle the elimination diet. Remove the most likely causes of symptoms to see if you feel better. Nourish your body, especially your gut, with whole foods free of additives and full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals for 30 days. Reintroduce the eliminated foods one at a time and see if you feel worse. Because this is so popular, there are many cookbooks, Whole30 approved brands, and blogs to support your journey if youre interested in trying it.
Even though there are no studies on this diet, it does eliminate processed foods, alcohol, sugar, which would presumably decrease inflammation.
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The Best Gut Healing Diet
As you may have guessed, since leaky gut is so closely connected with what you put in your mouth, the most important element of healing leaky gut is your diet. To support a strong intestinal lining and help repair any increased permeability, you want to eat foods that promote good bacteria and fend off harmful bacteria, and avoid anything that doesnt agree with your unique body.
Everyones gut-healing diet will look slightly different, because each of us has our own distinct microbiome, but the best gut healing diet generally contains these foods and food groups:
As well as eating the gut-healing foods above, its important to avoid foods that can be damaging to your gut health. That means reducing your consumption of sugar, refined carbohydrates, processed foods, gluten, alcohol, and refined oils.
What Is The Leaky Gut Syndrome
The leaky gut syndrome is a rapidly growing condition that people from the world over are experiencing of late. Although problems begin with your digestive system if you have the leaky gut syndrome, it affects other aspects of your health as well.
Your gut is lined by a wall, which is similar to a net with small holes in them. These small holes act as filters and enable the passage of certain substances only. It acts as a shield to keep out the bigger, harmful substances from entering your body.
When someone has a leaky gut, it means that the gut lining is damaged and cannot optimally function as a barrier any longer. The smaller holes become larger and allow harmful substances like gluten, bad bacteria, and undigested food particles to enter your system and cause considerable damage to health.
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Kefir: One Of The Most Probiotic
While this cultured product is traditionally made with dairy, its coconut or water-based counterparts can be even better and keep you free from the controversial health effects of cows milk.
You may be able to find dairy-free kefir in your area. Or you can order kefir starters and make it yourself using coconut water or nut milk. Just be sure that you dont oversweeten it because sugar can be bad for your microbiome.
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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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.
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 .
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Why Gut Health Is Important For Your Body And Your Mind
The gut is composed of a whole host of microbes that affect your physiology and keep your body and brain functioning as they should.
As studies tell us, these gut microbes affect the way you store fat, how you balance levels of glucose in your blood, and how you respond to hormones that make you feel hungry or satiated.
The wrong internal mix can set the stage for obesity and other health issues later in life.
Scientists have also found that gut bacteria produce neurotransmitters that regulate your mood including serotonin, dopamine, and GABA.
Researchers have also discovered that a nervous system in your gut communicates with the brain in your head. It also plays a role in certain diseases and in mental health.
In other words, the wellness of both your body and your brain depend on your gut health.
What If You Dont Feel Better With A Dietchange
If you dont see results from a simple, whole foods diet, unidentified food intolerances, eating unhealthy healthfoods, and unaddressed bad bacteria maybe the cause.
You may have already tried one of these diets, or avariation of it, and not seen results. There are lots of possible reasons forthis. Here are the top 3 reasons I see in the clinic:
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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
The Complete Leaky Gut Diet Guide: How To Heal Your Gut
You may have heard of leaky gut syndrome before. Leaky gut happens when your intestinal lining gets damaged, allowing the contents of your small intestine undigested food particles, gut bacteria, and more to leak into your bloodstream, triggering an immune response.
Leaky gut is becoming more and more common thanks to food sensitivities, chronic stress, inflammation, nutritional deficiencies, and imbalances in gut flora.
The good news is that a ketogenic diet can help improve symptoms of leaky gut and the health problems associated with it. A high-fat, low-carb diet like the keto diet can relieve a lot of the inflammation and intestinal barrier damage that contributes to leaky gut.
This article will cover what leaky gut is, its causes and symptoms, how keto can help with leaky gut, and a few other ways you can repair your intestinal wall and get rid of leaky gut.
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