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
Curcumin For Leaky Gut
Using curcumin for leaky gut was suggested by research to be very beneficial, and it is believed to be a result of curcmin anti-inflammtnatory and antioxidant properties. According to research, oral supplementation with curcumin may improve intestinal barrier function and prevent the development of metabolic diseases .
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric is well known for its anti inflammatory properties. A known issue with curcumin however, is its low absorption and bioavailability in the body. When choosing curcemin supplements, the preference is organic turmeric extract that is derived using an extraction process that preserves curcumin properties and enhances its absorption in the body.
What Foods Should You Avoid During Flare
If youre having increased intestinal permeability symptoms, raw fruits and veggies can be triggering because they are packed with fiber and harder to digest. To help with digestibility, try cooking the vegetables or blending the fruit into a smoothie instead. Similarly, whole grain foods, like bread and pasta, can be hard to digest when having symptoms, so they might have to be limited during flare-ups.;
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Which Digestive Enzyme Is Best To Take
Up until recently I struggled to find a specific product that met all 4 points. Unfortunately, the market is just saturated with weak, low quality, allergen-laced digestive enzymes.
So together with my research team at Essential Stacks we decided to create our own high quality digestive enzyme complex, that ticks all 4 points.
And of course it contains all the different enzymes listed in the image above.
As you can imagine this was a monumental challenge. It took months of research and product testing. But after working with our expert team of formulators and the most experienced enzyme manufacturer in the country, we finally got there!
If youre interested you can learn more about our digestive enzyme supplement .
Speak To Your Doctor About Nsaids Excessive Antibiotics Antacids And Any Other Unnecessary Drugs
From Advil to the pill to corticosteroids, there are so many drugs that can potentially contribute to leaky gut and/or gut flora imbalances58. Obviously, not all of these are entirely optional.
For example, when I had asthma attacks as a young child I couldnt simply say My hyperpermeable intestines and I are not interested in your corticosteroids Doc.
Obviously you should speak with your doctor about what is and isnt necessary for you. And Ill talk below about how to find a doctor that gets leaky gut better than most.
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Glutamine For Leaky Gut
Using glutamine for leaky gut syndrome is widely recommended and is backed up by science. Many studies have suggested that glutamine may have a positive impact on the intestinal barrier by reducing permeability and bacterial translocation and preserving mucosal integrity . According to research, glutamine has a unique nutrient properties that can help the body to repair and maintain the gut barrier functions in the small bowel mucosa .
To choose the best l glutamine for leaky gut, only use a 100% vegan non-GMO source glutamine with its potency and stability guaranteed by the manufacturer. Many;amino acids are manufactured from animal by-products such as feathers or even from human hair! Vegan glutamine is usually created via fermentation from plants.
Try A Green Powder Drink Daily
If we were hanging back in the 1990s, I would suggest that you hold your nose and drink your green shake as fast as you can. Because historically thats been the only way to stomach this fairly putrid, but amazingly healthy concoction.
Thankfully though, green powders have gotten a lot more palatable thanks to smarter ingredient combinations and of course, better and better natural sweeteners like stevia.
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With Over 100 Hours Of New Research This Is The Most Accurate Leaky Gut Diet List
I really wanted to make sure this pyramid is accurate and fits us leaky gutters like a glove.
So I spent a lot of time with the team finding important subtleties in the existing dietary framework.
For example, prebiotic foods are in level 2 of the pyramid. Theyre great! But some may not be.
eg prebiotic foods like asparagus are high in FODMAPs and thus may not play well for many of us with temporary or ongoing FODMAP tolerance issues.
So to make the prebiotic food category really helpful, Ive only included low FODMAP prebiotic foods as examples.
These subtle nuances can make all the difference in helping your gut heal.
Another example of all the new research thats gone into this food pyramidprobiotic foods.
Youll see theyre a foundation of the diet. But once again, not all probiotic foods are created equal. In fact, within specific probiotic foods eg sauerkraut there are differences worth distinguishing.
For example, red cabbage based sauerkraut is significantly lower in FODMAPs than white cabbage sauerkraut. As a result, red sauerkraut makes the list of examples, not white sauerkraut.
Throughout the pyramid Im trying to simultaneously simplify and optimize the leaky gut diet for you.
Attention to detail matters. And I hope you love it.
How To Sleep 8 Hours A Night
- Firstly, you need to cut things from your life. This is the only way you can make time to get the sleep you need. I cut weekday social dinners out completely, cut my TV down to 20 minutes a day max, reduced my exercise sessions to tight 20 minute blocks , capped my reading time at 1 hour a day. There were a few other things too, but these big cuts were enough to boost my time available for sleep from 6-7 hours to 8-9 hours a day.
- Get to sleep on time and stay asleep. Thats the only way to get a good quality 8-9 hours. To do this follow my sleep protocol. Simply turn off all electronics around 9pm . Limit liquids. Pop 200-400 mg magnesium citrate34. Eat a handful of fat, eg some walnuts. Meditate for 10-20 minutes using Headspace app. Read a relaxing book, especially fiction, until you fall asleep. This should get you to sleep and keep you there nicely. Of course you might want to add in sleep mask and ear plugs for noise.
- Sleep is also built on what you do during the day. So each day I recommend you get some light exercise in, enjoy some sunlight or Vitamin D supplement35 and dont drink too much caffeine36 .
- Finally you want to make sure you are sleeping fairly similar times each night, so you dont disrupt your circadian rhythm too much. I try to keep a very tight 10:30pm to 7am schedule.
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Say Goodbye To Sugar In All Forms
Whilst refined white sugar found in popular foods/drinks like soft drink, ice cream, sauces etc is obviously bad, when you have leaky gut so are the more innocent sounding sugars like brown sugar, raw sugar etc.
Simply put, avoid all blatantly sugary products like sodas, sweets, desserts, etc, and also avoid the less obvious ones like sauces, low fat products.
Crucial Leaky Gut Foods To Avoid
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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Nightshade Vegetables And Leaky Gut Diet
The connection between nightshade vegetables to the leaky gut diet surprises many people. Arent all vegetables healthy? The reason you may want to avoid or limit nightshade vegetables however, has to do with the way they affect digestion.
Nightshade vegetables contain toxic steroidal alkaloids that serve as a chemical barrier against a broad range of pest and pathogens. While this may be beneficial for the plant as a defense mechanism, in humans and animals steroidal alkaloids are considered anti-nutritional factors because they affect the digestion and absorption of nutrients from food . This means that many people can eat nightshades without any issues and enjoy their healthy benefits. When you have leaky gut or autoimmune diseases however, you want to pay attention when eating the;nightshade vegetables to see how they make you feel.
Common;nightshade vegetables include:;ground cherries,;tobacco, tomatillos, eggplants, potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers.
Consider These Other Ways To Eliminate Toxins From Your Life
Toxins can potentially cause leaky gut, but more likely is that they can exacerbate leaky gut and its many flow on effects, since they can get through your permeable intestinal wall and and into your bloodstream121.
Obviously the first step to eliminating toxins is not consuming them in the food, drinks and drugs you take which weve discussed in the ideas above.
But after youve done that it can be worth investing in a few products to decrease the amount of other toxins that get into your system.
In fact, you should think about this as the final missing piece in your leaky gut recovery protocol.
And thankfully unlike the earlier steps you took eg throwing out all delicious bread and milk this will be easy! You simply need to buy a few things and youre done.
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Why Vegetable Oils Are Bad For Leaky Gut
These industrial vegetable oils are high in omega 6s, and known to be a vast contributor to the imbalance of omega 3s to 6s in the western diet87 (that now sees us typically consuming 20:1 omega 6s to 3s, when historically we consumed 1:1 or 2:1!
By contrast extra virgin olive oil88 and coconut oil which are non-industrial vegetable oils deliver much more balanced omega fatty acid profiles.
Most industrial vegetable oils are also susceptible to oxidation when cooked and typically GMO based.
Alcohol And Certain Painkillers
Alcohol, aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen are well-known irritants of the bowel lining. They can damage the seals between cells, allowing some substances to pass through the gaps and into the bloodstream.
Gastroenterologists generally agree that these irritants don’t usually cause anything more than just mild inflammation of a particular area of the bowel.
This will usually cause no obvious symptoms and will improve over time if you stop taking the medication or stop drinking alcohol. At the very worst, the inflammation might be bad enough to occasionally cause ulcers in the bowel lining.
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What The Medical Community Has To Say About Leaky Gut Syndrome
Do most conventional doctors support the idea that leaky gut is real?
WebMD refers to leaky gut as something of a medical mystery.; This isnt surprising, since its not a diagnosis that most doctors have been taught in medical school. From an MDs standpoint, its a very gray area, says gastroenterologist Donald Kirby, MD Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the Cleveland Clinic. In his opinion, Physicians dont know enough about the gut, which is our biggest immune system organ.
To make matters worse, government agencies have also contributed to the confusion. According to the United Kingdoms National Health Service , There is currently little evidence to support the theory;that a porous bowel is;the direct cause of any significant, widespread problems.
Yet, not everyone agrees. A roundtable review quotes the researchers at seven different European universities in 2014 agreeing upon the following:
Alteration of the gut barrier seems to have multiple consequences facilitating the onset of a variety of diseases depending on other hits and on genetic or;epigenetic;constellations, respectively. The growing significance of the gut barrier and bacterial translocation raises the questions of how we can improve gut barrier functions and gut microbiota.
So while its encouraging that science is coming around to leaky gut syndrome being a real problem, we are by no means at a point where there are standard diagnostic tools for testing and treating leaky gut.
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.
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Are My Symptoms Related To Leaky Gut
The symptoms of leaky gut are similar to those of other digestive conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome , and celiac disease. Symptoms can include diarrhea, constipation, cramps, bloating, food sensitivities, or nutrient deficiencies.
But, because the food particles, toxins, and bacteria have been absorbed into the bloodstream which travels throughout your body, symptoms can appear anywhere. Studies show that leaky gut may feel like fatigue, headaches, confusion, difficulty concentrating, joint pain, or skin problems .
Leaky gut is also linked with diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, liver disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, and autoimmune diseases such as lupus and multiple sclerosis. There may even be links to anxiety and depression.
Many of these gut and non-gut symptoms andconditions are linked to chronic inflammation, but more research is needed tounderstand how they are connected.
Even if you have some of these symptoms, its very difficult to diagnose a leaky gut. This means that, while there are some biomarker tests, there isnt a reliable diagnostic test available just yet. So, its difficult to say whether your symptoms are from leaky gut, or whether leaky gut is a symptom of another issue.
Food List For Leaky Gut
You can include any healthy, whole food that you dont react to.
You may have heard of diet templates such as the Paleo diet or the low FODMAP diet, which can both be helpful for leaky gut syndrome. Though there are some differences between these two diets, they are actually both quite similar. If youre not used to eating this way, here is a list of foods that are generally supportive for leaky gut.
Fresh Veggies: Veggies like kale, peppers, and zucchini provide prebiotics for your good bacteria and fiber.
Roots and Tubers: Veggies like sweet potatoes and carrots provide slow burning carbs, as well as prebiotics and fiber.
Fermented Veggies: Sauerkraut and kimchi increase your probiotic diversity and give a small boost to your probiotic community.
Fresh Fruit: Fruits such as blueberries and apples provide vitamins, minerals, and prebiotic fiber.
Gluten-Free Whole Grains: Whole grains like rice, millet, and quinoa provide fiber and minerals, and are slow burning carbs.
Healthy Fats: Foods such as olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado are good sources of healthy fats to keep your brain, skin, and cells happy.
Nuts and Seeds: Source of protein, healthy fats, prebiotics, and slow burning carbs.
Cultured Dairy Products : Dairy, such as yogurt, kefir, cultured buttermilk, and some cheeses, provides some good bacteria.
Herbs and Spices: Provides flavor and anti-inflammatory plant compounds.
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So What Actually Is Leaky Gut
To understand leaky gut, you first need to have a bit of background on how the digestive tract works. Your digestive tract includes over 4,000 square feet of lining, all of which is just one cell layer thick. These cells, called enterocytes, are like security guards, forming a secure barrier between your body and the outside world. The digestive tract isnt just responsible for getting the good stuff from the food you eat its also responsible for keeping the bad stuff out.;
As foreign items food, drink, medications, air particulates, etc enter your digestive tract through your nose and mouth, theyre broken down and digested as they pass through your gut. The enterocytes maintain a tight barrier, ensuring that only fully digested nutrients that your body can properly absorb pass through the gut lining and into your bloodstream and organs. Intestinal permeability refers to how easily substances pass from your gut into your bloodstream. In a healthy gut, intestinal permeability is low. But when the gut isnt functioning as it should, the gaps between the enterocytes loosen, resulting in increased intestinal permeability, aka leaky gut. These bigger holes allow substances that are only partially digested to get into your bloodstream, which has a cascade of negative health effects.;
- Digestive issues like diarrhea, constipation, nausea, bloating, gas, and cramps