Red Meat And Processed Meats
Red meat such as beef, pork, lamb, and bison should be limited because of their association with higher levels of inflammatory markers. The tough, fatty cuts of meat are hard to digest and can worsen leaky gut symptoms. Processed meats are also hard on the digestive tract. Different types of meat including hot dogs, sausage, and lunch meats are high in sodium, fat and preservatives and low in iron and proteins.
Studies have shown that red meat can raise levels of trimethylamine N-oxide , which is a byproduct of gut bacteria. The negative change in gut bacteria can occur quickly, in as little as two days. Diets high in animal protein can put people at a higher risk for leaky gut and other chronic conditions because of its inflammatory properties. Higher levels of TMAO not only affect your gut microbiota negatively but can also lead to a higher risk of heart disease5.
Researchers looked at the gut bacteria of children in Burkina Faso, Africa, and compared them to the gut bacteria of children in Italy in a 2010 study. The children in Burkina Faso consumed diets high in fiber and more pea protein while the Italian children consumed more meat. The gut microbiota of the children in Burkina Faso was made up of more good bacteria and had lower inflammation than the children in Italy who had more bad bacteria in the gut microbiota and more inflammation6.
Coconut Oil Leaky Gut
Including coconut oil as a part of your leaky gut diet can be very beneficial and it is commonly used. Unlike most plant based oils that are high in omega 6, coconut oil has a unique fatty acids profile that can be very beneficial for the leaky gut diet. Coconut oil is one of the best natural sources of medium chain triglycerides . MCTs are fatty acids that are easily assimilated by the body, providing a quick non-jittery energy that can last for long hours. This makes coconut oil an excellent choice for the leaky gut diet, as an easy to digest energy source that can be an effective substitute to many high carb foods. In fact, replacing carbs with coconut oil or coconut butter is a very popular strategy among athletes that need to lose weight before a competition, but still need to maintain high energy levels. If you are lucky enough and can get a real fresh organic coconut at your local store, you may want to consider getting all these benefits straight from the source. With practice, cracking coconuts may not be as hard as you may think.
Another great option is coconut butter. Coconut butter is simply the meat of the coconut that went through a grinding process and turned into butter consistency.;This means that in addition to all the benefits of coconut oil, coconut butter also has the other nutrients found in whole coconuts such as fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.
How Do You Get Rid Of Leaky Gut
Now that weve been talked about leaky gut symptoms, causes and opinions, lets talk about how to test for and repair leaky gut.
How do you test for leaky gut?
Several leaky gut syndrome tests are available that can help confirm a diagnosis and point you in the right treatment direction. Tests are helpful for identifying specific sensitivities and uncovering which types of toxins or deficiencies are contributing to your symptoms. Leaky gut tests include:
- Zonulin or Lactulose Tests
- Organic Acid Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies Tests
- Lactulose Mannitol Test
What leaky gut treatments are available?
After years of research and patient care, I developed a four-step process for helping to heal leaky gut. I cover this process in my article entitled the Leaky Gut Diet and Treatment Plan.;If youre concerned that you or a loved one may have leaky gut symptoms, I encourage you to read the detailed instructions, food suggestions and recommended leaky gut supplements listed in this article.
The basic steps to healing leaky gut are as follows:
Two of the most common questions people ask are: What can I eat if I have leaky gut syndrome? And what should I NOT eat when I have leaky gut?
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Other Tips For Gut Health
In addition to following the eating plan described above, its beneficial to avoid exposure to potential toxins found in to tap water, alcohol, cigarettes, pesticides, NSAID pain-killer medications and antibiotics, all of which can stress the gut. However, always consult with your physician if he or she has prescribed these for you.
Another tip is to consider following an elimination diet at first. Some foods seem to be in a gray area when it comes to worsening or promoting digestive health. For example, some people do better with certain protein foods than others do.
You may be wondering, are eggs bad for leaky gut? What about beans and legumes?
You may choose to eliminate eggs and legumes at first and then to try reintroducing them after several weeks. This can help you uncover whether they are problematic for you or not.
In place of eggs and legumes, try meat, poultry, fish and collagen protein or bone broth protein powder instead.
Reducing intake of FODMAP foods is also recommended as part of an elimination diet, since FODMAP carbohydrates can worsen digestive issues like bloating and gas.
Other Causes Of Leaky Gut
So far weve discussed some of the main culprits of leaky gut. But it doesnt end there.
Below is a list of foods and other factors that can cause inflammation in your body, while harming good bacteria, and promoting unhealthy ones. All factors that can contribute to leaky gut.
- Processed meats
- Nutrient deficiencies
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Why Coconut Products Can Actually Be Good For Gut Health
The science has jumped ahead as we now know that the caprylic acid / medium chain fatty acids in coconut products are rich in antimicrobial properties89 that work fantastically well to decrease levels of bad yeast and bacteria in the gut .
I should note that you can also get isolated caprylic acid90 , which might be more helpful if you are tackling something like candida / yeast overgrowth head on.
What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome is a proposed condition caused by increased intestinal permeability.
The digestive system consists of many organs that collectively break down food, absorb nutrients and water, and remove waste products. Your intestinal lining acts as a barrier between your gut and bloodstream to prevent potentially harmful substances from entering your body .
Nutrient and water absorption mostly occurs in your intestines. Your intestines have tight junctions, or small gaps, that allow nutrients and water to pass into your bloodstream.
How easily substances pass across the intestinal walls is known as intestinal permeability.
Certain health conditions cause these tight junctions to loosen, potentially allowing harmful substances like bacteria, toxins, and undigested food particles to enter your bloodstream.
Alternative health practitioners claim that leaky gut triggers widespread inflammation and stimulates an immune reaction, causing various health problems that are collectively known as leaky gut syndrome .
They believe leaky gut leads to various conditions, including autoimmune diseases, migraines, autism, food sensitivities, skin conditions, brain fog, and chronic fatigue.
Yet, there is little evidence to prove that leaky gut syndrome exists. As a result, mainstream physicians do not recognize it as a medical diagnosis.
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Stop Eating Wheat / Gluten
For those of us with leaky gut syndrome, wheat 1 is public enemy number one! Nothing compares. And thats because these 3 types of grains contain gluten.
Gluten is generally considered hard to digest, can pierce holes in our gut lining and thanks to gliadin it is also able to raise levels of zonulin, thereby increasing the size of the openings of our tight junctions2.
Before you say Woah, woah, slowdown egg head, our tight junctions are kind of like the gatekeepers of the openings in our gut lining. Think of them like the Nights Watch in Game of Thrones.
When you add the above 3 problems together, you can see just how much gluten can make your gut more permeable or leaky i.e. letting more things through.
Which in turn means more toxins have the potential to slip through your gut lining and into your bloodstream, thus causing inflammation and a raised immune response3.
So even though I used to love spending my Sunday evenings gorging on a large Margarita pizza followed up by a series of different colored donuts, these days I would rather eat the cardboard box the pizza comes in!
Im pretty sure my gut would digest it better.
Why Collagen Protein May Be Even Better Than Bone Broth
The most absorbable & tasteless form of collagen is hydrolyzed collagen protein powder like this one .
It has no beefy taste, is really easy to take any time of day, and best of all, since it is pure collagen, you can get a huge serving of helpful amino acids for intestinal support. Super convenient!
So try collagen peptides today and get ready to send your body all the collagen goodness of bone broth, but in a much easier and more absorbable way.
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Nutrients For Gut Health
Choosing nutrient-rich foods that support gut barrier and microbiota health in our digestive tract is an important tenet of the Paleo template. And for those with a confirmed or suspected leaky gut, focusing on specific nutrients known to be vital for gut health is necessary for healing. In fact, leaky gut can be caused by some nutrient deficiencies!. Specific nutrients important for gut barrier health are discussed in more detail in;8 Nutrients for Leaky Gut;and in detail in Paleo Principles. The following is a summary of the most important nutrients for gut healing and the best food sources.
Protein Foods For Leaky Gut
The importance of protein in the leaky gut diet comes from two main reasons:
- Many protein sources such as processed meat and farm raised fish are known to cause inflammation and may contribute to leaky gut syndrome.
- Protein and amino acids are needed in order to repair the;intestinal permeability and leaky gut problem.
In other words, you want to get enough protein on your leaky gut diet. You just need to make sure to get it from clean sources that agree with your body and that will not cause more damage or inflammation to your gut.
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Symptoms And Conditions Associated With Leaky Gut
If you suffer from digestive symptoms, brain fog, headaches, depression, joint aches, skin conditions or fatigue, it may be worthwhile trying a modified elimination diet in conjunction with the leaky gut protocol. Consider trying this diet even if you dont go on the entire leaky gut protocol. As a minimum take a good probiotic supplement at the start.
You may feel deprived having to give up some of these foods, but the question you need to ask yourself is-Would I rather be deprived of some of these foods or deprived of my health?
My Best Advice For Making This Easy
- For the next 4 weeks consider avoiding any occasions where youll be tempted to have a drink. i.e. Take yourself out of the drinking environments and make this month of saying no as easy as possible. Its just a month after all!
- If you cant or dont want to avoid these situations, then make sure you have your reason for not drinking ready to go. As it can be a real pain to have to explain some long winded story about intestinal hyperpermeability to every single person who asks and they do ask!
- Use other state-changing techniques to replace alcohols role. You see, many of us like alcohol because of how it changes our emotional state. Whether its blowing off a hard week at work or wanting to relax on the weekend with friends, it is a state change were after. Thankfully you can get as good a change from exercise, meditation, breathing, yoga etc.
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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.
Best Digestive Enzymes For Leaky Gut
The best digestive enzymes for leaky gut are the enzymes that support the digestion of the foods in your own leaky gut diet. Since different enzymes are required to digest different type of foods, you want to make sure the enzymes included in the formula match the foods you eat.
To get the most of your digestive enzymes supplement:
- The product label should clearly describes which digestive enzymes are included in the formula and which foods they help to digest.
- The formula should only contain plant based enzymes with no animal/animal by-products ingredients. Plant based enzymes are a much better choice in terms of potency, stability in the body and purity.
- All enzymes should be wide pH range, which means they are designed to work throughout the entire digestive tract.
- VeganZyme ®;is our preferred choice as a multi-enzymes supplement for the leaky gut treatment, and it has been a very important part of our protocol for candida as well. The biggest advantage we see in VeganZyme has to do with its versatile formula. With a total of;20 digestive and systemic enzymes, it can;support the digestion of a wide variety of foods making it ideal for many different diets, cuisines, and health conditions. VegamZyme systemic enzymes profile is highly diverse as well, and can effectively break down allergens, excess yeast, candida, mucus and other toxins.
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This Diet Is Best Done Under The Supervision Of A Health Care Provider
An elemental diet provides nutrition components like protein, fat, and carbohydrates that are already broken down. The food is pre-digested, so your body doesnt have to do the work if it isnt able to. It is a way to give your digestive system a break.
It is most commonly used for people with chronic digestive problems under a healthcare providers supervision. It is usually purchased but can be homemade. It is a liquid or a powder that is mixed with water.
An elemental supplement can be consumed by the person or given through a feeding tube for severe cases where adequate nutrition can not be taken by mouth. It may be used for people with conditions such as Ulcerative Colitis, Crohns, or SIBO: Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
The elemental diet has been shown to improve a leaky gut .;
You Can Now Get All Of These Enzymes In One Supplement
Say hello to Pure Enzymes. It contains 18 enzymes in every capsule, including every enzyme above. Meaning, youll enjoy support no matter what youre eating.
Best of all, it is 3rd party certified gluten free, dairy free and soy free. Making it a true digestive hero we can count on!
If you havent tried it yet, you can .
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There Are Many Types Of Paleo Diets
In general, a paleo diet is focused on eating like a caveman, i.e., how humans ate before organized farming and industrialization. It includes lean meats, fruits, veggies, and nuts while excluding grains, legumes, and processed foods with additives .
Most Paleo diets eliminate:
- Legumes: beans, peanuts, hummus, etc
- Refined sugars
- Industrial seed oils such as vegetable or canola oil
- Fruits and vegetables
- Fats: coconut, olive oil, avocado, lard, ghee
- Minimally processed sweeteners: raw honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, raw stevia
Some paleo-style bloggers and cookbook authors are more liberal with their definition of what a paleo diet is. Many include recipes that use a fair amount of added sugars, claiming to be healthier since theyre less processed. Our body isnt able to distinguish between different kinds of added sugar very well. What is important is not eating too much added sugar, no matter the form. Sugar causes inflammation.; The Paleo diet eliminates many inflammatory foods and has been shown to lower inflammation. . There are no studies looking directly at gut permeability and the paleo diet.
Eat More Healthy Fats
N-butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid, helps feed the cells that line the gut and help them heal. Your gut bacteria can produce more n-butyrate if you feed them soluble fibers in fruits and vegetables. You also can get n-butyrate in the form of Ghee, which is clarified butter. Another source of healthy fat is coconut oil, which contains medium-chain fatty acids that are good for the gut!
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*new* The Gut Health Cookbook
The Gut Health Cookbook is fantastic! Thank you for researching and creating The Gut Health Cookbook! Such wonderful recipes! Im so excited to try them all! -Sue
The Gut Health Cookbook puts the 20 Keys to Gut Health into practice with:
- 180+ recipes featuring 61 gut health superfoods
- Gut health food lists
- Vitamin A: abundant in fish, liver, shellfish
- Vitamin D: abundant in fish, liver, mushrooms
- Zinc: abundant in oysters, red meat, poultry
- DHA and EPA : abundant in fish, shellfish, sea vegetables
- Medium chain triglyceriedes : abundant in coconut oil, palm oil
- Glycine: an amino acid abundant in bone broth, fish, red meat
- Glutamine: an amino acid abundant in fish, poultry, red meat
- Tryptophan: an amino acid abundant in shellfish, poultry, fish
- CoQ10: abundant in fatty fish, heart, red meat
- Soluble fiber: abundant in root vegetables, fruit, cruciferous vegetables
- Insoluble fiber: abundant in celery, cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens
- Flavonoids: abundant in berries, cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens
Vegetables are rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals which help control inflammation . ;Eating a variety of differently colored vegetables, a variety of dark green leafy vegetables, and a variety cruciferous vegetables every day will provide all of the essential vitamins and minerals in a way that is easy for the body to absorb . ;Fruits, especially berries, are also a good source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.