Leaky gut syndrome is a condition that is best helped with plenty of discipline. In order to heal leaky gut, you should consider effectively changing your diet and eating habits.
But how should you change said eating habits? Which foods should you be eating and which should you be avoiding?
Last time we talked about leaky gut we mentioned the importance of a "food journal", and knowing that not everyone with leaky gut syndrome reacts the same way to the same type of foods, this is where that journal comes in play. Keep tabs on what you eat and these foods make you feel afterward.
Starting a new diet can be tricky, especially when dealing with healing and potential restrictions. Below are some great tips on how to get started:
First, let's start with the "Dos". These are foods that you should think about incorporating into your diet if you’re looking to heal your leaky gut, as they help provide tons of nutrients and proteins that your body needs in order to get better.
The keyword here is "whole", meaning foods on this list should be free of additives, artificial substances, and minimally processed/refined.
Thankfully, there are tons of items on this menu!
Steamed vegetables: Vegetables are great at providing your body with much-needed B vitamins. B vitamins help your body break down fats, proteins, and carbs. Vegetables are also an amazing source of Vitamin D, an excellent gut anti-inflammatory. Steaming them is key as raw vegetable fiber can be a little too rough on weakened, leaky guts.
Coconut: And we mean pretty much the entire coconut, including the oil (a natural anti-inflammatory), the meat, and the milk. Coconut contains a very specific type of saturated fat called lauric acid. Lauric acid has superb antifungal and antimicrobial capabilities, helping to keep your system free of bad bacteria.
Consider coconuts as a sort of health bomb for your gut. They don't play around when it comes to leaky gut syndrome.
Bone broth: Bone broth is considered the holy grail of leaky gut treatment because it contains three essential items that all help heal your weakened gut lining: collagen, gelatin, and glutamine. Add that fact that broth is very easy on your gut and you'll start to see why it's so good.
You can make bone broth with any animal bones. We recommend using 100% grass-fed animal bones and organic vegetables.
Grass-fed meats: "Grass-fed" and "pasture-raised" are two terms that you'll hear and read a lot about when investigating about leaky gut. But why? Because when you eat any type of meat, you're also indirectly eating what the animal ate as it was being raised.
With pasture-raised meats you're killing two birds with one stone: you're avoiding all the hormones, corn, and grain that go into factory farmed animals, and you're getting a steady supply of anti-inflammatory fatty acids and minerals.
Non-dairy fermented foods: Think of them as "health bomb: take two". Things like kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir are full of good bacteria that help your gut get rid of harmful pathogens and bad bacteria. These types of foods are also known as probiotics.
Supplements: Remember the whole "collagen and gelatin" part when we talked about bone broth? Well, how about boosting that bone broth and all your other meals with some extra gelatin and collagen? That's what supplements are for.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It is the building material to renew cells in all areas of the body including hair, skin, nails, eyes, teeth, cartilage, bones, tendons, internal organs, arteries, and blood vessels (all the while aiding and boosting the immune system). Collagen accounts for 80% of all connective tissue and 75% of ourskin’s makeup. Our collagen peptides come from grass-fed South American cows. They're all-natural, non-GMO, and free of gluten, wheat, corn, eggs, dairy, soy, and yeast.
Gelatin, on the other hand, is a naturally occurring protein that delivers important amino acids that are usually more difficult to find in our diets (such as glycine and proline). Looking for a high-quality gelatin supplement? Just like our collagen peptides, Amandean's Beef Gelatin is sourced from the same pasture-raised South American cattle.
What’s the one item you should try to avoid at all costs if you suffer from leaky gut?
Artificial Sweeteners and Refined Sugars: Some cases of leaky gut are directly linked to an overpopulation of Candida in the gut (a type of yeast that occurs naturally in the gut). The problem starts when the population of Candida steps overflows into the rest of the intestinal flora. Sugar feeds yeast, so to keep your Candida levels in check, it's common sense to remove refined sugars from your leaky gut diet.
The rest of the items on this list hit or miss, meaning you should test them all to see how you react to them. .
Gluten: Gluten can be found in most grains, wheat, sauces, condiments, and most packaged foods, often making it tough to eliminate from any diet. Gluten is axed from most leaky gut diets because it increases the production of Zonulin, a protein that has been linked to breakage of junctions in the digestive tract.
Processed Oils: Also known as refined oils, they are a main contributing factor when it comes to gut inflammation due to their high omega-6 levels. Sunflower, canola, soybean, corn, and other processed vegetable oils fall under this category.
Eggs: Egg yolks are fine, but try to avoid egg whites as they have been shown to irritate the digestive tract.
Caffeine & Alcohol: These shouldn't be avoided like the plague, but moderation is key here. One of caffeine's main effects is to stress the body, put it on edge if you will. Alcohol can be incredibly taxing on your liver on top of being a gut irritant if you haven’t consumed it recently.
Remember, this is a general list that contains what most people with leaky gut agree on what should and what should not be eaten, but it's not 100% fail proof. Some of the foods on this list might not sit well with your gut, so keep that food journal handy.
Want to find out more about how supplements can help with your leaky gut? Check all of their properties and the benefits of taking them right here: