Leaky gut has been associated with everything from diabetes to obesity to Celiac disease. It refers to a hyper-permeability of the intestinal tract, which allows food and other toxins to leak into the body from the gut.
The intestines themselves were made to be a barrier between your gut, and helps control what enters into your bloodstream. However, with a leaky gut, you lose the ability to do so, causing a myriad of health concerns.
Although doctors don't know exactly what causes leaky gut syndrome, there are some foods that are better than others when it comes to helping with permeability and healing your digestive tract. Foods which help reduce inflammation are highly recommended.
Read on for five of the best and five of the worst foods to include (or exclude) in your leaky gut diet plan.
Best Foods for Your Leaky Gut Diet Plan
When choosing which foods to eat with a leaky gut, you'll need to choose foods that help you grow healthy bacteria. If your gut has too much unhealthy bacteria, it can lead to serious health problems.
Broccoli is an excellent anti-inflammatory. Not only is it good for you, but it has loads of vitamins, flavonoids, and carotenoids, which is great for an anti-inflammatory diet. You should always steam your broccoli before you eat it, as research has shown added health benefits in doing so.
Avocado is an anti-inflammatory, and it comes by it naturally. It is one of the best non-animal fats for your digestive system and will have you well on your way to digestive health by keeping your body full of healthy and lean fat.
Salmon is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which helps cushion the joints, fight inflammation and keeps your brain healthy. Salmon is also loaded with lean fats and Omega-6 and Omega-9, all of which help support a healthy overall body.
If you suffer from joint or arthritis pain, eating salmon can help ease it due to the high concentration of oil.
Salmon also contains high doses of protein and B vitamins and may be useful in helping you manage obesity and keep you staying slim.
Whether you choose walnut salads, walnut recipes or just snacking on a handful whenever you get the urge, these nuts are packed with phytonutrients that no other nuts have.
Walnuts are also high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which, like salmon, can help with inflammation and cushion joints that are feeling sore from arthritis.
They can also provide an excellent source of protein and healthy fats to your diet.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help heal your leaky gut. They also contain an amazing antioxidant, quercetin, which can help protect the body from a host of diseases.
They are also rich in Vitamins A, C, and K and contain several grams of fiber. Fiber-rich foods are an important part of healing your leaky gut, and blueberries can play an excellent role.
Foods to Avoid When You Have a Leaky Gut
There are several categories of food that can irritate your gut and cause even further intestinal permeability. There are several types of foods you should avoid the ensure that you help your gut heal completely.
1. Refined and Processed Sugar
Wherever sugar is, you can find yeast and yeast creates candida. Bacteria overgrowth has also been linked to sugar consumption, so it is best to avoid food with processed sugars as much as possible.
Sugar isn't only in sweets however, it's in almost everything we consume, from alcohol to white flour. Avoid anything made with refined white sugar to help promote gut health.
In addition to refined sugar, you should also avoid high fructose corn syrup.
2. Vegetable Oils
Refined and hydrogenated vegetable oils can cause a large amount of inflammation in the body, and can cause blocked arteries, and therefore should be avoided. This means you shouldn't consume any kind of fried foods and should stay away from food cooked in oils.
If you must use oil, stick to extra virgin olive oil, or grass-fed butter.
3. Refined Carbohydrates
Whether or not you can tolerate gluten is up to you. Some people say to avoid it completely when healing your gut, others say it is all right as long as it's not refined. Refined carbohydrates can promote bacterial growth in your gut, as well as inflammation. Choose whole grain or sprouted versions instead.
You should always stick to unprocessed carbs to promote mitigating of inflammation and other similar issues.
4. Processed Meats
Processed meats have been associated with a higher risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Processed meats are laden with advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are not present in unprocessed meat.
Make sure any meats you consume are organic and grass-fed.
5. Artificial Sweeteners
You may think that because artificial sweeteners don't contain sugar, they're okay to consume. With the exception of stevia, artificial sweeteners have a negative impact on the central nervous system, and can drain the gut of healthy bacteria. It is best to stay away from these, in general.
If you must sweeten anything in your diet, use stevia or coconut nectar. These natural sources help give a sweet kick without all of the draining of bacteria and promotion of unhealthy growth.
How Should I Structure My Diet?
There is no specific leaky gut diet plan that can help you heal. Instead, you may have to work with your naturopath or doctor to figure out which foods are best and worst for you. Generally speaking, you should always avoid foods that promote inflammation or wipe out gut bacteria.
You should also ensure that each day you take some kind of supplement, or get enough fiber and probiotics in your diet. These two things can help promote the growth of good bacteria over the bad bacteria and can help strengthen your intestines.
For more on all things probiotics and vitamins, visit our site.