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How to Repair Leaky Gut Holistically

Updated: Oct 16



Let’s talk about how you can repair a leaky gut by changing your eating habits. I will also cover some natural remedies that will help with this common issue.

When intestinal permeability increases and there is a less stable barrier between the contents of your intestine and your bloodstream, inflammation occurs, and changes in the gut flora trigger some unwelcoming symptoms.

If you are experiencing symptoms or conditions like:

  1. Excessive fatigue

  2. Constipation, bloating or diarrhea

  3. Headaches, brain fog, memory loss

  4. Skin issues like acne, eczema, rosacea or rashes

  5. Joint pain and inflammation, arthritis

  6. Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac disease or Crohn’s

  7. Depression, anxiety, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  8. Nutritional deficiencies

  9. Poor immune system

  10. Cravings for sugar or carbs,

You’ll know your gut lining is threatened, and unwanted substances that aren’t normally present in the blood are seen by the immune system as foreign.

If this is the case, your immune system will respond to the threat with inflammation, its first line of defense and this will change the composition of normal bacteria in the gut and result in all kinds of problems.

Read this article where I talk about what lifestyle habits cause leaky gut.





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The Connection Between Your Diet And Gut Health

One of the main drivers of our chronic gut related inflammation is our access to fast food restaurants on every corner and processed foods lining the grocery store aisles. There are emerging studies suggesting that the Standard American Diet, which is low in fibre and high in sugar and saturated fats, may initiate the imbalance.

Do We Supply Our Gut With The Right Fuel?

Your gut is full of symbiotic bacteria that can support your health if you supply them with the right fuel in the form of fibre from plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Dietary fibre works in a similar way as probiotics to improve the microbiome. When fibre is fermented by the gut flora, it creates a short-chain amino acid called butyrate. Research from 2015 has suggested that butyrate may stimulate mucus production and improve tight junctions in the lining of the tract.

The Main Eating Habits That Can Compromise Your Digestive System Are:

  1. Consuming too many processed foods

  2. Not eating enough of high fibre and antioxidant-rich plant foods

  3. Consuming wheat products despite having gluten-sensitivity

  4. Diets high in saturated fat and sugar which have been shown to reduce the abundance of Lactobacillus (a type of friendly gut bacteria).

  5. Diets lacking in nutrients, like vitamin A and D, zinc, or magnesium

  6. One of the best approaches is to consume a nutritious, unprocessed diet that includes anti-inflammatory foods to rebuild the gut lining and bring more balance to the gut flora.





quinoa and salmon with lemon and spinach in topper ware


Holistic Strategies To Heal The Intestinal Lining

One of the best approaches to repair leaky gut is to consume a nutritious, unprocessed diet that includes anti-inflammatory foods to rebuild the gut lining and bring more balance to the gut flora.

Some of the great foods for keeping gut lining strong and healthy are:

  1. Mushrooms: High in beta-glucans and keep friendly gut bacteria thriving. When the microbiome is healthy, so is the gut epithelium

  2. Garlic and Ginger: The healing prebiotic and anti-inflammatory duo, pair together perfectly in soups, broths and sauces.

  3. Turmeric: Anti-inflammatory herb that helps to protect the gut lining from inflammation

  4. Bone broth: Contains collagen which is nourishing the intestinal lining

  5. Probiotic foods: Sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented pickles, yogurt and kefir are great food sources of probiotics

  6. Salmon and Sardines: Wild fish high in omega-3s are an important part of healing leaky gut. Look for SMASH fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring) which are high in omega-3 and low in mercury.





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Strategic Supplementation to Restore Gut Health

Probiotics

Probiotics perform many functions simultaneously. They repair leaky gut and the main causes of permeable gut lining, by reducing inflammation, dysbiosis (imbalance of good and bad bacteria), overgrowth, or infection. A high-quality probiotic supplement provides microbes to nourish other bacteria in the gut and keep the acidity of the gut stable. Acidity deters pathogens and encourages the growth of your symbiotic bacteria.





fruits and vegetables


L-glutamine

Glutamine is an important amino acid. In the digestive tract, it’s best known for helping to repair the intestinal lining. Studies have shown that glutamine can improve the growth and survival of enterocytes, or intestinal cells. It may also help to regulate the function of the intestinal barrier during stressful times.

Shop for L-glutamine (15% OFF of professional-grade products)

Zinc

Zinc is also a necessary element of many metabolic processes and is well-known for its ability to boost the immune system.

Studies have found that zinc supplementation helped to strengthen the gut lining and repair a leaky gut in patients with Crohn’s disease and suggest that zinc is able to modify the tight junctions of the intestinal lining, helping to limit gut permeability.

Collagen Peptides

Collagen is an important protein that can be found in almost every tissue of the body. It may also play a beneficial role in gut health.

Collagen peptides are a more easily digestible and bioavailable form of collagen. A recent research found that collagen peptides were able to prevent further breakdown of the intestinal lining and show anti-inflammatory properties in the gut.

Butyrate

When fiber is fermented by the gut flora, it creates a short-chain amino acid called butyrate. Now butyrate supplementation may stimulate mucus production and improve tight junctions in the lining of the tract. Shop for Butyrate





star anise and licorice root and spices


Licorice Root

One of my favorite adoptogenic herbs is licorice root. Licorice root can also help support the body’s natural processes for maintaining the mucosal lining of the stomach and duodenum. It is especially beneficial if someone’s leaky gut is being caused by emotional stress or irritable bowel syndrome.

Deglycyrrhized licorice is made from licorice root which has been used for thousands of years in Eastern medicine for its soothing and decongestant properties. The downside is that pure licorice root contains compounds that can raise blood pressure (when taken on consecutive days). So DGL is licorice root with those compounds removed. Shop for DGL.





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Other Tips for Gut Health

In addition to avoiding the standard American diet and it’s beneficial to avoid exposure to potential “toxins” found in 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. When it comes to worsening or promoting digestive health its important to monitor your symptoms and look for your body’s signals and list them. 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.





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Conclusion

Also called intestinal permeability, leaky gut is a condition that occurs when the intestinal lining becomes damaged. Not only does it impact digestive health, but this condition can also cause widespread symptoms related to inflammation and autoimmune reactions. If your doctor has recommended you to follow a leaky gut meal plan or you feel that you need help with making adjustments to your current routine to heal your gut holistically, I’m one message away and happy to help.

What to do next…

Any questions? Leave me a comment below.

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#guthealing #guthealth #guthealthfood #intestinalpermeability

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