Foods and Nutrition for Helping Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome

| May 8, 2012 | 0 Comments More

To heal a leaky gut, you need to calm down the inflammatory process in your intestines; eliminate the damage being done ; “reseed” the intestines with beneficial bacteria; build up liver function and possibly take prescription drugs to control yeast / fungi overgrowth, such as candida. There are medical tests to find out if you have a lot of candida in your body, consult your doctor to see what the best approach for you would be and how to best proceed in general. In this article I will concentrate on the common foods and supplements recommended but always consult your doctor before making major changes in your diet or supplement intake.

1. Avoid eating and drinking foods and substances that you know or suspect of causing irritation and damage, such as food allergens. You can get tested by your doctor for allergies, there are also blood tests to pin point food sensitivities although these are not always accurate, and you can try the home approach and go through the Food Sensitivity Diet. Alcohol can be an irritant that you should cut back on while healing your gut. The most common foods that cause issues are dairy, wheat (gluten), soy, a group of vegetables known as Nightshades – tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes (except yams), peppers (except black pepper) and paprika. Nightshades are inflammatory foods that are good to avoid even if you are not particularly sensitive or allergic when healing a leaky gut.

2. L Glutamine and Glucosamine are food supplements that help build up the gut wall. In addition, you should take Omega 3 fish oils. Other supplements that can be beneficial are Slippery Elm (do not take if pregnant or trying to get pregnant), Evening Primrose Oil, Cat’s Claw, Milk Thistle for liver regeneration and American Yellow Saffron Tea (do not take if pregnant or trying to get pregnant) for cleansing the liver and as an intestinal antiseptic.

3. Eat garlic and olive oil if you have Candida Albicans until it’s cleared at least.

4. Follow a high alkaline (80%)  to low acid (20%) food intake (see below). Do not consumer any fried foods! Never! (I know… I didn’t say this was going to be easy), and limit saturated fats in your diet.

5. As much as you can, limit the use of antibiotics, aspirin and NSAIDs as they damage the gut barrier and kill of friendly bacteria (as well as bad). Consult your doctor before stopping any prescriptions!

6. Reduce exposure to pesticides, insecticides and other irritant chemicals.

7. Choose organic foods over conventionally grown whenever possible, but especially when buying meat and dairy products. But limit your intake of red meats.

8. Increase the amount of good bacteria in your gut by eating yogurt with active cultures, or by taking them as supplements.

9. Avoid sugar in all its forms especially if you have Candida overgrowth. Note that sugars are added to most processed foods, not just cereal but things like pasta sauce. They will be hard to avoid so always read labels. Reduce refined carbohydrates in your diet.

10. Increase the intake of fresh fish (wild caught ocean fish is the best option). They are rich in Omega 3 fish oils and Vitamin A which helps restore the inner walls of the intestinal tract. The darker and oilier the fish the better, for example salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and sardines.

11. Eat more high fiber foods.

12. Drink plenty of pure water, at least 6-8 glasses per day.

These are some basic guidelines for a diet allowing for a healthier gut. There are other supplements that might be beneficial specifically to you, your best bet is to find a doctor that practices functional medicine and can assess the combinations that are best for your particular case. For example, damage to the intestinal mucosa can be caused by free radicals, which can be battled with anti-oxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and selenium.

Acid/Alkaline Balance in Diet

Basically the theory is that to maximize our health (not just the gut but overall), humans should be eating 20% acid forming foods and 80% alkaline forming foods in our daily diet. With a few exceptions (most importantly the Nightshades), acid forming foods are meats and grains, and alkaline formers are fruits and vegetables. This diet is about balance rather than avoiding foods, but there are a few things that are not allowed at all.

DO NOT EAT

– almost all saturated fats, such as red meats (except lamb); beef, pork, veal, sweetbreads, etc; processed meats: sausage, salami, hot dogs, hamburgers; hydrogenated products: margarine

– the nightshades: tomatoes and tomato products (incl ketchup!), tobacco (smoking), eggplant, peppers of all types (except black pepper spice), potatoes (except sweet potatoes and yams), paprika. Note that peppers includes sweet peppers, bell peppers, and hot and spicy peppers both fresh and ground.

– shellfish: lobster, shrimp, clams, crabs etc and any sauce made with shellfish

– junk food: soda (both diet and regular), sweets, candy, all products made with milk chocolate, pastries etc

– yeast or yeast heavy foods

– alcohol (incl beer), wine or grain vinegar, pickled and smoked foods

– coconut, coconut oil, palm oil

– mushrooms

Note: if you have psoriatic arthritits avoid also citrus fruit, strawberries and do not add salt to your food.

 

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Category: Food and Skin, Supplements and Skin

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