Leaky gut syndrome can affect your quality of life. We look at ways to heal your gut and reduce the symptoms linked to this condition.
In this article:
- What Is Leaky Gut?
- Leaky Gut Symptoms
- Foods That Help Heal Leaky Gut
- Foods To Avoid
- Supplements For Leaky Gut
What Is Leaky Gut?
Leaky gut or intestinal permeability is a condition where the intestines’ walls become chronically permeated, and substances leak from the digestive tract into the bloodstream.
Your gut lining is a thin barrier that controls which substances pass through and which don’t. Factors such as poor nutrition, bacterial infections, chronic stress, and some autoimmune diseases may cause the gut lining to become loose and create small gaps. These gaps may cause bacteria, undigested food particles, and other harmful materials to pass through the lining into your bloodstream.
When this happens, it triggers an immune response, which may cause an allergic reaction and widespread inflammation. What’s more, a constant barrage of foreign particles may result in permanent inflammation.
Leaky Gut Symptoms
Many alternative health practitioners believe intestinal permeability leads to a diverse list of health problems, collectively called leaky gut syndrome. The symptoms include:
- Brain fog
- Food sensitivities
- Digestive issues like diarrhea and bloating
- Acne and other skin conditions
- Hormone imbalances
- Chronic fatigue
- Autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
However, there’s not a lot of data to prove leaky gut syndrome exists. As a result, few doctors test patients for leaky gut.
Fortunately, changing your diet and taking supplements may reduce symptoms. But always consult your doctor before making lifestyle changes.
Foods That Help Heal Leaky Gut
While there’s no confirmed treatment for leaky gut, you can improve your overall digestive health with a gut-friendly diet.
Here are some foods that feed the good bacteria in your gut and may improve your digestive health.
Olive oil contains polyphenol that feeds the good bacteria in your gut. The blend of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids may also reduce inflammation. Likewise, avocado and avocado oil have similar gut-health benefits.
Coconut oil, on the other hand, is easier to digest. Besides, it has antimicrobial properties that may help keep your microbiome balanced.
The friendly bacteria in your gut ferment fiber in your digestive tract, which produces short-chain fatty acids. According to studies, short-chain fatty acids may improve your gut health by helping your intestinal lining heal and maintaining barrier integrity. It may also protect against inflammation and colon cancer.
High-fiber foods include in your diet:
- Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, cabbage, kale, onions, and artichokes, among others
- Fruits, especially apples, apricots, and oranges
- Cooked legumes, for example, beans and lentils
- Cereal grains (seeds from grasses) including wheat, rice, millet, barley, oats, rye, and sorghum
*There is some debate surrounding legumes and grains; however, some say it may worsen symptoms.
A recent review found eating fermented foods significantly improved intestinal barrier function and permeability. The beneficial microorganisms in fermented food may help renew, restore, and grow damaged tissues in the digestive tract. Simultaneously, the friendly bacteria found in these foods neutralize harmful bacteria and limit their growth.
Some fermented foods to add to your diet include:
- Traditional buttermilk
- Yogurt with live cultures
Pro Tip: Make sure you choose unpasteurized fermented products or make your own. The pasteurization process kills off most of the beneficial bacteria.
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish, nuts, and seeds may help reduce inflammation, which is often the reason behind leaky gut symptoms.
Mushrooms may help increase the population of healthy bacteria in your gut.
The curcumin, found in turmeric, may also help improve the gut lining, according to a 2017 study published in the American Journal of Physiology.
RELATED: Anti-Inflammatory Diet Recipes
Foods To Avoid
Avoiding some unhealthy foods may have an equally profound impact on your gut health.
Processed and Junk Food
Junk food contains tons of additives, sodiums, fillers, and sugar, which are bad for gut health. Firstly, these types of foods may change the gut microbiome’s structure and make it less diverse. Second, it changes the way microorganisms in the gut behave. As a result, inflammation arises.
Gluten and Dairy
Gluten triggers your small intestine to release a chemical called Zonulin. Next, Zonulin signals your gut lining’s tight junctions to open, resulting in a leaky gut.
Dairy causes inflammation in a large portion of the population due to lactose or whey sensitivities.
Also, avoid alcohol, sugar, and refined vegetable oil for better gut health.
Supplements For Leaky Gut
In addition to a gut-friendly diet, some supplements may help reduce symptoms.
In a 2001 study, researchers concluded that zinc might strengthen patients’ intestinal walls with Crohn’s disease. Similarly, research published in 2015 suggests zinc may modify intestinal lining and limit permeability.
Almost every tissue of the body contains collagen. Moreover, research suggests that collagen peptides, a more bioavailable and digestible form of collagen, may prevent the gut lining breakdown.
Pro Tip: Add bone broth to your diet for an extra collagen boost.
BPC 157 Peptides
The body naturally produces BPC 157, and it has many digestive benefits, such as protecting and healing an inflamed intestinal lining.
Overall, it’s possible to heal your gut and reduce symptoms associated with the leaky gut syndrome. Besides improving gut health, changes to your diet and supplements may have a dramatic impact on your quality of life.
Are you ready to optimize your health? Contact us today to see how we can help you improve your gut health! We have offices in Ocala, Florida, as well as Fruitland Park and Daytona.