Leaky Gut Diet: Top 11 Foods To Eat and Avoid
This guide will take a closer look at how to maintain a healthy digestive system by preventing or healing leaky gut. Keep reading to find out more about leaky gut syndrome and what causes leaky gut. We will also include a list of foods to enjoy as part of a healthy, balanced gut healing diet, and leaky gut foods to avoid. Also, we will offer some simple meal ideas that can help improve digestive health and leaky gut syndrome.
In this article:
- What is a Leaky Gut or Leaky Bowel?
- What Is a Leaky Gut Diet?
- What to Eat in Your Leaky Gut Diet
- Leaky Gut Diet Foods to Avoid
- Leaky Gut Diet Ideas
Make Leaky Gut Diet Plan Easy with Leaky Gut Foods to Avoid and Eat
What is a Leaky Gut or Leaky Bowel?
Our digestive system is made up of many organs. Each of these organs work together to break down the food we consume while absorbing all the nutrients and removing waste. The intestinal lining behaves like a barrier to prevent any harmful substances from entering the bloodstream. Leaky gut is the condition where gaps form in the intestinal walls. These gaps or holes make it easier for bacteria, toxins, and undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream. As a result, this may lead to triggering inflammation and changes to the good bacteria (flora) in the gut.
But what causes leaky gut? What you may not be aware of is that everybody has some level of leaky gut. As the intestinal lining is not impenetrable, it is normal for some food particles and bacteria to enter the bloodstream. However, this should be limited amounts.
It is believed that what may be causing leaky bowel in most people is our diet. The modern diet is a world away from how our natural diet should be. We tend to consume foods that are low in fiber, sugary, high in saturated fats, and consume alcohol too frequently. Therefore, our modern diet may be causing leaky gut.
What Is a Leaky Gut Diet?
To sum up, a leaky gut diet consists of leaky gut foods to avoid and foods that are beneficial to overall digestive health. While there is no leaky gut cure as such, there are ways we can improve digestive health. Generally, a leaky gut diet is a meal plan that focuses on helping to ease or prevent the symptoms associated with leaky gut syndrome. Therefore, the said leaky gut symptoms can include:
- abdominal pain
- chronic diarrhea
- memory loss
- brain fog
- poor immunity
What to Eat in Your Leaky Gut Diet
When you’re creating your leaky gut diet plan, make sure that you incorporate leaky gut supplements into your leaky gut treatment plan. In addition to your meal plan to improve leaky gut symptoms, ensure that you are limiting the leaky gut foods to avoid.
Here are some ideas to help you create some nourishing meals in your new leaky gut diet plan:
1. Bone BrothSimmering bones, cartilages, and joints of chicken, pork, and even fish, among others, for hours or days can potentially provide you with digestive benefits. Bone broth is a rich source of collagen. This is the protein that helps maintain the structure and strength of connective tissues, such as those in the gut. It also contains glutamine. According to a 2017 study, it is an amino acid that supports the regulation of intestinal permeability. When it comes to how much bone broth to drink for leaky gut, aim for two cups a day. You can also add it to your soups and smoothies.
2. Fermented Foods
Fermented foods for a healthy gut[/caption] Fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut are excellent sources for probiotics. These are beneficial microorganisms your gut needs to improve the balance of the gut flora. A 2013 research study revealed that probiotics have bioactive factors that stimulate signaling pathways to regulate the flow of molecules and ions between cells. This will then reduce the permeability of the intestinal walls. You can also complement your fermented foods with supplements like BIOHM Probiotics, which contain both good bacteria and fungi.
3. FiberYour leaky gut diet plan should include fiber-rich foods. Fiber can nourish the gut bacteria, allowing the good ones to thrive. Insoluble fiber, or the type that doesn’t dissolve in water, is a source for prebiotics. They work as “feeds” for the microorganisms, especially those present in the colon. A study in the Journal of Physiology showed fiber-rich foods can decrease the impact of stress on the gut. Many types of food can provide you with fiber. These include fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts, and legumes. Ideally, you need 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you take. If you struggle meeting that, you can combine these whole foods with BIOHM Prebiotic.
4. Foods Rich in Omega-3You can also manage a leaky gut when you eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fish, seaweed, nuts, and seeds. Omega-3 assists in reducing inflammation, which is often the reason for the leaky gut symptoms. A 2016 case study reported how these essential fatty acids change the composition of the gut flora. To be specific, it promotes the growth of bacteria that produce butyrate. What Is Butyrate? A short-chain fatty acid known to help improve the intestinal barrier function.
This turmeric carrot soup recipe is a good addition to your leaky gut diet plan because of one ingredient: turmeric. It is a spice that contains curcumin, a phenolic compound that helps give it its bright-yellow color.
What Is a Phenolic Compound? A phytochemical or active compound present in most types of plants, including vegetables and fruits. A 2017 study in Cell Physiology highlighted how curcumin helps treat or prevent leaky gut. It plays a vital role in the organization of the tight junctions and modulation of signaling of the epithelial intestinal cells.
What Are Tight Junctions? A type of connection between cells which forms a barrier to regulate the passage of water and other molecules and ions to and from cells.
Add more flavor and texture to your leaky gut diet foods with mushrooms. These types of edible fungi can act as prebiotics, which can increase the population of beneficial microorganisms. A 2017 Chinese research also revealed they may also prevent the development of pathogens. These are viruses and bacteria that can increase the risk of illness.
Leaky Gut Diet Foods to Avoid
1. DairyTo be clear, not all types of dairy are bad for the digestive system. Take, for example, kefir, which increases beneficial bacteria in the gut. The problem is many kinds of dairy today contain high amounts of artificial or refined sugar. Most of all, some people have sensitivity or intolerance to dairy. When they consume dairy products, they can develop gastrointestinal symptoms ranging from abdominal pain to bloating and diarrhea.
2. Artificial Sweeteners
Using artificial sweeteners in a drink[/caption] From sodas to salad dressings, many types of food contain artificial sweeteners. Manufacturers add them to enhance the flavor and to supposedly reduce calories. A 2014 mice study, though, revealed these sweeteners can negatively affect the balance of gut flora. Worse, these changes can influence metabolism. They can modulate the hosts of bacteria, which can induce glucose intolerance, which increases the risks of high glucose levels. If you want to improve gut health and reduce the odds of diabetes and obesity, quit sugar.
3. GlutenGluten can trigger digestive symptoms for people with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease wherein gluten triggers the immune system to attack the intestinal walls. Some people may also be predisposed or develop sensitivity or intolerance to gluten. Consumption of such products may result in bloating and changes in bowel movements, to name a few.
4. Processed and Junk FoodOne of the leaky gut diet foods to avoid is processed and junk food, especially the ultra-processed kind. This type of food already contains high amounts of additives, fillers, sodium, and sugar the body doesn’t really need. A 2018 European study shared processed foods, which are a hallmark of a Western diet, can do two things to the gut. First, it can change the structure of the microbiome, which means it can possibly become less diverse. Second, it modifies the way these microorganisms behave with one another and depending on the nutrient supply.
5. Red Meat
Perhaps you already know that a diet high in red meat can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, but you don’t have any idea how. New studies such as the 2018 research in European Heart Journal provide an explanation. According to it, red meat can influence the way the gut bacteria works. The components found in red meat such as choline and carnitine can lead to the bacteria producing a metabolite known as trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). Multiple studies showed a connection between high levels of TMAO and cardiovascular risk.
Leaky Gut Diet Meal Ideas
A common step in improving leaky gut symptoms is to make some changes in your diet. Generally, the goal here is to reduce your intake of foods that may be causing inflammation. Switch these foods for healthy, whole foods, and consume a natural diet. Ultimately, shortly after switching your diet to minimize gut inflammation, you may find that your symptoms of leaky gut are improved.
Moreover, here are some leaky gut diet meal ideas that are packed with foods that promote healthy changes in your gut flora.
In the mornings, start your day off right with a smoothie that has been made with dairy alternative milk, chia seeds, and loaded with your favorite fruits.
Some other breakfast ideas are:
- Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit such as blueberries, kiwi, strawberries, and raspberries
- Oatmeal made with dairy free alternatives and topped with blueberries or your favorite fruit. If you don’t want to use dairy free milk, try using water.
- Toasted sourdough bread and scrambled eggs
To help keep you full until dinner time, prep a tuna salad that is loaded with greens. Swap your normal salad dressing for a homemade vinaigrette. However, if you fancy a more filling lunch, enjoy a turkey or ham wraps filled with lettuce, and a side of fruit.
For dinner, enjoy grilled fish such as salmon with a side of green salad. Some other meal ideas include:
- Lean beef stir fry with zucchini noodles and broccoli
- Sliced chicken breast, carrots, and mixed leafy green salad. Top your salad with parmesan cheese
While it is important to keep your snacks under control, for an afternoon pick-me-up a good snack is fresh fruit such as grapes, strawberries, and raspberries. Munch on a handful of almonds, or top overnight oats with your favorite fruit and nuts.
Tip: To make your meals even tastier, add in some herbs and spices to liven up mealtimes. Adding some simple herbs and spices can completely switch up your meal.
Learn how to optimize your gut in 5 simple steps in this video from BIOHM Health:
When it comes to creating your leaky gut diet plan, it’s not enough you know the foods for healing your gut. It’s also essential you avoid those that can trigger or worsen the symptoms. This knowledge will help you make better health choices and decisions, which can then impact your quality of life and longevity.
What are your favorite healthy recipes that promote gut health? Share them in the comments section below! Up Next: