The Best Diet for a Leaky Gut
If you’ve just been given the concerning news that you have Leaky Gut Syndrome the good news is that the road to health is paved with good intestines. Putting yourself on a diet for a leaky gut and eating foods that promote intestinal health will not only help heal a leaky gut but will greatly assist in restoring your happiness.
When it comes to eating a diet for a leaky gut, what goes on your plate is paramount. Since, convenience foods are loaded with refined sugar and vegetable oils, making a shopping list of what you can eat and prepping your meals at home will help you stay on track.
All foods that damage your gut health should be avoided for at least 6 months to give your gut time to heal. In simple terms, you are mostly going to be swapping out refined foods for whole, unprocessed foods rich in anti-inflammatory nutrients.
If going cold turkey is too stressful to comprehend, begin eliminating foods at a slower pace. Your diet needs to be realistic so you don’t become overwhelmed and give up. Every little change helps.
The ticket to optimal gut health is eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense foods.
The Best Diet for a Leaky Gut
Bone Broth - You can make this using any type of bone from any animal (knuckles, ribs, wings, feet, necks and tails). If you can find a source of grass-fed animal bones, this is optimum, but not necessarily a deal breaker. The most important part is to cook the bones at a simmer for a really long time – if you have a slow cooker gathering dust in a cupboard somewhere, this is its moment to make a comeback!
Bone broth contains collagen and gelatine which help to ‘seal’ the gut lining. Glutamine is also present, which helps strengthen your gut lining and prevents future damage.
- Place 500g to 1 kg of bones in your stock pot or slow cooker
- Add 1 chopped onion, 2 to 3 peeled carrots, 1 stalk of celery, salt and a few peppercorns
- Pour enough water into the pot to cover everything
- Add Apple Cider vinegar and let it stand for 30 – 40 minutes (1 tablespoon for Chicken, 2 for beef and 1 & half for fish bones)
- Bring to the boil and reduce to a low simmer. (If you are cooking your broth on the stove top, you will have to skim the foam/scum off the top occasionally)
- Strain the broth, keeping only the liquid.
Cook Chicken bones 8 - 24 hours, Beef bones 8 – 72 hours and Fish bones 6 – 24 hours.
Top Tip – Freeze your bone broth in ice-cube trays, that way you can pop out small servings as needed.
Steamed vegetables – Add Non-starchy vegetables to your diet for a leaky gut. They are full of B vitamins which help break down carbs, fats, proteins and vitamin D and which assist in reducing inflammation in the gut. Steaming the veggies helps to break down the tough fibres in raw vegetables which can be hard for your recovering gut to handle.
Non-Dairy fermented foods - Probiotics found in coconut milk, coconut yoghurt, sauerkraut and kimchi keep your system clean and promote a favourable environment for the good bacteria.
Healthy fats – One of the best fats for your gut is coconut oil which is a natural anti-inflammatory and which also has antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Other sources are egg yolks, ghee and avocados.
Grass-fed meats – Pasture raised animals eat better so their meat is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and minerals. The meat is also free of hormones and antibiotics which are toxic to our guts.
Wild fatty fish or fish oil – This is an excellent source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 essential fatty acids. Taking a daily cod liver oil supplement will be a beneficial addition to your diet for a leaky gut if eating fish is not a favourite of yours.
Fruit – 1 to 2 servings of fruit a day is good for gut health. Fruit is best consumed in the mornings and should be low-glycemic such as berries, pears, apples, oranges, grapefruit, plums, peaches, grapes and dried apricots.
Supplements – These are a simple and easy addition to your diet for a leaky gut. Half a cup 3 times a day of pure Aloe Vera juice helps to soothe the intestinal lining. Licorice root helps reduce digestive discomfort. Probiotic supplements are excellent in helping to restore the good gut bacteria. Fish oils such as salmon or cod liver are anti-inflammatories. L-Glutamine powder, 5 grams twice a day, is especially helpful if you suffer from diarrhoea.
Food to Avoid
- Gluten and wheat products
- Cows dairy products
- Refined sugar and artificial sweeteners
- Unsprouted grains
- Refined vegetable oils such as Sunflower, Safflower, Canola and Soybean