If you suffer from leaky gut syndrome, the answer may be as simple as making a few lifestyle changes. Follow these five steps to heal your gut and find relief.
When most people hear the word “toxin,” they think of chemicals like pesticides, heavy metals or other industrial pollutants. But, when it comes to our health, a toxin can be anything that causes damage when it enters the body. Even essential nutrients like water can be toxic at high doses. In their book The Perfect Health Diet, Paul & Shou-Ching Jaminet apply the economic principle of declining marginal benefits to toxins. They theorize that the body’s first exposure to any toxin is fairly low risk, but every subsequent exposure is progressively more toxic. Bread, pastries, muffins, crackers, cookies, soda, fruit juice, fast food and other convenience foods are all loaded with common food toxins:
- Cereal grains (especially refined flour)
- Omega-6 industrial seed oils (corn, cottonseed, safflower, soybean, etc.)
- Sugar (especially high-fructose corn syrup)
- Processed soy (soy milk, soy protein, soy flour, etc.)
- Conventional meat and dairy products
- Tap water
- Certain medicines (consult your physician)
Most of us won’t get sick from eating small amounts of sugar, cereal grains, soy or industrial seed oils, but eating these food toxins in excessive quantities can significantly increase our risk of developing disease.
2. Add Healing Foods
Removing food toxins from your diet is the first step towards reversing leaky gut syndrome, but replacing those harmful foods with healing foods is just as important. Buying a high-quality water filter can help eliminate the toxins found in tap water. Fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi contain probiotics to balance intestinal pH levels for better gut health, while cultured dairy products like raw kefir, yogurt and amasai contain gut-healing short-chain fatty acids (SCFA).
Nutrient-dense foods like bone broth are natural gut-healers. Bone broth contains collagen and amino acids like proline and glycine, which can help repair damaged cell walls. That’s why 3-day bone broth fasts are frequently recommended for people suffering from leaky gut syndrome. If you choose to begin a bone broth fast, you’ll have 3-4 quarts of bone broth each day with limited amounts of solid food. Adding bone broth to your daily diet as a soup, hot beverage or an ingredient in other recipes is one of the best ways to naturally improve digestion while strengthening and sealing the gastrointestinal (GI) lining. Other nutrient-dense foods include fermentable fibers like sweet potatoes, sprouted seeds, coconut products and healthy fats like wild-caught salmon.
3. Treat Pathogens
It’s estimated that about two-thirds of the population currently have or will have microbial balance issues in their gut. To alleviate these issues and reverse damage cause by leaky gut syndrome, it’s important to treat intestinal pathogens. Certain supplements have been proven to help. Specifically, Pyloricil capsules are made with zinc carnosine, mastic gum, bismuth citrate and berberine sulfate to support gut health. These ingredients work together to protect the stomach lining, promote microbial balance and optimize immune system function.
4. Manage Stress
Chronic stress can contribute to the overgrowth of gut bacteria and the development of leaky gut syndrome. Exercise is one of the simplest ways to reduce cortisol levels in the body. Try going for a walk or doing some light yoga. Focusing on your breath as you move throughout your day can help lower blood pressure and even enhance the benefits of your workout. Laughter, meditation, restful naps and quality sleep help reduce stress. If you’re feeling creative, turn your focus to an art project or gratitude journal to reenergize.
5. Rebalance Your Gut
Probiotics occur naturally in the body, but if you struggle with digestive issues, daily probiotic supplements can help. Taking a high-quality, multi-species probiotic supplement that contains both lactobacillus and bifidobacterium will help balance your “good” and “bad” gut bacteria and aid in digestion. Probiotic supplements have been known to help alleviate irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), diarrhea and other symptoms associated with leaky gut syndrome.
When it comes to healing your gut, these five steps can make a world of difference. By eliminating food toxins, choosing nutrient-dense foods, combatting pathogens, adopting a stress-free lifestyle and taking probiotics, we can all look forward to a healthier future. It’s that simple.