Keeping your gut healthy is essential to keeping your entire body healthy. Your gut is the first line of defence against infections. But a lot of people struggle to maintain a healthy gut. The recently discovered leaky gut syndrome is a problem many people have been suffering from.
Leaky gut is still a pretty big grey area in the medical community. It is said to have symptoms like bloating, gas, cramps and other, but doctors don’t know enough about it. It is something of a medical mystery.
The National Health Service or NHS, which is the national healthcare provider of United Kingdom, defines leaky gut as a proposed condition some health practitioners claim is the cause of a wide range of long-term conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple sclerosis (MS).
What Causes Leaky Gut?
Toxins – Drinking water that is not properly filtered, eating fruits and vegetables without first cleaning it thoroughly to get rid of pesticides can expose you and your body to harmful toxins which can harm your gut and cause inflammation.
Diet – Ingestion of preservatives, refined sugars and flour, processed foods and flavorings can lead to accumulation of high amounts of chemicals within the body. This can lead to a toxic build-up leading to inflammation.
Stress – Chronic stress is bad for your health overall. It affects you both physically and mentally. When the body is under constant pressure, it suppresses the immune system. This decreases the gut’s ability to fight off foreign bodies, leading to inflammation and leaky gut.
How to Heal Your Gut Naturally?
The good thing is that with some changes in your lifestyle and diet, you can make your gut healthy again.
1. Remove These Foods from Your Diet
There are certain foods that make your gut work overtime to process them. When trying to heal your gut, it is advisable to stay from certain foods. Sugar should be avoided as it feeds the growth of bad bacteria, yeast and candida. The aim here is to eliminate things that can harm the GI tract so avoid starch, grains or any other irritating food that might alleviate inflammation like processed foods, gluten, dairy, eggs and soy.
2. Add These Foods for a Better Gut Environment
Just removing the bad food isn’t enough. You need to introduce the good food to allow the proper nutrition to reach the body. Ingredients essential for proper digestion and absorption need to be supplied. This includes digestive enzymes, bile acids, hydrochloric acid and beneficial bacteria.
Consume probiotics as it helps replenish good bacteria and weed out the bad ones. You can add fermented food and drinks like live yogurt, milk kefir, water kefir and kim chi. You can also add the supplement of digestive enzymes to ensure the food gets digested properly.
You can also add food items like bone broth, fermented vegetables, any coconut product and sprouted seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds.
3. Take Nutritional Supplements
Making sure the nutrients essential to help the gut repair itself are present in the gut is important. Here are some supplements you can take:
- L-Glutamine: Glutamine powder is an important amino acid supplement that facilitates the growth and repair of your intestinal lining. It is an anti-inflammatory that also acts a protector by coating your cell walls and repelling irritants.
- Probiotics: This is the most important supplement to take when trying to heal your gut. It helps provide a supply of good bacteria while weeding out the bad ones. It can be consumed either in the form of supplement or in the form of food.
- Digestive Enzymes: These enzymes play an extremely important role in breaking down the food we intake. Plant-based enzymes prevent chunks of undigested molecules from irritating the intestinal lining by breaking the food down into tiny particles. These enzymes also remove toxins, bacteria and damaged cells of the mucosal lining as they go through the intestines.
- Quercetin: It enables the creation of tight junction proteins which can seal the gut and enhance the gut barrier function. It can manage food sensitivity by reducing the release of histamine, and steady the mast cells. It may also aid in the healing of ulcerative colitis.
- Licorice Root: Licorice root or DGL is a herb that is especially effective if the cause of leaky gut is emotional stress. It helps balance cortisol levels and enhances production of acid in the stomach. It also aids in maintaining the mucosal lining of the stomach.
Apart from these, you should also intake vitamin D, A, C, E, zinc, omega-3 fish oils and herbs such as aloe vera and slippery elm.
4. Avoid Stress
Chronic stress destroys the immune system, thereby leading to leaky gut. Try to avoid stress as much as possible. You can try meditation and yoga to calm your brain and allow the first line of defence against infections, i.e. the gut to become stronger and better. If the gut strengthens, it will be able to fight off diseases more effectively and digest the food properly so that toxic elements don’t leak into the bloodstream.
These above-mentioned tips will help you not only deal with leaky gut but also improve the health of your gut overall. They can provide a more conducive environment for the good bacteria will getting rid of the bad bacteria that were harming it. And a healthy gut is the key to a healthy life.