You’ve realized you have a leaky gut. You’ve either been diagnosed by a professional or done enough research online to do a self-diagnosis (although we do recommend seeing your health professional). A leaky gut means the lining of your small intestine is damaged, causing undigested food particles, toxic waste products and bacteria to “leak” into your bloodstream. Not fun.
It could have been caused by a number of factors, including stress, your diet, an injury, a nutritional deficiency, aging, chemotherapy, an infection, inflammation, or because of another disease. Leaky gut is sort of like pains or headaches, it’s a possible symptom for a long list of health issues.
Which is why the most efficient thing to do is to see your health professional to determine what the cause of your leaky gut is. However, that being said, there are a number of things you can do to not only improve your leaky gut but improve your overall health as well.
It’s always, always a good idea to take time to reduce your stress level get your blood flowing with regular exercise. The evidence is indisputable. Exercise boosts your immune system, reduces inflammation, improves your mental health, and can help improve your digestion. In fact, one study found that 30 minutes of swimming a day directly improved digestion in lab mice. Do you really need to have a leaky gut to take time to de-stress and exercise? The answer is no.
When it comes to gut-friendly foods, not all foods are created equal. Fermented foods rich in probiotics are fantastic for your bacteria-rich gut. These probiotics keep the lining of the colon healthy and may improve gut sensation. If miso, sauerkraut, or yogurt isn’t your thing, you can always take a probiotics supplement to help keep the live cultures in your stomach balanced and healthy.
There are other foods to add to your diet that have shown to soothe an upset stomach or irritated gut by preventing gas like caraway, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, fennel, ginger, mint, nutmeg, or oatmeal.
Sometimes specific foods can cause irritation, so trying an elimination diet can be a good way of identifying what doesn’t agree with you and what makes your gut feel settled.
Many people find that alcohol and caffeine worsen digestive issues and by cutting them out, their leaky gut improves. Coffee is acidic, encourages gut rot and acid reflux, and can worsen IBS. If you have any sort of digestive issues happening, cutting out coffee can be a good idea. While even moderate drinking has shown to worsen leaky gut or other digestive issues.
If you’re on any sort of medication and have a leaky gut, it’s worth checking in with your doctor because some drugs can cause digestive issues. It might be an unavoidable side effect but that’s not always the case.
Inflammation, like a leaky gut, can be a symptom of a number of other issues and it’s always a good idea to keep inflammation-fighting foods in steady rotation in your diet. A leaky gut can actually cause inflammation and in turn, a number of other health issues. An easy way to fight inflammation is to start drinking more green tea, add spices like turmeric to your diet, or even start cooking with bee pollen.
The good news is that a leaky gut is reversible and sometimes it can be reversed quite easily (if it’s a specific food that’s causing it) or even prevented.
Not sure if you have a healthy gut? Read our post, Do You Have a Healthy Gut? Next!