The mind, the body, and the soul. Who would have thought everything would be so intertwined and connect in such a significant way? Through knowledge, practice, and patience, you too can learn your body in a deeper way than you may have thought was possible. Take into consideration one of your most important organs. The one that truly keeps alive and well!
What is Leaky Gut?
What is leak gut? A digestive condition in which bacteria, toxins, and undigested foods end up leaking through a damaged intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. The immune system sees these foods or foreign objects as a threat and attacks the compounds. This produces a chemical reaction in the body that brings about chronic inflammation in the body.
The main explanation for leaky gut is that the intestinal tract’s bowels and the lining become irritated from yeast, bacteria, and certain foods + too many medications or antibiotics. The lining of our intestinal tract can begin to crack and become weak, resulting in a leaky gut which can also cause other diseases if not treated with diet and supplements.
Most Americans suffer from a gut imbalance and lack of gut health because of the foods that this country has deemed “necessary, healthy, and appropriate.” The most common foods that will trigger the intestinal wall and thus result in the leaky gut are as followed. Most Americans do suffer from a gut imbalance or irritation. Although leaky gut is still a “gray area” illness with lesser-known information about the details medically, all you need to know is the correlation between bad foods and your gut do not mix well and cause more detrimental issues than people realize. The gut controls 80% of the body’s immune system and holds 90% of the space in which our neurotransmitters are made.
Foods to Avoid and Why
1. The most common foods that MUST be avoided when healing the gut and even to be removed from a person’s diet all together are,
2. Wheat and wheat products such as breads, crackers, cereal, pastas, grains.
3. Gluten containing grains such as oats, rye, buckwheat etc.
4. Sugars such as artificial flavoring, sugary drinks and snacks and baked goods
5. Dairy products such as cheeses, dips, milk, yogurts and creams (eggs may cause sensitivity depending on your body and case)
6. Junk food and snacks such as anything in a box or can, things with excessive sugars and sodium like pretzels, candies, snack cakes, granola bars, chips, popcorns, frozen pizzas, etc.
7. Oils such as canola, vegetable, sunflower, soybean and cooking sprays or Crisco are extremely detrimental to the gut.
8. Sauces/dressings such as salad dressings, again many dips, pasta sauces etc.
9. Processed meats such as hotdogs, lunch meats, bacon, cold cuts.
10. Artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame, sucralose and saccharin.
11. Nuts (specific to case)
12. Veggies with acidic acid like tomatoes, garlic and onion should be eaten in moderation
13. Fruits with acidic such as pineapple and lemon should be eaten in moderation
You may be cringing right about now, asking yourself, “what on earth am I going to eat?”. The healing of the gut is a process, and learning what you can and can’t eat is part of that. The reason for removing or moderating the foods above is easy; they contain ingredients that are detrimental to the body. The ingredients of the contents above are what causes leaky gut, and the elimination of them is crucial when resetting your body. As there are many ingredients toxic ingredients in all foods, the time it takes to go through them all is significant. Because of this, the best way to review why the foods we love are actually causing long-term complications to our body and slowly taking away our energy and altering our mental state. The following link and section show what ingredients to avoid and which ones to watch out for when selecting your weekly diet. You may be surprised to see that many ingredients or “chemicals” in the foods we eat have cancer-leading factors and extremely toxic effects that have been proven and tested on animals. The top chemical that should be avoided can be found through the MPH Program List and advocate for public health lab center. The list below isn’t the full list. However, the link will take you to a further explain the list of ingredients.
- Sodium nitrate: Added to processed meats to stop bacterial growth. Linked to cancer in humans. (Worst Offender)
- Sulfites: Used to keep prepared foods fresh. It can cause breathing difficulties in those sensitive to the ingredient.
- Azodicarbonamide: Used in bagels and buns. It can cause asthma.
- Potassium bromate: Added to bread to increase volume. Linked to cancer in humans.
- Propyl gallate: Added to fat-containing products. Linked to cancer in humans
- BHA/BHT: A fat preservative used in foods to extend shelf life. Linked to cancerous tumor growth.
- Propylene glycol: Better known as antifreeze. Thickens dairy products and salad dressing. Deemed ‘generally’ safe by FDA.
- Butane: Put in chicken nuggets to keep them tasting fresh—a known carcinogen.
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG): Flavor enhancer that can cause headaches. Linked in animal studies to nerve damage, heart problems, and seizures.
- Saccharin: Carcinogen was found to cause bladder cancer in rats. (Worst Offender)
- Aspartame: An excitotoxin and thought to be a carcinogen. It can cause dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, and stomach problems.
- High fructose corn syrup: Sweetener made from corn starch. Made from genetically modified corn. It causes obesity, diabetes, heart problems, arthritis, and insulin resistance.
- Acesulfame potassium: Used with other artificial sweeteners in diet sodas and ice cream. (Linked to lung and breast tumors in rats. (https://mphprogramslist.com/50-jawdroppingly-toxic-food-additives-to-avoid/)
Gut health can be cured; however, the longer you feed your gut foods that irritate or make your body react negatively, the longer the healing process will be. Take a moment to think about the foods that bother your stomach. Think about how you feel or your energy or mood level once you’ve eaten sugar, snacks, wheat, or dairy. It is not uncommon for almost everyone in your friend circle to say that dairy hurts their stomach, but they could never give up cheese, so they just put up with the pain. Most people don’t realize that the tummy noise and extra-long bathroom break are not the only effects these eating choices have on your body. Let’s break this down and use an example that will be a better visual representation of what’s going on in your body when consuming foods that your body is trying to reject. Think about this; you are training for a sport, any sport you want! While working on techniques and moves that you hope will improve your performance, your body quickly tells you that the particular position, stance, or stressor that you are putting on your body is painful and, if tried again, could cause something to be broken sprained or bruised. It may be a sharp pain, crack, or dislocation of some kind. Regardless you STOP right away and make a mental note to don’t do that action again, you value your body’s information and make the mental note that your body does not like that because it could cause a lifetime of issues repercussions. The same thing applies when we feed our body foods that it rejects or has a conflict with. Just like the sports example, when we eat dairy, wheat, or sugar and our body feels yucky, sick, or in pain, why don’t we stop eating? It can be easy to dismiss eating bad food because it’s better to have “yummy” food and “deal” with it over cutting it out of our diet and replacing it with “healthy” foods. The reality is, it’s worth it more than you know to take the mental note from your body about foods that cause tummy pains, headaches, or long bathroom breaks. Often we can make excuses or even be oblivious to foods actually being the cause for this inflammation in our body but remember, your body does let you know there is an issue, and we need to start listening.
Do I Have Gut Trouble?
Let’s get into some symptoms because, let’s face it; our body is sometimes hard to read; however, focus, breath, and make you and your body the top priority for once; it’ll be life-changing. The most common symptoms of leaky gut or an inflamed gut drawn from my own personal experience and researched by The be the balanced center are as followed. Remember that these symptoms can be moderate to severe and may affect everyone differently. I am here to tell you not to reduce your symptoms’ severity because a leaky gut can cause many serious issues due to the symptoms you endure. Your feelings and struggles are prevalent and matter as much as you feel they do and affect your life. You are the best judge of what is going on in your body and what it needs.
- Brain fog, forgetfulness, and difficulty concentrating
- Water retention (feeling heavier and less active than usual due to hydration level)
- Feeding your body foods that its sensitive to or allergic too
- Thyroid issues
- Skin issues
- Autoimmune diseases
- Difficulty with mood and feeling depressed, sad or anxious
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Headaches or migraines
- Fluctuation In weight
Gut health is essential; the gut affects the mind, affecting how we live, enjoy life, and interact with others. “Did you know that 60%-80% of our immune system is in our gut? Did you also know that 90% of our neurotransmitters (chemicals that regulate our mood, such as serotonin) are made in our gut?” https://bebalancedcenters.com/blog/a-holistic-approach-to-help-repair-leaky-gut-naturally/
The 5 R’s of a Healthy Gut
Because everybody is so uniquely different, the cures and healing through food will differ depending on the person and the severity of their gut issues. The best thing to focus your mind towards as you begin this journey, yes journey, is to understand the 5 Rs of a healthy gut. Second, prepare yourself for a journey, a journey that will take time, patience, and calamity. There will be days of withdrawal, anxiety, and lack of hope. I urge you to keep pressing forward because good things come to those who wait, and by the end of your journey, you will be happier, healthier, and free! Be patient with your body, give it love and give it credit for years of pushing through many of our unhealthy choices.
The 5 R’s are a great way to remember your process and stick to a positive attitude.
- Remove the things that are causing your gut troubles and pain. Foods, drinks or medication.
- Reduce bacteria and holes that can grow in the gut through supplements and bone broth.
- Repair the cellular wall of the gut to avoid toxins and leakage to the blood stream.
- Replace healthy bacteria in the gut to improve immunity.
- Rebalance the guts lifestyle with healthy foods and habits that will reduce stress and inflammation.
Your body will be going through many changes, including the release of toxins and withdrawals from the foods you remove from your body. Our body becomes accustomed to its everyday life, meaning it is accustomed to feeling ill and accustomed to feeling free once treated! Most likely, the body will need several common supplements when you begin your process. Again, most supplements will depend on the individual and whether they have other health factors or the severity of the gut; however, since we are taking out many forms of food, we will need to compensate for that through supplements. The supplement that each individual dealing with leaky gut or gut difficulties will be bone broth. Bone broth has miraculous healing powers on the gut and contains many nutritional factors that our bodies need especially when mending the gut wall.