Navigating the complex world of health and wellness can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re juggling the demands of life. Leaky gut can silently affect our bodies, often going unnoticed until symptoms become severe.
To truly thrive, it’s crucial to understand this common health issue and take proactive steps to prevent it. In this blog post, we will delve into what leaky gut is, the key role of diet, and practical strategies to help you maintain optimal gut health.
Leaky Gut: The Basics
Firstly, what exactly is leaky gut? In essence, it’s a digestive condition where the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged, causing undigested food particles, toxic waste products, and bacteria to “leak” through the intestines and flood the bloodstream.1
Food is without a doubt the biggest trigger of leaky gut syndrome – but it is also your greatest healing tool if used correctly. Symptoms may include acid reflux, bloating, digestive issues, fatigue, headaches, difficulty concentrating and more.
This chronic inflammation throws you into the autoimmune-inflammation spectrum that can ultimately lead to the development of autoimmune conditions such as IBS, Type 1 Diabetes, and more.2
Common Causes: Diet Matters
While several factors contribute to leaky gut, diet plays a critical role. Consuming certain foods can weaken the intestinal lining, creating a more permeable gut wall. According to Dr Will Cole, a functional medicine expert, the culprits often hiding in our diets that may cause leaky gut include gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, unhealthy oils, processed foods, and more.2
1. Gluten and Dairy
Gluten and dairy are two of the most common food sensitivities and can cause inflammation in the gut lining. Even if you don’t have a known intolerance, consuming them regularly may exacerbate a leaky gut.2
Sugar feeds harmful gut bacteria and yeasts, causing them to overpopulate and damage the intestinal wall. This not only contributes to leaky gut but also disturbs our overall microbiome balance.2
Alcohol is known to irritate the gut by suppressing hormone and detox pathways in your body that are responsible for controlling gut permeability and inflammation.
4. Unhealthy Oils
Processed vegetable oils like canola, corn, and soybean oils are high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. Consuming these oils can contribute to inflammation in the gut lining.2
To promote gut health, replace these foods with nourishing alternatives. Choose whole grains instead of gluten-based products, substitute dairy with plant-based milks, replace processed sugars
with natural sweeteners like honey, and choose healthier cooking oils such as olive or coconut oil. Fermented foods, healthy fats, fibre, clean protein and low-fructose fruits can help heal a leaky gut and restore the balance in your gut.
Targeted Probiotics and Prebiotics
Beyond diet, the balance of bacteria in our gut — our microbiome — is also crucial. Probiotics (beneficial bacteria) and prebiotics (food for these bacteria) can support a healthy microbiome and strengthen the intestinal barrier.
Foods rich in probiotics include yogurt and fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut. For prebiotics, look to foods such as onions, garlic, and bananas.
It can be difficult to get enough beneficial probiotics through food alone to make a significant difference in your gut health and therefore supplementation may be necessary.
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Bettergut™ is especially beneficial for those struggling with leaky gut and other inflammatory gut issues. It aids in maintaining intestinal barrier function and is beneficial for immune health and inflammatory responses.
Compared to traditional prebiotics, Bettergut™ offers fewer side effects like gas and bloating, even at lower doses, making it well-tolerated and beneficial for everyone. Terranova Probiotic Complex with Prebiotics is a unique formulation that combines extensively researched strains and fibres to enhance the efficacy of beneficial bacteria.
The blend includes strains which are most researched for their role in managing IBS and candida overgrowth respectively. A complex of naturally occurring fibre-rich nutrients that work in synergy with the probiotic to further improve digestive health and a healthy immune system.
Adopting an Individual Approach
Remember, everyone’s gut health and response to foods are different. What works for one person might not work for another. It’s important to listen to your body and adjust your diet accordingly.
To conclude, our gut health significantly influences our overall health. By understanding and avoiding the common triggers for leaky gut, we can pave the way for a healthier, happier life.
Remember, your journey to health is unique to you. Embrace it, and your gut will thank you!
|1. Fasano A. Leaky gut and autoimmune diseases. Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2012;42(1):71-8.||https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22109896/|
|2. Cole W. Avoid These Common Foods That Cause Leaky Gut [Internet]. Dr. Will Cole. 2023 [cited 24 July 2023].||https://drwillcole.com/gut-health/avoid-these-common-foods-that-cause-leaky-gu|