More and more in today’s health news you will hear the term Leaky Gut…
Which sounds quite disgusting if you ask me, as it kind of gives you a visual which doesn’t sound very pleasant. So I decided to explain in more detail so you see the importance of doing whatever it takes to heal this problem. (which is sadly becoming more and more common).
First of all I need you to picture your gut lining (so just to be clear we are talking about the inside lining of your stomach) let’s picture a kind of basket weave that forms to make a little balloon. The weave is flexible and stretches as we eat and then it goes about it’s digestion process. Researchers have now identified a chemical called zonulin which is naturally released by the gut to moderate it’s own permeability. Sometimes the gut needs to open up for small moments of time to flush out infections of the intestinal walls but generally speaking the gut should remain closed and not allowing food particles to escape.
The only thing that should really permeate the gut lining walls are selected nutrients for the body once the food has been broken down by your stomach acid.
However, too much zonulin can sometimes be released and the gut wall will stay open which sets the body up for chronic inflammation and disease as food particles are now floating around in areas that it’s not meant to be. It’s these food particles that become unidentified foreign objects which cause the immune system to go a little wonky and over react. Eventually causing autoimmune problems.
Triggers to Leaky Gut
So what causes too much zonulin to be released then? I’m glad you asked…
The most potent triggers for too much zonulin are gluten, grains, and certain anti-nutrients that are found in processed and packaged foods. Also a long term imbalance of microbiome’s also known as gut bacteria (more bad guys than good guys).
This is also known as Dysbiosis which I will explain in another post because it plays a huge role in Hormone imbalance.
Back to leaky gut… I hope you can see now that this is really a big problem. The bodies immune system was not designed to have bits of food (undigested and still toxic) to be floating around the body. If the holes were bigger we would actually be in very real danger of instant death due to the toxicity. In a way we are lucky that the holes are teeny tiny ones but that still means we are being poisoned, just very slowly.
My point here is not to be a doomsayer or to frighten you about holes in your stomach. My point is to simply highlight this very common problem as being the basis for many other symptoms, conditions and imbalances that we are seeing in patients across the globe.
What to do about Leaky Gut?
Well the wonderful thing about the human body is that it’s designed to take care of itself and start healing whatever area is in the most need. So the first thing we need to do is turn this leaky gut around and start plugging up those holes. Right? Of course. So this is why an elimination diet is critical to healing all forms of disease that begin in the gut. Which according to Hippocrates some 2000 years ago is the epicenter of ALL disease.
The elimination diet is hard core because you literally need to eliminate everything that can cause zonulin to be triggered too often. And the whilst it isn’t necessarily all foods that are removed during elimination that are causing the problem the tough part is you need to eliminate everything for a period of time to give your gut lining time to repair AND be able to identify the triggering foods. (everyone is different)
The elimination process is not the kind of program you stay on for too long. It’s literally for a healing purpose NOT a weight loss regime.
Foods to be Eliminated:
- All Grains – Wheat, rice, corn even things like millet and amaranth etc
- Legumes – all beans including peanut butter and hummus
- Dairy – all sources of dairy including raw and fermented
- Nuts & Seeds – all types including cashews, almonds, quinoa, seed based spices, chocolate and coffee.
- Eggs – especially the white part which contains inflammatory proteins
- Nightshades – tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplants, goji berries and several spices
- Industrial seed oils – all except for olive and avocado oil
- Processed foods – anything in a box or package
- Alcohol – yes all of it
- NSAIDS – Non-steriodal, anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin.
- Sugar, starches, fruits, yeasts, FODMAPS
So yeah all the goods stuff.
Literally you are only left with animal protein and vegetables on the menu so it does make having a social life rather difficult. However the big takeaway here is that it’s all about healing and giving your body time to reverse all the reactions and symptoms being set off by your leaky gut.
So it doesn’t have to be forever.
Of course I understand this can be difficult to subscribe to my newsletter and you receive a free copy of my DIY 21 Day Reset which will help get you started.
This will get you started on the right path to removing inflammatory foods that trigger your leaky gut whilst helping you lose few kilos as well (if that’s something you would like to have happen) PLUS get your hormones into a much healthier and happier place.