What to eat and what to avoid for fastest recovery
How do you discern which of the dozen recommended diets for leaky gut is the best leaky gut diet plan for you? It's not at all clear from an online search, and can be downright dismaying at best!
The truth is, there are no "5 Foods that will heal Leaky Gut". It takes a comprehensive protocol involving not only what you eat, but what you avoid eating as well. A viable leaky gut diet plan also pairs with a few key leaky gut supplements that cut inflammation and speed heal the bowel to mobilize a fast and effective leaky gut treatment program.
And while you're eating clean and healthy, you'll want to heal the gut as quickly as possible.
In my 25 years as a natural health coach assisting thousands of people to heal leaky gut, I’ve learned some important patterns that can guide you as you uncover your own healing diet. And it doesn’t need to take months, but rather just a few days to know you’re on the right track.
Foods to Eat for Leaky Gut - The Simplest Leaky Gut Diet
The ideal diet for healing leaky gut fast is a nutrient dense, dairy-free, quasi keto diet, meaning that it’s low in simple sugars and grains but high in healthy fats, plant and animal proteins and wildly vivid colors. But it's also free of the foods that are triggering your inflammation right now. The food combinations for my recommended leaky gut diet plan are endless and the flavors fresh and interesting. Here’s a look at what you’ll want to eat each day.
Best Leaky Gut Diet
- Vegetables and leafy greens
- Non-gluten grains
- Clean animal protein from fish, poultry, meat and eggs
- Healthy fats from avocados, nuts, nut & seed butters, flax seeds, olives and coconuts.
- One serving low sugar fruit per day
Plant Based Foods
Your body will heal best on a plant based diet, loaded with complex carbohydrates from vegetables and leafy greens and also rich in plant fats and proteins. These foods will supply the needed building materials to heal your body/skin from the inside out as quickly as possible.
Non-gluten Grains Help Prevent Weightloss
For children and for adults who do not wish to lose any weight, include non-gluten grains like millet, quinoa, buckwheat and glutenfree oatbran or oatmeal in the diet. These grains will offer essential B vitamins and grant enough carbohydrate to maintain body weight. If you are interested in losing weight just avoid these until you’ve reached your target weight, then bring these non-allergenic grains back into your diet.
Animal protein doesn’t need to be organic, grass-fed or free range to heal you, but cleaner is better, as you can afford it. Avoid completely all processed deli meat, bacon and hotdogs loaded with preservatives and fillers. Stick with what comes right off the animal. Animal protein is surprisingly easier for the body to digest than plant protein and requires only stomach acid to digest, where plant protein requires significantly more work to free nutrients from the cellulose fibers that hold it bound. Plant protein also requires the proper levels of pancreatic enzymes for digestion which typically aren’t fully online with leaky gut/inflammatory skin conditions. Your pancreas will get back there eventually, and when it does, you’ll feel more sustained energy without the animal protein.
All low sugar foods are anti-inflammatory, and so are healthy fats. You can reduce inflammation in your body including your skin by eating fatty fish. They’re rich in high-quality protein and heart-healthy anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. Bake or grill a filet of wild-caught, fatty fish to serve over a salad or alongside roasted vegetables. You can also use your favorite canned fish mixed with mayo, herbs, and spices to stuff lettuce wraps, avocado, or celery sticks. If you don’t care for fish, consider taking an omega-3 supplement. In general, it’s recommended that you get at least 250 mg of omega-3 fatty acids daily, preferably from food.Healthy Fats:
- Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, anchovies and sardines)
- Avocados, avo oil
- Nuts (pistacious, walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, Brazil nuts are all great options.)
- Nut and seed butters (spread sunflower butter or almond butter
- Olives, olive oil
- Coconut, coconut milk or cream
Low Sugar Fruit
Using my protocol for healing the body of allergic conditions my clients are able to experience accelerated recovery while still enjoying one serving of low sugar fruit per day. Savor it in the evening after dinner or in the morning over keto granola with coconut cream. Delish! Choose half a cup of berries, or a medium sized plum, kiwi, clementine or peach. Lowest sugar fruits are listed first. Fruits that are simply too high in sugars to eat, without initiating more inflammation aren’t on the list.
Low Sugar Fruit:
- Raspberries (½ cup)
- Cantaloupe (1 cup)
That’s a start to help you visualize your ideal diet for healing leaky gut fast. But to sharpen the image here are 5 important food groups you'll want to avoid. Keep in mind that this isn’t forever. Just for the first 14 days, then you can challenge one food every couple days to discover whether or not it’s triggering your symptoms.
Yep, my friend. You can definitely do this.
Foods to Avoid for Leaky Gut
Here’s the short list of foods to avoid in order to feel better fast. Without exception, when healing leaky gut the first 3 are a must. The last 2, Corn and Soy, may or may not be problem foods for you yet, so test these first at the end of 2 weeks. It’s believed in the world of natural health, that your body begins developing sensitivities because of a change in the permeability of your intestinal wall. For more on what leaky gut is, click here. Because partially digested food can then leak into the bloodstream through these more permeable openings, the first sensitivities you’ll develop are to the foods you eat regularly.
Foods to Avoid for Leaky Gut
- Sugars and sweeteners (except stevia or monkfruit)
- Dairy products (except butter)
- Gluten products (wheat, barley, rye and commercial oatmeal)
- Corn products (popcorn, cornchips and anything containing corn syrup)
- Soy products (soy isolates are a cheap filler in packaged and canned goods)
Why Avoid Them?
These first 3 foods on the “Avoid” list are the basis for the Standard American Diet, and really all 5 can be found in nearly every processed packaged or canned food you find on grocery store shelves in western civilization. Cow’s milk is a major source of carbohydrate, plus the cow milk protein molecule is three times the size of human breast milk protein and nearly impossible for humans to fully digest (especially children and people over 30). You’ll need to be checking labels to become familiar with which food brands are free of these 5 common allergens.
Avoid foods that spike insulin. Sweet foods also feed pathogens like candida yeast, mold fungus, bad bacteria and viruses. Sugars include all sweeteners, honey, maple syrup and artificial sweeteners like sucralose (Splenda) and Aspartame. Use only stevia to sweeten for the first 2 weeks. You’re allowed one serving of low sugar fruit per day so you may want to eat it fresh, close your eyes and savor it as your sweet treat each day.
Begin by avoiding the above inflammatory trigger foods for the first 14 days. 2 weeks is the length of time it takes to completely rid the body of certain trigger foods. For example, breast milk contains traces of cow milk protein for up to 14 days after a mother ingests it.
Customize for You
In addition to the 5 common trigger foods, there may be additional foods that you’ve noticed are triggers for you. For example, if you know that peanuts, shellfish or fresh garden tomatoes make your throat scratchy or cause a skin flareup, add those to your “Avoid” list for the first 2 weeks. The aim here is to get clear of all your identifiable triggers to begin unplugging the inflammation that’s hurting your skin.
Additional triggers may be:
- Eggs (or try eggs from Soy-free chickens before ruling eggs out)
- White potato (potato starch is another cheap filler added to many processed foodstuffs. Also, commercial sprays can trigger a sensitivity, so try red skin or organic instead)
- Peanuts (these grow under the ground with allergenic mycotoxins and mold inside the shell)
- Treenuts (allergy to this group of nuts is more common now than 20 yrs ago)
- Shellfish/catfish (crab, shrimp and catfish are scavengers that eat whatever drifts to the bottom of the lake or ocean)
Challenging a food after 14 days:
Once you’ve completely avoided a trigger food for 14 days, you may feel so good you don’t want to risk the possible inflammation of challenging a food. That was the case in my own recovery from multiple food allergies. But if you’ve never noticed a problem with popcorn, cheese or edamame (soy) for example, you can challenge one of them after taking a 2 week break with a simple Pulse Test. Do not challenge more than one food every 48 hrs.
The Pulse Test
- Before getting out of bed.
- Check resting heartrate.
- Eat the challenge food in it’s purest form, ie. corn chip, wheat cracker, soy sauce.
- Wait in bed 15-20 minutes.
- Check for elevated heartrate.
Perform a pulse test first thing in the morning. Without getting up out of bed, check and record your heartrate. Take a bite of the challenge food in it’s purest form, for example a corn chip, wheat cracker or a little soy sauce. (Place these within reach of your bed the night before.)
Wait in bed 15-20 minutes. Then check for elevated heartrate. Sensitive foods will put your immune system on alert, even if they don’t show up on an allergy panel or conventional scratch test. An elevated heartrate tells you your immune system has been activated and confirms this is a problem food for your body right now Add this food to your "Avoid" or "Include" list based on the result.
The Wrap Up
I hope this information cuts through the noise for you on how to best proceed to heal increased intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome. Your leaky gut diet plan will be the most time consuming part of your recovery. It can also be the most enjoyable, getting back in the kitchen and dancin to your favorite 80's tunes as you whip up fresh nutrient dense food for your body. And the rest is easy!
For helpful resources, including my 5 Step Protocol for healing leaky gut quickly, check the links below or visit our website at www.tumtree.life and have a look around.
Better days are ahead, my friend. Please contact our support team if you have any questions about your journey back to health from leaky gut. We’re here to help!