As you can see, our gut health is not limited to digestion. In fact, the health of our gut affects nearly every system in our bodies! That is why it is essential to keep our gut as healthy as possible. And one way to do this is by eating the right foods - real foods - and minimize the consumption of junk food.
Real food is defined as whole foods which are unrefined and unprocessed and does not contain added ingredients (as close to nature as possible). However, when most of our food is packaged meals with long ingredient lists and that we can’t even read, we are not eating real food! There are many terms for these types of foods, can call it what you want... junk food, frankenfoods, food-like substances, fake food..., but you unquestionably can’t call this “food supply" real food! Let me share with you a couple of alarming facts:
The extent these chemicals are allowed into our lives is incomprehensible. The good news is that we are becoming more and more aware of the consequences of this fake-food such as creating conditions like autoimmune diseases and leaky gut, and it is simply unacceptable! Junk food is only one factor in the leaky gut epidemic, but a big one!
Leaky gut and poor dietary habits are one of the leading causes of chronic inflammation in our bodies. Inflammation is an essential immune response in the body’s attempt to defend itself against pathogens, heal from injury, and repair damaged tissue. However, chronic inflammation is not beneficial to our bodies in any way. In fact, it can worsen the body’s ability to recognize foreign invaders and puts the body in a state of stress for extensive periods. This can cause lasting damage to our bodies, increased food allergies, and eventually autoimmunity. Moreover, if chronic inflammation goes untreated, leaky gut is worsened, and the body eventually loses its ability to repair from the damage. (Learn what is leaky gut by clicking on this link and reading my previous post).
The first step in healing our gut is to stop eating foods that damage the lining of your gut, for example, gluten (if you already are intolerant), processed, and refined foods can be hard to digest and promote perforations in your intestines. This means cookies, crackers, bread, and pasta. It’s essential to work hard at reducing the consumption of these foods—at least for the duration of the healing process.
Once you have an understanding of what should be removed from your daily life and you have begun to implement those changes, it is time to start repairing the damage that had previously been done. This is done by calming the chronic inflammation, reintroducing nutritious foods, digestive enzymes, probiotics, essential fiber, vitamins, minerals, and acids and by taking herbal supplements. For some people, these steps may mean implementing intermittent fasting, supplementation, or personalized diet plans that cater to their specific health needs.
Be sure to consult with your health coach/practitioner to be sure you are beginning the most appropriate elimination diet and repair route for YOUR needs.
Nevertheless, you can start working on healing on your own by eating foods that decrease and heal inflammation and restore the good gut bacteria. Fermented foods like kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt are essential for renewing your healthy gut bacteria. Healthy fats like omega-3 rich foods (like salmon, and flaxseed), coconut oil, avocado, olives, fatty fish, and healing bone broth are essential for calming inflammation that has occurred as a result of having a leaky gut.
Remember, nutrients must be replaced for effective healing since you might not be fully absorbing them from your food due to leaky gut. While everyone’s needs are highly individualized, here are some natural supplements that have been proven to be helpful in the gut healing process:
These are ONLY suggestions. I’m unable to recommend specific dose for these supplements to you without comprehensive assessment as everyone’s nutritional needs vary!
You should not rely solely on supplements. They can be used to help your healing process, but the goal is to be able to sustain wellness with whole foods and healthy lifestyle choices long term without the need for piles of pills. The most challenging part of health is maintaining it. Even if you build a strong foundation during the healing process, without the proper diet, lifestyle choices, and stress management long term, you can fall right back into the same gut-destroying patterns.
Remember health is a journey, not a destination!
I love sharing this topic with people who are eager to transform their health. If you have any further questions, I will be more than happy to address your concerns email at: email@example.com or call my office and make an appointment 858-564-8880.
Please remember that we are always here to support you!!!
Dr. Toni is a Best-selling author, Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP) & Registered Herbalist in San Diego, California. She holds a PhD in psychology, and a Clinical Herbalist Certificate, an HHP certificate and is a Certified Trainer in the Success Principles. In private practice as a HHP she has been influenced by a variety of clinical modalities and orientations, and by the diverse life experiences of her clients. Toni’s approach to healing is holistic & transpersonal. In her work, she integrates the principles of Eastern and Western nutrition, herbololgy, energy medicine, Buddhist mindfulness and personal counseling to assist others in working through their physical or emotional blocks to attain optimal health.