Healing the Gut
Leaky gut can cause severe symptoms such as diarrhea or lead to conditions such as re-intoxification (auto-intoxification) of the digestive tract. This illness can often contribute to the development of related health conditions including ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and diverticulitis, but also to conditions such as osteoarthritis, anxiety, depression, diabetes (Type 2), fibromyalgia, chronic pain syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc. Some of the primary causes of passive leaky gut include: a low fiber diet, food allergies, free radicals, nutritional deficiencies, stress, and poor lifestyle choices such as drugs or alcohol.
Healing Leaky Gut Diet Plan: Here are the top foods that are easy for the body to digest which will allow your body to heal from passive leaky gut:
Homemade bone broth – Bone Broth will provide your body with proline and glycine which makeup collagen which can help repair intestinal permeability.
Raw cultured dairy – Probiotic rich foods like kefir, amasai and yogurt can help heal the gut and balance your microflora. Also, when buying dairy looks for raw, organic goat milk products or dairy that doesn’t contain A1 casein.
Water – Hydration is critical to keep the digestive system healthy, so try to drink 8 ounces of fluids every 2 hours.
Clean lean protein – Protein deficiency is common in people with bowel disease, therefore try to eat at least 3-4 oz of protein per meal.
Fresh vegetable juice – As long as the vegetable juice does not worsen the diarrhea, vegetables can help provide critical electrolytes.
Steamed vegetables – Non-starchy vegetables that are cooked or steamed are easy to digest and are an essential part of the diet.
Healthy fats – Consuming healthy fats in moderation like egg yolks, salmon, avocados, ghee and coconut oil are easy on the gut and promote healing.
Fruit – Consuming fruit in moderation with 1 serving early in the day is OK on a gut healing diet. If symptoms are severe, you may steam apples and pears to make homemade apple sauce.
Foods to Avoid
Conventional dairy – Pasteurized dairy can be hard to digest and can make digestive symptoms worse.
Gluten – A gluten-free diet can help improve the symptoms of bowel disease, avoid all foods made with or containing wheat.
Sugar and refined flour – Bacteria love to eat sugar and sugar reduces immune system functioning.
Caffeine – Can stimulate the digestive tract increasing inflammation.
Any potential allergen – Diarrhea can result from food allergies, common culprits include gluten, nuts, shellfish, and dairy.
Spicy Foods – Hot and spicy foods can cause digestive and gut symptoms to become worse fast.
Grains – Any type of whole grain will contain phytic acid and starch which can irritate the intestinal lining causing gut issues.
Top 5 Treatments and Natural Remedies
#1 Probiotics (50-100 billion units daily)
Probiotics can help re-colonize the gut with healthy bacteria.
#2 Digestive Enzymes (2 before each meal)
These enzymes will help with nutrient absorption.
#3 L-glutamine powder (5 grams 2x daily)
Glutamine is an amino acid that helps repair the digestive tract, especially important for people with chronic diarrhea.
#4 Aloe Vera Juice (1/2 cup 3x daily)
Aloe is healing to the digestive system.
#5 Fish oil (1000 mg daily)
The EPA/DHA in fish oil reduce inflammation in GI tract.
Slippery elm, ginger, peppermint oil and licorice root can also help soothe intestinal inflammation.
Digestive issues will be exacerbated during times of stress. Manage your stress levels by scheduling rest during the week, fun activities, and performing hobbies that are enjoyable.
Essential oils of ginger, peppermint and fennel may reduce IBS symptoms. Add 1 drop to water 3x daily or rub over abdomen 2x daily.
Bone Broth Benefits
For optimal digestion, to recover from arthritis, and eliminate cellulite fermented foods and bone broth are extremely successful approaches. For thousands of years there have been traditional foods like fermented vegetables and cultured dairy that have been touted for their health benefits. But one common healing food that is now being recognized for its incredible health benefits is bone broth.
Bone broth benefits are numerous and extensive and one of the best approaches for a healthy gut:
Heal leaky gut and boost immune system Overcome food intolerances and allergies
Improve joint health Reduce cellulite
Chicken soup isn’t just good for the soul: there’s a reason that it’s prescribed by doctors and mothers alike when you’re feeling under the weather. All bone broths beef, chicken, fish, lamb and more are staples in the traditional diets of every culture and the basis of all fine cuisine. That’s because bone broths are nutrient-dense, easy to digest, rich in flavor and–they boost healing.
Bone broth or stock was a way our ancestors made use of every part of an animal. Bones and marrow, skin and feet, tendons and ligaments that you can’t eat directly, can be boiled then simmered over a period of days. This simmering causes the bones and ligaments to release healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine, and glutamine that have the power to transform your health.
Nutrition researchers Sally Fallon and Kaayla Daniel of the Weston A. Price Foundation explain that bone broths contain minerals in forms that your body can easily absorb: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and others. They contain chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, the compounds sold as pricey supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis and joint pain.
A study of chicken soup (broth) conducted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center wondered what it was in the soup that made it so beneficial for colds and flu. They found that the amino acids that were produced when making chicken stock reduced inflammation in the respiratory system and improved digestion. Also, research is proving it can also boost the immune system and heal disorders like allergies, asthma, and arthritis.
Sally Fallon explains that most store-bought “stock and “broth” today aren’t “REAL”. Instead, they use lab-produced meat flavors in bouillon cubes, soup and sauce mixes. Also, manufacturers began using monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is recognized as a meat flavor but in reality is a neurotoxin.
If you want real bone broth you can make it yourself at home and the directions are at the end of this commentary. You will need to get grass fed bones from your local farmers market or from an online health food store like Wise Choice Market.
The Magic of Collagen and Gelatin
Real collagen is the source of stock’s immune-boosting properties. You’ve probably seen this jiggling layer atop the broth in your cooling roasting pan and discarded it but think again next time–this is the good stuff. Collagen is the protein found in connective tissue of vertebrate animals. It’s abundant in bone, marrow, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. The breakdown of collagen in bone broths is what produces gelatin. Gelatin (the breakdown of collagen) was one of the first functional foods, used as a medical treatment in ancient China. Dr. Francis Pottenger and other world class researchers have found gelatin and collagen to have the listed benefits:
Gelatin helps people with food allergies and sensitivities tolerate those foods including cow’s milk and gluten.
Collagen protects and soothes the lining of the digestive tract and can aid in healing leaky gut, IBS, crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and acid reflux.
Gelatin promotes probiotic balance and growth.
Bone broth increases collagen reducing the appearance of wrinkles and banishing cellulite.
Because gelatin helps break down proteins and soothes the gut lining, it may prove useful for leaky gut syndrome and the autoimmune disorders that accompany it.
Gelatin provides bone-building minerals in easily absorbable ways, preventing bone loss and reducing join pain.
Another incredible benefit from the collagen found in bone broth, it can make your skin look amazing. According to Donna Gates, author of Body Ecology, bone broth makes your skin supple and can decrease cellulite (trapped toxins in the connective tissue just under the skin).
Healing Amino Acids
Gelatin in bone broths contains “conditional” amino acids arginine, glycine, glutamine and proline. These amino acids also contribute to stock’s healing properties. Conditional amino acids are those classified as nonessential amino acids that are essential under some conditions: you don’t produce them very well if you are ill or stressed.
Kaayla Daniel points out that unhealthy Western diets, heavy on processed carbohydrates, low in quality grass-fed animal products, and devoid of homemade soups and broths, make it likely that these amino acids are chronically essential.
What do these conditional amino acids do?
Necessary for immune system function and wound healing
Needed for the production and release of growth hormone
Helps regenerate damaged liver cells
Needed for the production of sperm
Prevents breakdown of protein tissue like muscle
Used to make bile salts and glutathione
Helps detoxify the body of chemicals and acts as antioxidant4
Is a neurotransmitter that improves sleep and improves memory and performance
Helps regenerate cartilage and heal joints
Reduces cellulite and makes skin more supple
Helps repair leaky gut
Protects gut lining
Metabolic fuel for cells in small intestine
Improves metabolism and muscle building
These are some incredible health benefits. For these reasons, this approach is often utilized: consume bone broth as a partial fast, detox, or during meals to help heal their gut and detoxify their cells, gut and liver.
How to Make Bone Broth
There are a few important basics to consider when making good stock. You can make bone broth with animal components alone but in his chicken soup study, Dr. Rennard found that the combination of animal products and vegetables seemed to have synergistic effects, working together to be more beneficial than either alone.
Sally Fallon says that it’s important to use body parts that aren’t commonly found in the meat department of your grocery store, things like chicken feet and neck. You will also want to buy animal products that you know are pasture-fed and free of antibiotics and hormones. Fallon describes the essentials as bones, fat, meat, vegetables and water. If you’re making beef broth or lamb broth, you should brown the meat before putting it into a stock pot. Fish and poultry are fine to put in a pot without browning first. Add a bit of apple cider vinegar to your pot to help draw the minerals from the bones.
Place bones into a large stock pot and cover with water.
Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to water prior to cooking. This helps to pull out important nutrients from the bones.
Fill stock pot with filtered water. Leave plenty of room for water to boil.
Heat slowly. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for at least six hours. Remove scum as it arises.
Cook slow and at low heat. Chicken bones can cook for 24 hours. Beef bones can cook for 48 hours. A low and slow cook time is necessary in order to fully extract the nutrients in and around bone.
You can also add in vegetables such as onions, garlic, carrots, and celery for added nutrient value.
After cooking, the broth will cool and a layer of fat will harden on top. This layer protects the broth beneath. Discard this layer only when you are about to eat the broth.
At the end of this commentary you will find recipes on how to make chicken bone broth and beef bone broth.
Bone Broth Benefits as Therapy
Remember, bone broth is rich in minerals that support the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine, and proline.
The collagen in bone broth will heal your gut lining and reduce intestinal inflammation. In addition, collagen will support healthy skin and can reduce the appearance of cellulite. Also, the glycine in bone broth can detoxify your cells from chemicals and improve brain function.
The recommendations are to consume 8oz 1-2x daily as a soup, a plain beverage, or doing a bone broth fast.
Bone broth is one of the most healing foods you can consume, including popular chicken bone broth and beef bone broth. Rich in nutrients like gelatin and glycine, it helps to protect and heal your gut lining, skin and digestive tract. Try this easy-to-make healing recipe for your digestive system and more today.
Chicken Bone Broth Recipe: Total Time: 24 hours
Chicken necks and feet; Water to Cover;
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar; Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper;
Garlic cloves; Two Bay leaves;
Vegetables of choice.
Place all ingredients into stock pot and add enough water until chicken is submerged.
Turn setting to high until it boils, then turn to low and simmer for 24 hours.
Beef Bone Broth Recipe: Total Time: 48 hours
Beef bones with marrow
Water to cover bones
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Bay Leaves
Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper
Vegetables of choice
Place all ingredients in crockpot. Add in water until bones are covered.
Turn setting to high and let simmer for 48 hours
Kaayla T. Daniel, “Why Broth is Beautiful: Essential Roles for Proline, Glycine and Gelatin,” Weston A. Price Foundation. http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/why-broth-is-beautiful (accessed 18 June 2013).
University of Nebraska Medical Center. “Chicken Soup for a Cold” http://www.unmc.edu/publicrelations/chickensoup_newsrelease.htm (accessed 21 October 2011).
Kaayla T. Daniel, “Taking Stock: Soup for Healing Body, Mind, Mood, and Soul,” Psychology Today http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/naughty-nutrition/201202/taking-stock-soup-healing-body-mind-mood-and-soul (accessed 20 February 2012).
Sekhar RV, Patel SG, Guthikonda AP, Reid M, Balasubramanyam A, Taffet GE, Jahoor F. Deficient synthesis of glutathione underlies oxidative stress in aging and can be corrected by dietary cysteine and glycine supplementation. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.2011;94(3):847-53
Gersten D, The 20 Amino Acids: What They Are and How They Keep You Alive and Vibrant. http://www.imagerynet.com/amino/20_amino.html (accessed 28 June 2013).
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