Leaky gut is one of the MOST common health issues out there right now. You can’t go on any health site without seeing information on leaky gut at this point. After nearly 7 years of helping others heal their guts, I get a bit frustrated when I see others over-complicate things.
For me, gut healing encompasses three big sections: increasing nutrient absorption, healing and sealing the gut lining, and rebalancing your microbiome. These are the most important aspects to work on if you want to improve your gut function.
Improving nutrient assimilation is absolutely 1000% essential if you are working on gut healing. We need stomach acid to utilize all of our nutrients correctly. We need bile to utilize fat soluble nutrients, protein, and fats. Years of poor eating, stress, and depletion of important minerals leads to a decrease in overall digestive fire! You can take all of the supplements and eat all of the food in the world but if you are not assimilating it properly it’s not going to help much.
Symptoms of Poor Digestive Fire
- Bloating, belching, and flatulence immediately after meals
- Indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation
- Undigested food in stools
- Hair loss
- Food allergies
- Iron deficiency
- Weak, peeling, or cracked fingernails
- Adrenal fatigue
- Dry skin
- All autoimmune diseases
Main helpers for increasing nutrient assimilation:
- Apple cider vinegar is one of the easiest and most popular ways to help increase stomach acid and utilize your nutrients better. Most people dilute 1-2 Tablespoons of ACV in 4-8 ounces of water about 15 minutes before meals. This helps prep your stomach for incoming food, and it will help with digesting your food better immediately. If you can’t stand ACV on its own, try making switchel!
- Bitter Herbs stimulate the production of stomach acid, digestive enzymes, AND bile flow! We have bitter taste buds on our tongues for a reason- we are meant to use bitter foods to aid our digestive processes. Current diets tend to lack that bitter taste. We love Herb Pharm Better Bitters sprays. Super easy to use- just spray your tongue 4 times before each meal. That’s it!
- Replenishing sodium levels is also crucial. Sodium plays a big role in stomach acid production and it also helps keep our metabolic rate more balanced (when we’re sluggish). You want REAL unrefined sea salt though- not table salt! Pink Himalayan, Redmond’s Real Salt, and Celtic Grey are all great ones to go for. Use HTMA to determine your personal mineral imbalances as well so you know how much sodium you might need to heal. Salting your food to taste is helpful, as well as salt water sole and using mineral foot baths.
Gut Lining Healing
Healing the gut lining is the actual “leaky gut” healing side of things. Leaky gut is when the walls of the intestine become inflamed and porous, allowing undigested food, bacteria, toxins, and other antigens into the bloodstream. This creates inflammation (body and brain), food intolerances, and depression, as well as bloating, gas, IBS, constipation, or any digestive complaint. Some people don’t even have gut complaints when they have leaky gut. Their symptoms could just include eczema or psoriasis, maybe joint pain or headaches.
Signs of gut lining inflammation:
- Pain from acidic foods (tomato sauce, citrus fruits, vinegar)
- Hiatal Hernia
- Unexplained gut pain
How to Heal your Gut Lining:
- Collagen or Bone Broth are both popular options for gut healing. They are both amazing, so it really just depends on what is easiest for you. Collagen can be added easily to drinks, soups, or other foods as its tasteless. Bone broth can be time consuming, but it’s an easy way to make a base for soups.
- Aloe Vera is one of my FAVORITES for overall gut healing. It helps with soothing gut inflammation, healing the gut lining, and it can help with histamine/mast cell issues. I love George’s brand Aloe– dosing depends on age, but most adults can use 2 ounces twice a day for the best benefit.
- Marshmallow root powder is usually ideal for healing and sealing the gut lining and reducing inflammation in the gut. Powder is best over capsules for this purpose as well, and this brand is great.
Rebalancing your Microbiome
Gut bacteria is crucial for many reasons: creating certain vitamins, keeping harmful pathogens under control, and plays a role in keeping many illnesses at bay, especially colon cancer. There are MANY symptoms associated with an imbalance in the microbiome though: constipation, bloating, food intolerance, brain fog, thyroid issues, and so much more.
One dose of antibiotics can alter your gut flora forever, and many of us have been put on antibiotics nearly every year of our childhood. For most people, probiotic supplements are the easier option but fermented foods offer a lot more effectiveness and they are MUCH cheaper. Also, just adding in the strains from probiotic supplements isn’t going to actually help your gut to repopulate itself overtime.
How to Heal your Microbiome:
- Belly Mend is my TOP choice for those needing microbiome support. It helps with all aspects of gut healing: increases nutrient assimilation, heals and seals the gut lining, and helps the good bacteria stick better where it belongs. I have seen countless clients and followers have significant changes in their gut function after just one month of Belly Mend.
- Restore for Gut Health is another popular overall gut healer. It can also help with healing the microbiome, healing and sealing the gut lining, and can also help undo the damage of glyphosate.
- Fermented Foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, kimchi, or pickles are the best to go for to replenish the most varying strains of gut bacteria. If you have histamine intolerance, then work on everything else mentioned above first! Ferments are easy, cheap, and much more effective than using probiotics.
Ready to learn even more about gut healing?
I have a whole entire course on gut healing now that outlines ALL of my major tips and tricks! You will learn more about increasing digestive fire, how to heal your gut lining effectively, how to fix histamine intolerance, how to heal your liver and colon, and so much more. You can read all about the gut healing course if you click right here.