The small intestine absorbs nutrients from food and passes them to the blood stream as amino acids, sugars and fats.
If the lining of the small intestine is damaged, it may become “leakier” – or have increased permeability – meaning larger particles can potentially pass through to the blood stream. This alerts the immune cells which treat these larger particles as invaders and an allergic reaction is triggered causing a range of health problems including food allergies, migraines and chronic fatigue. Stress, foods such as gluten and dairy and also medications, have all been suggested as causes of increased gut permeability. Other inflammatory foods such as sugar and excessive alcohol are suspected as well. The most common infectious causes are candida overgrowth, intestinal parasites, and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Environmental toxins like mercury, pesticides and BPA from plastics are suspected as well.
Several symptoms such as those listed below can indicate the presence of leaky gut:
- Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhoea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia
- Candida overgrowth
- Mood disorders such as anxiety, depression, ADHD
- Skin problems such as eczema or acne
- Food allergies or intolerances
- Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthrisis
- Seasonal allergies or asthma
The best ways to repair a leaky gut is by following the 4 R’s:
Remove: intestinal infections, inflammatory foods, toxins
Replace: and add back the enzymes and hydrochloric acid which are essential for proper digestion
Re-inoculate: with good bacteria to re-establish healthy gut flora
Repair: the gut with nutrients such as glutamine, turmeric and slippery elm
Chicken bone broth
Bone broths are extremely nourishing and easy to digest and are rich sources of minerals and amino acids.
1 large organic chicken
2 carrots – peeled
1 large onion and 1 leek
1 parsnip – peeled
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 stalks of celery
1 bunch parsley
1 tablespoon salt and some peppercorns
2 cloves of garlic
Place washed chicken and roughly chopped vegetables in a large stock pot and add filtered water to cover. Add garlic, spices, salt and herbs and bring to boil. Then reduce heat and simmer on lowest heat for 8 hours but can be simmered for up to 24 hours for maximum benefit. Enjoy!
Gut healing smoothie
1½ cups of coconut water
½ cup frozen mangos
½ cup fresh papaya
1 cm fresh ginger root
1 cm fresh turmeric root
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
1 Tablespoon flax seeds
1 scoop L-glutamine powder
¼ teaspoon probiotic powder
Place all the ingredients in a blender and mix thoroughly.