25 Home Remedies for Leaky Gut
Modern life can be tough on your gut as it’s easily affected by stress, alcohol, medications and our heavy intake of processed foods. These persistent sources of irritation can lead to serious inflammation within your gut and could eventually lead to tiny pin-prick leaks in the delicate lining of your intestines. This can lead to what is known as a leaky gut.
No matter how small, these leaks could cause huge problems. A healthy gut will only let necessary compounds through its walls, whereas a leaky gut could see undigested food, bacteria, and toxins all leaking through into your bloodstream. This could then lead to an immune response and could be incredibly damaging to your health.
A leaky gut could potentially lead to other issues including asthma, acne, arthritis, and allergies. Thankfully, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing a leaky gut and reduce the symptoms.
Home Remedies for a Leaky Gut
Start an Elimination Diet
Cutting common irritants like sugar, dairy, gluten, soy, and the chemical additives found in processed foods can help relieve you from a leaky gut. And it can work quite quickly too! Eliminate a particular food from your diet for two weeks before gradually reintroducing it and note down any effects you notice. If you start to notice any negative side effects of eating that particular food, you’ll know it’s a potential trigger for your leaky gut. That way, you’ll know which foods to avoid on a more long-term basis.
Begin a Food Journal
Taking a physical note of everything you eat and the effects it has on your body. If you start to notice yourself feeling bloated or gasses after specific foods add this to your list of eliminated foods. Listen to what your gut is telling you.
Limit Alcohol Intake
Alcohol puts extra pressure on your liver and deprives it of the nutrients it needs to function. Cutting alcohol from your diet will reduce the pressure on your liver and digestive system which will lessen your risk of developing a leaky gut.
Some cases of leaky gut can be caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites. If altering your diet hasn’t helped you may need to see a doctor to get an underlying infection treated so that you can solve your leaky gut.
Your body needs real, fresh foods to be able to repair the damage caused by a leaky gut and rebuild new, healthy tissue. Whole foods are full of the necessary vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and enzymes your small intestine needs to heal.
You should ideally prioritize vegetables and lean proteins but also remember to eat plenty of whole-food fats as these will help strengthen the membranes of your intestinal cells. You’ll also need the fiber from these whole foods to soak up and reduce the toxins and by-products that pass through your large intestine as it heals.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Your gut needs plenty of omega-3 fatty acids in order to tackle any inflammation and heal the cell walls of your digestive tract. You can get more omega-3 by eating cold-water fish (like cod and salmon), nuts, avocados, and seeds. You could also take a daily supplement of fish oil.
A good, traditional bone broth can help improve your overall gut health because it’s packed full of fat-soluble minerals and vitamins. This means it can help relieve inflammation and heal any holes or damage to your intestinal wall.
Coconut oil is one of those substances that just seems to keep on giving! One of its amazing benefits in that it can be used as a home remedy for a leaky gut. It’s packed full of healthy saturated fats that help to heal your gut. It also contains several compounds that have antimicrobial and antiparasitic qualities which help your body fight off potential infections that might otherwise cause a case of leaky gut.
Ditch Sugars and Dairy (Except for Some Gut-Friendly Dairy)
When trying to eliminate foods from your diet, dairy and sugars should be amongst the first to go. Excessive amounts of sugar can increase the risk of yeast and candida growth in your gut as well as increasing the volume of bad bacteria in your gut. Over time, this can create small holes in your intestinal lining and develop into a leaky gut. You should aim to avoid all obviously sugary foods and drinks including candy, sodas, and desserts.
Avoiding cow’s milk-based dairy will also help. This is because cow’s milk contains a certain protein called A1 Casein which doesn’t agree with your gut. Pasteurized milk often contains fewer of the enzymes your body needs to actually digest food, and undigested food can often make a case of leaky gut worse. You could try alternative gut-friendly forms of daily such as buffalo mozzarella, aged cheese, lactose-free milk, organic yogurt, and goats’ cheese.
Plenty of Sleep
Life can get hectic, but making sure you get eight hours of sleep every night will significantly reduce your risk of developing leaky gut and give your body a chance to heal if your gut has already been damaged. You can help yourself get more sleep by doing any or all of the following:
- Developing a regular bedtime routine
- Avoid backlit screens before bed
- Don’t consume caffeine in the hours before bed
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
In order to stay healthy and functioning properly, your gut needs good bacteria. Probiotics are full of good bacteria, which makes them a great home remedy for a leaky gut. Probiotics also help to enhance the production of tight junction proteins which are needed to heal the holes in your intestinal lining. The good bacteria in your probiotics will also help to fight off infection-causing bad bacteria or yeast overgrowth.
Most of our lives are rife with sources of stress, especially at work, and chronic stress is one of the top five causes of leaky guts. This is because high-stress levels make it very difficult for your body to fight bad bacteria and yeast infections. Stress will also cause your gut to become inflamed which will worsen your leaky gut.
To cut some of the work-related stress from your life, turn off any emails or notifications related to work so that you’re not disturbed during your downtime. Or you could even remove your work email from your mobile phone altogether. Getting a walk each lunch for twenty minutes could also help. You should also build time for relaxing into your day, whether that’s taking time to meditate or simply relaxing with some soft music.
Cut Out Coffee
Coffee, even decaf coffee, isn’t good for your gut. Cutting out can really help to save your gut from distress and help it to heal. You don’t have to cut it out forever, a few months should be enough to help your gut recover.
Breathing Exercises Before and After Eating
Another great, free and totally natural home remedy for a leaky gut is doing breathing exercises before and after each meal. This helps to reduce stress on your body and enables it to focus on digestion. It’ll also help you eat slower and chew properly, making your food easier to digest.
Chew Food Thoroughly
To really help your gut out make sure you chew your food thoroughly. Most people recommend chewing each mouthful twenty times. This helps to break down food properly before it reaches your gut, making it much easier to digest/ It also makes it easier for your body to absorb the nutrients and vitamins in your food. Chewing will also stimulate the production of saliva, which contains digestive enzymes to really break-down heavy foods.
Eat Smaller Meals
Another great home remedy for a leaky gut is to eat smaller meals. Instead of eating three big meals in a day, try four or even five smaller meals. These smaller meals will be easier for your gut to manage and will help it to get the nutrients it needs to heal.
Avoid Processed Foods or Those with Preservative and Flavorings
Most of us know that we should cut processed foods from our diet. Cutting out chemical flavorings and preservatives will really help the health of your gut to improve.
Taking a daily zinc supplement is a great home remedy for a leaky gut. This is because a zinc deficiency is often linked to cases of leaky gut. This particular mineral helps to support the health of your intestinal walls by promoting the secretion of mucus. This mucus is key to protecting your gut. Don’t take too much though as too much can have a negative impact on your immune system.
Licorice root is an adaptogenic herb that helps treat your leaky gut in three ways. Firstly, it helps to support mucus production to protect your gut lining. It also helps improve the production of stomach acid which helps to break down food before it reaches your intestines. Finally, it has a strong anti-inflammatory effect which will also help improve the health of your gut and make digestion smoother.
Slippery elm also stimulates mucus secretion and helps deliver antioxidants to your gut to protect your gut from any damage caused by toxins. As a result, many people say it helps to calm the irritation caused by their leaky guts. It’s a home remedy that’s been used for centuries, so it’s definitely worth a try!
Doing a little light yoga or pilates can really help to ease your leaky gut. You should try hatha yoga or yin yoga, not bikram yoga. Because these exercises focus on breathing, stretching and relaxing they’re great for calming and soothing a leaky gut.
Prolonged periods of cardio could irritate your gut further, but doing short bursts of high-intensity cardio could help. For example. try doing seven lots of thirty-second sprints, taking two-minute breaks in between.
Hydration is very important for all manner of things and ensures that your organs continue to function properly. Drinking eight to glasses of fluids each day will keep your body hydrated and make it less vulnerable to allergens and infections.
Ensure Adequate Fiber Intake
A fiber-rich diet is essential for maintaining good gut health, this is something most of us should know. Having an adequate amount of fiber in your diet means that the motility in your gut is maintained, your gut wall is protected from damage and your digestion is supported. Furthermore, proper fiber intakes encourage the growth of good bacteria in your gut which further aids digestion and prevents infection. Ideally, you should aim for 35g of fiber each day.
Remove Yeast and Bad Bacteria
Candida, yeast, fungus and other bad bacteria all spell bad news for your gut health. They can all release toxins which disrupt normal digestion and damage the mucous lining in your intestines. This makes the gut more permeable and increases your risk of developing a leaky gut. To reduce your risk, try to limit your intake of baked foods that have been made using activated yeast.
Which of these home remedies will you use to cure your leaky gut? Comment below!