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How to Stop the Downward Spiral of a Leaky Gut

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Under normal circumstances, inflammation encourages tissue repair and is short-lived.

Animal studies show that low levels of antibiotics—as much as you would find in conventionally farmed meat—early in life are enough to increase the risk of weight gain.

veggie-culture-starter_4

What's going on in your gut? Eating probiotic foods daily, like cultured vegetables made from the Veggie Culture Starter, can help to strengthen the gut wall.

But when the gut is chronically inflamed, there is no immediate threat and no end in sight. Instead, balance is lost. The relationship between intestinal cells, gut bacteria, and the immune system shifts.

We see this loss of balance (and chronic inflammation) in:

  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Some autoimmune disorders
  • Neurodegenerative disorders, like dementia

What Is Leaky Gut?

Gut health is dependent on the health of your inner ecosystem, or the communities of microbes that live within the gut.

What happens when your inner ecosystem is overloaded with modern toxins or damaged by antibiotic use? This is when bad bacteria and yeast take over—making you feel progressively sicker and sicker.

For many, this downward spiral begins at a young age.

For example, maybe you were fed formula instead of breast milk. Or you were sick as an infant and given antibiotics. Or maybe as a child, your diet was made up of sterile, packaged foods.

Animal studies show that low levels of antibiotics—as much as you would find in conventionally farmed meat—early in life are enough to increase the risk of weight gain. Low levels of antibiotics also affect liver metabolism and cholesterol. (1) Other studies show changes in behavior and gene expression in the brain. (2)

2 Simple Steps to Fix Your Leaky Gut

Because gut bacteria have such a close relationship with your immune system and intestinal cells, the inner ecosystem is your target when healing a leaky gut. Your gut wall is more than a barrier. It’s the pathway that your gut bacteria and immune system use to hold conversation. (3)

You can strengthen your gut wall and soothe your immune system by supporting healthy communities of good gut bacteria:

  1. Eat Probiotic Foods.

Probiotic foods are foods that have been inoculated with good bacteria and then allowed to ferment. During the fermentation process, good bacteria consume the sugars in food and form robust communities.

When you eat probiotic foods like cultured vegetables and kefir, you escort these robust communities of probiotics into your colon, where they do the most good.

The most common strains of probiotic bacteria include Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, which have been shown to protect against the development of allergies. (4) In short, the good bacteria in probiotic foods help to balance the immune system and control the expression of pro-inflammatory messages.

  1. Eat Prebiotic Foods.

Prebiotic foods nourish healthy communities of gut bacteria. These are high-fiber foods that aren’t readily broken down by enzymes—but they are broken down in the colon by your gut bacteria.

As healthy gut bacteria consume fiber-rich foods, they produce short-chain fatty acids.

Short-chain fatty acids promote a healthy intestinal lining and give the right amount of stimulation to the immune system. (5) Overall, their impact is anti-inflammatory.

Examples of prebiotic foods include:

  • Hearty green vegetables
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Grain-like seeds, such as quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, and millet

When healing leaky gut, do your best to avoid processed and refined foods that lack fiber. Also, steer clear of conventionally raised animal products that contain traces of antibiotics.

Remember, ratios matter. You can optimize your digestion (and avoid bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine) by following Body Ecology’s principles of food combining.

What To Remember Most About This Article:

Inflammation in the body can be beneficial when it is short-lived and used for tissue repair. When the gut is chronically inflamed, digestive health suffers with no end in sight. This loss of balance due to chronic inflammation may appear as allergies, asthma, obesity, type 2 diabetes, or autoimmune disorders.

Restoring gut health can restore your quality of life. It truly is one of the most important things that you can do for your body.

If you suspect you may be plagued by an out-of-control leaky gut, put these tips into practice today:

  1. Eat more probiotic foods. Probiotic foods are rich in good bacteria that can support robust communities in the gut. Cultured vegetables and kefir help to balance the immune system and curb inflammation.
  2. Eat more prebiotic foods. Prebiotic foods are the next step—they nourish healthy communities of bacteria in the gut. High-fiber foods like hearty green vegetables, starchy vegetables, and grain-like seeds support a healthy gut lining and strengthen the immune system.
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    Kefir has many benefits, including better digestion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. It has been known for thousands of years for its anti-aging and immune-enhancing properties.

    Kefir is an ancient cultured food, rich in amino acids, enzymes, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins. Kefir means "feel good" in Turkish, and that's just how you'll feel after drinking a glass in the morning! Easy and fun to make at home, it is superior to commercial yogurt. An absolute must after antibiotic use!

    Unlike yogurt, kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract and is simple and fun to make at home. To make kefir: Mix one packet with 1 quart of warm milk, cover and set at room temperature for 18-24 hours. Refrigerate and enjoy!

    Each packet yields 1 quart of kefir, and can be reused up to 7 times. This means you can create 10 ½ gallons of kefir from one box!

    • Digest fats, proteins and carbohydrates
    • Has anti-aging and immune-enhancing properties
    • Rich in amino acids, enzymes, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins
    • An absolute must after antibiotic use
  • Veggie Culture Starter

    Veggie Culture Starter

    Resist Infections, Enhance Digestion

    • Ideal for appetite and weight control
    • Ideal for pregnant women
    • Ideal for children with Autism and ADD
    • Can be enjoyed daily
    • Easy to make at home

REFERENCES:

  1. Cho, I., Yamanishi, S., Cox, L., Methé, B. A., Zavadil, J., Li, K., ... & Blaser, M. J. (2012). Antibiotics in early life alter the murine colonic microbiome and adiposity. Nature, 488(7413), 621-626.
  2. Sommer, F., & Bäckhed, F. (2013). The gut microbiota—masters of host development and physiology. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 11(4), 227-238.
  3. West, C. E., Jenmalm, M. C., & Prescott, S. L. (2014). The gut microbiota and its role in the development of allergic disease: a wider perspective. Clinical & Experimental Allergy.
  4. Goto, Y., & Ivanov, I. I. (2013). Intestinal epithelial cells as mediators of the commensal–host immune crosstalk. Immunology and cell biology, 91(3), 204-214.
  5. Bielory, L., Boyle, R. J., Cocco, R., Dreborg, S., Goodman, R., Kuitunen, M., ... & Tannock, G. W. (2012). Clinical use of probiotics in pediatric allergy (CUPPA): a world allergy organization position paper.

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Information and statements regarding dietary supplements/products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is a result of years of practice and experience by the author. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your healthcare provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website.

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