When my clients ask about what foods they should eat to heal a leaky gut, the following five foods are always on my list.
#1. Bone broth: Make sure that the bones come from an animal that has been grass-fed and is organically, rather than commercially, sourced.
My favorite bone broth is chicken bone broth. I use a very large pot and fill it, so the water is almost touching the top of the chicken. I’ll add a few peppercorns, bay leaf, salt, and a whole bunch of vegetables. Then, I’ll put the lid on and bring it to a boil. I’ll reduce the heat down to a simmer and let it cook for three to four hours. Once it’s cool, I will take the chicken out and let it drain. I’ll remove the vegetables and throw them out.
I take half the meat from the chicken and put it back into the pot. I add some new vegetables and let the mix simmer for another ½ hour. Presto, I now have an incredibly nutritious meal on my hands.
Bone broth is nutrient-rich. It contains collagen, protein, potassium, other minerals, and amino acids like lysine. Bone broth is also an immune booster. Bone broth contains glutamine, which helps feed the cells of the large intestine.
The collagen and gelatin in bone broth is going to help heal leaky gut. The broth helps restore cells in the digestive system, including the lining of the stomach.
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2. Steamed vegetables: When you steam vegetables lightly, the enzymes in the plant are retained. These enzymes help kick-start digestive processes. Lightly steamed vegetables also retain many of their minerals.
Stir-frying is even better than steaming for retaining the vitamins and minerals in vegetables.
If you want to have green beans or spinach, you can place the vegetables in a big bowl. Pour a kettle of boiling water over the beans or spinach, let them sit for a minute or two, and they’ll be ready for eating. The minimal processing means the folic acid isn’t lost to the cooking process. Folic acid, a B vitamin, is essential for healing the cells that line the digestive tract from top to bottom.
3. Fermented vegetables: This class of foods includes sauerkraut and kimchi, among others. Fermentation produces a lot of lactic acid, which can then feed lactobacillus and other beneficial bacteria. Fermented products also contain beneficial yeasts such as Saccharomyces boulardii.
4. Yogurt: If you eat a good quality yogurt that is cultured beautifully, your digestive system will benefit greatly. Even people who think they might be allergic to yogurt can often tolerate this food if they start with small amounts. Make sure that it’s a good sour Greek Yogurt because that is the type of yogurt that is good for leaky gut, hypochlorhydria, and inflammatory bowel problems.
5. Fatty fish like salmon or mackerel: The omega-3 fatty acids found in these types of foods are anti-inflammatory.