Food sensitivities and allergies are becoming more and more common with each passing year. According to Food Allergy Research and Education, more than 170 foods can cause negative reactions, with eight allergens (including soy, gluten, lactose, and peanuts) being the primary cause of most of the 15 million cases of food allergies.
Food allergies can be serious if they cause anaphylaxis (closing of the throat, breathing difficulties, etc.), but even apparently minor sensitivities or intolerances can be harmful. The reason: they can cause leaky gut syndrome!
Leaky gut syndrome is a condition in which food intolerances or sensitivities causes inflammation in the lining of your intestines. This leads to two problems:
This can trigger an immune response in your body, which in turn leads to more inflammation and further damage. The condition is called “leaky gut” because the widening holes in the intestines allow larger particles to “leak through”.
Some of the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome include:
The health of your gut can affect your entire body!
Not only does 80% of your immune activity take place in your gut, but your intestines are also responsible for absorbing the nutrients required to keep you healthy. Without proper nourishment, your body begins to suffer. All your organs, tissues, joints, muscles, bones, and internal functions start working at less than optimal condition. Over time, leaky gut syndrome can lead to much more serious problems, all stemming from nutrient malabsorption and the absorption of harmful particles. In fact, some studies even suggest that it can play a role in autoimmune disorders, diabetes, and chronic bowel diseases.
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There are four primary causes of leaky gut syndrome:
Thankfully, leaky gut syndrome is a problem that can be addressed with simple changes to your diet and lifestyle. To heal leaky gut syndrome, all you need to do is:
Increase Gut Bacteria – With more gut bacteria, your body is better able to break down the food you eat into normal-sized particles. To increase gut bacteria, try taking probiotics, foods that contain live bacteria. These foods include Kimchi, kefir, probiotic yogurts, sauerkraut, and kombucha. Anything fermented will encourage the production of healthy gut bacteria, leading to a better intestinal flora balance.
Remove Inflammation-Causing Foods – If there are foods causing negative reactions in your gut, get rid of them from your diet! Foods like soy, milk, fish, nuts, shellfish, eggs, and gluten can all cause problems if you have food sensitivities, so test each one carefully before permitting it in your diet. If you are sensitive to any food, cut it out!
But those aren’t the only foods that cause inflammation. Anything fried, deep fried, overly fatty, rich in trans fats and hydrogenated oils, and/or loaded with artificial ingredients (preservatives, sweeteners, flavorings, etc.) can also contribute to intestinal inflammation. Go back to the basics and eat a natural diet free of these inflammatory foods.
Reduce Stress – Chronic stress will kill off your gut bacteria, so it’s time to get rid of the stressors in your life. Find ways to relax: exercise, meditate, practice mindfulness, nap, or find hobbies you enjoy. Less stress = healthier gut and immune function!
Increase Fiber Intake – Gut bacteria feed on fiber, and a high-fiber diet will encourage healthier intestinal function and reduce inflammation. Make sure to get plenty of both soluble and insoluble fiber in your diet!
Take Supplements – Supplements like bone broth, digestive enzymes, glutamine, quercetin, licorice root and natural nutrient-dense whole foods can help to improve gut flora and prevent inflammation.
A few simple steps, but they can make a huge difference in your intestinal health. You’ll find that a well-balanced, properly functioning gut improves your overall health significantly!
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