Leaky Gut Diet Plan: Foods That Heal Leaky Gut (Nutritionist Approved)

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Mollie Mason, holistic health nutritionist and health blogger, struggled with several chronic health symptoms for many years until being diagnosed with celiac disease. But just cutting out gluten didn’t help to heal the leaky gut and other health issues that were caused by years of eating gluten. Mollie decided to heal her leaky gut herself by creating a leaky gut diet plan that consisted of a yeast-killing protocol. She started with a sugar detox to cut out the sugars that were aggravating her symptoms, and then added in several natural remedies including collagen peptides to help repair and restore her gut.

After 14 days on a strict yeast-killing protocol diet she feels healthier and more energized than ever before. Read on to find the 7 foods that helped Mollie with healing her gut and the leaky gut diet that actually works!

What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Leaky gut syndrome is when your gut lining has cracks or holes that result in toxins and partially digested food to get through to the tissues and bloodstream outside of the lining. Essentially, a leaky gut, which is also known as increased intestinal permeability,  means that substances are going where they were not intended to due to the weak state of your gut lining.

No one’s gut is perfectly impermeable, of course, because the intestine walls have opening for water and important nutrients to pass through your bloodstream. But when the degree of leaky gut becomes too much, there is reason for concern. Leaky gut syndrome could lead to inflammation and eventually other issues involving the digestive tract. Because bacteria and toxins enter the bloodstream itself when one has a leaky gut, this inflammation can be widespread and affect your body way beyond the digestive system!

Leaky gut is a digestive condition, though it hasn’t been formally recognized to be a medical diagnosis. Scientists continue to conduct further research on the effects of intestinal permeability and how it can really affect the body, but there is some scientific evidence that suggest a leaky gut may hold a significant link to a variety of medical conditions. Regardless, supporting gut function is important, and if you find yourself experiencing gut issues,  it’s crucial that you pay close attention to what you eat.

In fact, I’m here to tell you that there is a diet to heal leaky gut, and it’s definitely not as hard as you may think! As someone who struggled with leaky gut, I have had my share of treatments to tackle the issue. I found that nourishing my body with the right foods, and using these foods as medicine, can end up with excellent results. So now you’re wondering, what is the best diet for leaky cut syndrome? Well, I’ve compiled a list of my leaky gut syndrome diet recommendations that have worked wonderfully for me!

Leaky Gut Diet Plan

I’m a massive believer that gut health equals whole health, and I’ll tell anyone who will listen. And here’s a big reason why: after struggling with years with chronic health symptoms that doctors continually misdiagnosed, I eventually took my health into my own hands. After finding out that I had celiac disease, I cut out gluten. But I had done a lot of damage to my gut by then already and ended up with leaky gut. By combining yeast-killing diet with a few natural healthy remedies including collagen, I healed my leaky gut and feel better than ever!

Leaky Gut Treatment

Here’s what I did to kick the yeast out of my system without any drugs. I healed my leaky gut with a leaky gut diet that included an arsenal of weapons stacked with natural remedies that work wonders together.

1. Sugar detox

The first step in my leaky gut diet is to kill the yeast. And the best way to do that is to starve it with a sugar detox. Cut off its food supply by not eating any processed sugars or starches. I cut out all forms of added sugar, including honey, agave and coconut sugar—all of it. I limited my fruit consumption, too. Although rich in vitamins and minerals and antioxidants and so many good things, fruit is also packed with sugar, so it’s important to keep your diet pretty fruit-free for at least a couple weeks. I had a few berries on my chia pudding or half of a frozen banana in a smoothie, but I made sure not to have more than that in any one day.

I also cut out all starches including flour, oats and rice. I even removed starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, beans, legumes and peas. I eat a pretty low-starch diet in general (because I just feel better without too many grains), but I was pretty darn clear of all forms of starches during the first two weeks.

2. Collagen

Supplementing with collagen was part of my daily routine long before this yeast protocol, but collagen was extra helpful during my yeast protocol. Collagen helps to strengthen the production of any new tissues and therefore reestablish the gut lining. Exactly what I needed! I can’t say how much I encourage it as part of  regular routine. I’ve been using Further Food Collagen as part of my leaky gut diet, and I highly recommend it!

Heal Leaky Gut

3. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a great weapon when trying to kill the yeast and heal leaky gut. It’s hard for bacteria to grow in an acidic environment, and the acetic acid in the vinegar helps kill any yeast that is already there.

Add a tablespoon in a couple ounces of warm water with half of a squeezed lemon. I like to drink it every night before bed!

4. Probiotics

In addition to actually killing the bad bacteria, it’s important to repopulate the good bacteria with probiotics. Add in probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut. Kombucha is great too! Fermented foods will be your friend in this leaky gut diet!

5. Digestive enzymes

Taking digestive enzyme supplements alleviates some stress on your gut by allowing your gut to focus on healing during the protocol. I noticed a huge difference in my bloating and general gut pain when I took the digestive enzymes. These work so well with my GI discomfort that I have made them a regular part of my diet.

6. Prebiotics

Of course we are adding in good bacteria with our probiotics, but it’s also important that we feed those good bacteria to grow, establish and populate. We do that with prebiotics: food for the probiotics. There are tons of examples of prebiotics like jicama, dandelion greens, garlic and onions, but the easiest one I chose to use: resistant starches. Resistant starches serve as a natural prebiotic because they cannot be broken down by our own intestinal cells (hence the name), so they are instead digested by the healthy bacterial cells.

The simplest (and cheapest) option of a resistant starch is potato starch. Raw potato starch is different than traditional starches. It contains 8 grams of resistant starch per tablespoon and nearly no “usable” starch (none that actually feeds bad bacteria and spikes blood sugar).

Start with about half of a tablespoon dissolved in a couple ounces of water every night, and slowly work your way up to a full tablespoon. Taking this at night is said to help you sleep, but the most important thing I noticed: it helped me start my day clear (if you know what I mean).

7. Coconut

Just like collagen, coconut was nothing new for me to introduce, but coconut helps to pack an added punch during this leaky gut diet. They contain lauric acid, which the body converts to monolaurin, which it then uses to fight pathogens. Because of this, coconuts are natural antimicrobial powerhouses and helpful in this yeast-slaying process. Cook your foods in coconut oil, put coconut milk in your coffee and add a spoonful of coconut oil to your tea.

Leaky Gut Symptoms

Lots of things can cause leaky gut like antibiotics, hormone treatments, stress and eating a high sugar or processed food diet. Other factors that are likely to contribute to leaky gut syndrome include things like too much alcohol intake or not getting the proper amount of nutrients on a daily basis. Simply having poor gut health can affect your gut’s permeability! And, because of our diets and the disgusting amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates loaded into everything we eat, most of us have leaky gut to one degree or another.

You can go to the doctor and pay some good money to get a blood test for IgA, IgG and IgM candida antibodies or do a stool or urine sample test to confirm. But I’ve battled this for years, and never once did a doctor think to test for these. So I’ve learned on my own how to heal leaky gut through a leaky gut diet. A yeast overgrowth can cause any and all of the following symptoms:

1. Skin infections, such as eczema, rosacea, acne or dermatitis

2. Headaches and migraines

3. Digestive issues, such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation or IBS

4. Chronic fatigue, which is general exhaustion or any form of adrenal fatigue

5. Hormonal imbalances and side effects like anxiety or depression (Seventy percent of our serotonin is produced in the gut, so a disturbance of our flora can lead to a disturbance of our happy levels.)

6. Autoimmune diseases

7. Diabetes, both type 1 (autoimmune) and type 2

8. ADD or ADHD

9. Frequent infections, such as ear infections, UTIs or vaginal yeast infections

10.Food allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity. Oftentimes, we develop food sensitivities simply because a leaky gut allows those food particles into our bloodstream and they then cause inflammation in places they shouldn’t be.

11. Thyroid conditions like Hashimoto’s Disease

12. Joint pain and arthritis

It sounds crazy, right? But in a way it makes sense. With so much of our immune system and neurotransmitter production residing in our gut, it makes sense that a disturbance of its function can cause a variety of effects.

What is Yeast Overgrowth and How is it Related to Leaky Gut?

Hippocrates said years and years (and years) ago that “all disease begins in the gut” and we’re finding more and more just how right he was. Your gut (specifically GALT, gut-associated lymphoid tissue) houses 70 percent of your immune system and of course the intestinal cells that break down food. It’s where nutrients are absorbed and toxins are (supposed to be) removed. Your gut is composed of about a tennis court worth of lining all scrunched together to soak up as many nutrients as possible.

Very simply, a yeast overgrowth happens when your body’s bad bacteria outnumbers its good. Candida, the most common fungus present in your mouth and gut, can be productive in small amounts, but when it is overgrown, it breaks through your intestinal wall and leaks into the bloodstream. When this happens, toxins that are supposed to be eliminated by the gut circle back into your system. This spillage of toxins into the blood is called leaky gut, and it is the root of many of our health problems.

Leaky Gut: General Recommendations

So, while leaky guy can be a concerning condition to experience, know that one way to treat it is by eating right. A balanced diet, with emphasis on helpful enzymes, probiotics (and prebiotics!) and less sugar, can help you get through each day better and better. Taking care of your body, starting with the proper leaky gut diet plan, goes a long way.

So that’s it. No doctor bills. No scary drugs or unpronounceable medications. Just real, whole foods and some supplements. Just 7 natural sources helped my body in its amazing ability to fight for health on its own. You want to help your body kill yeast and avoid gluten. Reduce the amount of sugar you eat, and increase your intake of helpful natural substances like collagen and strong antimicrobial foods like coconut! Any foods that are gut-healthy are also great to implement into your diet, especially foods that are high in fiber.

I hope these tips help you if you’re battling leaky gut. Cheers to a happy gut and an even happier you!

Further Food Collagen can help heal leaky gut. Learn more here.

Update: Hey everyone, thanks for all the comments and questions. I’ve got lots of answers and details (including the actual products I used) on my original blog post: http://molliemason.space/how-i-naturally-killed-a-yeast-overgrowth-and-treated-my-leaky-gut/ Look forward to connecting with you there.

For more gut-friendly recipes and tips by Mollie, check out her blog www.molliemason.space and follow along on instagram @mollie.mason

FAQ

What is leaky gut syndrome?

Leaky gut syndrome is a digestive condition in which your gut lining has holes or cracks. This results in the lining being “leaky,” meaning toxins and food that has been partially digested can get through to our tissues and bloodstream. If you have leaky gut, you are experiencing an increase in intestinal permeability, which loud possibly lead to other complications involving the digestive tract. Leaky gut is not a formally recognized medical diagnosis, though scientists are continuing to look into the effects of weak gut lining.

What are some ways I can treat leaky gut?

There’s a wide range of things you can do to help get your gut its strength back. A firm sugar detox along with a low-starch, nutrient-rich diet is a great way to begin. Incorporating key gut-healthy foods into your diet can be very beneficial; foods include collagen, apple cider vinegar, probiotics and prebiotics, digestive enzymes, and coconut. These foods are able to promote good bacteria, kill yeast, and strengthen the production of your gut tissue.

What are the signs of leaky gut syndrome?

Leaky gut is the spillage of toxins into the blood. This spillage can comes from candida (yeast) overgrowth in the body. So, the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome can be associated as the symptoms of yeast overgrowth. These include skin infections, digestive issues like bloating, chronic fatigue, headaches, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, and hormonal imbalances. Other symptoms may include thyroid conditions, joint pain and arthritis, and ADD or ADHD. If you’re experiencing any combination of these, it may be time to look into your leaky gut diet.

What are the causes of leaky gut syndrome?

A lot of things can result in a leaky gut. These can include anything from stress and eating too much sugar (or eating too much processed foods), to antibiotics and hormone treatments. There are some additional factors that may come into play too, such as consuming too much alcohol or not having a properly balanced diet. All of these things can affect your gut’s permeability. A healthy diet rich in the proper amount of nutrients can help you avoid this condition in the first place.

Want to read more?

You Finished The 7-Day Sugar Detox! NOW WHAT?

Success Story: I Went on a Sugar Detox and Lost 50 lbs and Got Off Painkillers!

Stop IBS Symptoms Immediately (And Finally Feel Better!) With These 10 Tips from Dr. Mark Hyman

Dear Mom and Dad: You Saved Me from My Darkest Celiac Moments

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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39 thoughts on “Leaky Gut Diet Plan: Foods That Heal Leaky Gut (Nutritionist Approved)

  1. Michelle

    What is your thought on coffee. I hear don’t drink if you have leaky gut and I hear go ahead it’s good for you.

    Reply
  2. Heidi Dromgoole

    Great information! I’m anxious to try this…is there any chance you have an actual meal plan for the 14 days? That seems the toughest thing, to figure out what to eat! Would be so helpful!

    Reply
  3. Bob

    I had a infection and all kinds of symptoms and my doctor have me anti figua meds and boy it was ugly and i felt a little better but that was truly the root cause. My diet has been without any kind of processed sugar what so ever for 40 years and I eat good foods but it seem to come back so I did a liver detox and had worms in mu stool along with eggs. Apparently the worms made it the perfect environment for the yeast to grow but since I got rid of the worms everything is back to normal and I haven’t had a single issue with my stomach ever since I was treated. I never found out what kind of worms I had because I put them in a jar with alcohol to bring to my doctor so it treated my a couple times with different meds until it all went away.

    Reply
  4. Leah Link

    My daughter and I have suffered leaky gut for years. i also have URTICARIA for past 5 years.
    My daughter developed her own nutritional diet, very much like this . She takes the strongest form of probiotics VST . This is such a continuous battle. i really appreciate reading these comments.

    Reply
  5. Alia

    Hi. I have a question. You mentioned one can add coconut milk to their coffee, but isn’t coffee the worst thing for a leaky gut? All advice I’ve read says to stay off coffee. Could you please confirm? Thank you

    Reply
  6. Tenithe Williams

    Hey Mollie!! I’d like to know, if you wouldn’t mind sharing, how you became a holistic health nutritionist? I’m very interested in the field and looking into a few schools that offer courses. Any information you’d like to share would be greatly appreciated!

    Reply
  7. Mitchell L. Cordeiro

    If you want to improve your gut health even faster, than by simply adding the gut health-promoting foods to your diet, you may want to consider taking a prebiotic supplement, probiotic supplement, or both.

    Reply
  8. Sarah

    Potatoes (even starch) and coconut make my symptoms worse. Coconut makes me so dizzy. But thanks for the other tips. I don’t really know what else to eat other than rice, fruit and salad right now so I have no idea what I would eat if I cut those out. To be honest I still feel lost. I have had this for 10 years too many and it really really sucks. I was so sick for so long until I took a food intolerance test and cut those foods out and there were more than the 20 that the test told me. I am taking probiotics but the die off is not fun. Will try the enzymes, collagen and apple cider vinegar though. I feel like I am never going to be healthy again. I cannot possibly get the nutrients I need.

    Reply
  9. TV

    Julie March, I suffered for years from the same random outbreak of hives, every two to three months that often landed me in hospital with my throatvclosing over.

    A paleo diet and introduction of fermented foods into my diet has completely eliminated this problem, with no outbreak in over two and a half years.

    Have a look at http://thepaleoway.com

    Reply
  10. Heather

    Digestive enzymes make my hair fall out. So, no to that one. Can leaky gut cause stuffy and runny nose? Watery gooey eyes?

    Reply
  11. Pamela Anderson

    I love the idea of curing my leaky gut without pills or supplements, however, I am allergic to apple cider vinegar and coconut. Do you have substitutes that would work?

    Reply
  12. Virna Simner

    Thanks that is good information..but I thought apple cider vinegar was meant to help acid reflux ..but how can it if it keeps the stomach acidic ?

    Reply
  13. Karen

    Candida does NOT cause ADHD and it’s completely irresponsible to suggest that it does. It may cause some ‘ADHD-like’ symptoms but that is NOT the same thing. Many of us have struggled for years to accept that our minds work differently, and to find a way to exist in a world that is not built for us. You should not be reducing us to a symptom, let alone spreading false information where that symptom comes from.

    Reply
  14. Amanda Patrick

    I spent years with migraines before I realized it was all from my gut. After dealing with candida and SIBO I got control over things and my migraines have been greatly reduced. Cutting out sugar is the hardest part, isn’t it! I found the cravings subside after a week or so of no sugar. Thanks for the info!

    Reply
  15. Julie March

    I have been dealing with chronic hives that have no known source, according to my doctors. I have a holistic nutritionist that feels my hives are a result of Leaky Gut . I also have ulcerative colitis which I have had for years. Have you ever read about chronic hives breakout from leaky gut.? I just started Bio-K Plus probiotic referred to me by my nutritionist . Are people with IBD like Crohns and ulcerative colitis more susceptible to this.? Can you send me links or brand names to the supplementation you take, i.e. type of collagen, potato starch, prebiotics you use) and the amount? Have you heard about bone broth being a could treatment for leaky gut? Thank you for your very informative blog on this subject!

    Reply
  16. Heather

    Isn’t kimchi type foods bad for Leakey gut? And is L glutimine good? Cause most digestive enzymes make your hair fall out. And shouldn’t you wait to take probiotics until you heal your Leakey gut, so it doesn’t go in your blood stream?

    Reply
  17. NC

    I’m looking forward to trying this remedy but also have read coffee was out so glad to see you were Ok with it. Had to laugh at Joeys comment on being able to go back to grains again as that is exactly what I was thinking. Thanks for all the good tips.

    Reply
  18. Frances

    Thanks for hour infilormative page could you pls email me the best recommended Digestive Enzymes and probiotics to buy in Sydney Australia (its brand name) and what brand of raw potato resistant starch you recommend as well?!
    Thank you again for your helpful page!😊🙏

    Reply
  19. Lisa

    I was told by my functional dr that I can have coffee? And she also said dairy is fine and everything I’ve read is very contradictory to what she has said ? Any thoughts and how about veggies which are beneficial with leaky gut ?

    Reply
  20. Anonymous

    You took Apple cider vinegar and Potato starch at the same time ? You mentioned taking both in the evening so I am not sure if you mixed it together or separate, but both before bed time ?

    Reply
  21. Rich

    The trouble with fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha and apple cider is that they are “VERY high” histamine foods which can be problematic with leaky gut. I too read much that suggested these foods were great for healing leaky cut but after breaking out in severe eczema following an adoption of fermented foods in my diet I was forced to look a little deeper. I learned that the body produces an enzyme called DAO to combat high histamine levels in the body – but often because gut function is compromised with leaky gut DAO production in the gut is also impaired – thus leading to excessive histamine levels. I am not saying you shouldn’t eat fermented foods I am simply saying that in my case they created more harm than good.

    Reply
  22. Joey

    Thank you so much.. I wonder… will I ever get to eat grains or any other restricted foods again/ after I heal?

    Reply
  23. Jenna

    What digestive enzymes did you take? I tried papaya enzymes and those both hurt my stomach and made my other symptoms worse.

    Reply
  24. glenda crook

    any other suggestions on resistant startches I am highly allergic to all nite shades in cluding potatos
    also on the bone broth my liver does not break down glutamate , I end really much worse

    Reply
  25. farzana

    Got impressed by your story and want to tell you that i am also struggling with thyroid antibodies and hypothyroidism, my symptoms are getting worse day by day, I suffer from severe leg cramps all the time and unable to sleep at night, I hardly manage to sleep only for 4 to 6 hours each day, I am in a desperate to seek help

    Reply

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