A leaky what? You may have come across the term leaky gut and thought, what does that mean, and do I have that? The intestinal barriers in our gut help keep the bad things out that can compromise our immunity. Leaky gut refers to when toxins get out into the bloodstream.
Doctors are still learning about why leaky gut happens but agree that the issue is related to one’s diet. You know where we are going with this, yet another reason to get more fiber in your diet. Read on to learn more about leaky gut and how fiber can help.
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
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As you may have guessed from the name, "leaky gut" refers to when your gut leaks. More precisely it’s when the lining of the intestinal wall becomes more permeable and bad stuff (aka toxins) can leak out into the bloodstream. This is also referred to as increased intestinal permeability.
A weak barrier allows things like toxins, undigested food particles, and bacteria to swim out into the bloodstream which can compromise our immune system. Remember 70% of our immune system is located in the gut so this is important!
A healthy gut has strong barriers that keep things in the intestine but it’s important to note that even in a healthy gut this barrier is not 100% solid. Some stuff (the good stuff) is supposed to enter the bloodstream. The intestinal lining’s job is to absorb water and nutrients from food into our bloodstream.
Why Do We Care About Leaky Gut?
If the toxins and such get into the bloodstream there are several digestive issues that can occur like bloating, gas, cramps, food sensitivities, and aches and pains. Leaky gut can also contribute to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. It has also been linked to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes.
The challenge doctors face when diagnosing leaky gut is that the digestive issues listed above like bloating and cramps can also be caused by things other than leaky gut. Compounding that, if you have gut issues, you are more likely to have other health problems as well. We always recommend speaking with a medical provider who has a complete picture of your medical history.
Why Does Leaky Gut Happen?
Experts aren’t sure what exactly causes the intestinal barrier to weaken but they know that factors like a low-fiber diet, chronic stress, and underlying medical conditions contribute to leaky gut.
How to Treat Leaky Gut
Since diet and lifestyle play a big part in leaky gut, those are the places to start. Here are some of our favorite ways to improve your gut health:
Eat Those Fruits and Veggies
It’s just like your parents said: eat your broccoli and brussels sprouts. And probably throw in a banana too. Add in all the other "B" letter fruits and veggies while you are at it. It’s true, the best sources of nutrients for a healthy microbiome are fruits and veggies.
Eat a Wide Range of Foods
As the Spice Girls sang, spice up your life! The key to improving gut health is to eat a diverse, wide range of foods. Instead of picking up or cooking the same lunch every day, try mixing it up a little and adding whole grains like quinoa to the mix. Go wild with grains you have to ask someone to help you pronounce like quinoa (keen-wha)!
Try Fermented Foods
Fermented foods are foods that have undergone fermentation, a process in which the sugars they contain are broken down by bacteria or yeast. Some fermented foods include yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and kimchi.
If it’s your thing, yogurt, in particular, is good for the gut microbiome, and also has a ton of other health benefits. Just make sure you read the packaging. Avoid red flags like added refined sugar and grab the container that says “contains live active cultures” instead!
Reduce Consumption of Sugar and Processed Foods
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You have definitely heard this one before. Here’s the bad news: too much sugar can cause an imbalance of gut microbes. So, skip the sugary sweets and ice creams and trade them out for something naturally sweet, like fruit or nature’s candy dates. Also, look for items with natural sweeteners like our friend monk fruit.
Add More Fiber to Your Diet
This is definitely at the top of our list. In addition to fruits and veggies, try to adhere to a high-fiber diet. Even though our bodies can’t digest fiber, certain bacteria in your gut use it as fuel, and it stimulates their growth. (Which is a good thing. Trust us.) Some high-fiber foods that your gut bacteria will love are artichokes, green peas, whole grains, and apples.
However, it can be difficult to get enough fiber in your daily diet. (FYI: the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends women eat at least 25 grams of fiber each day and 38 grams per day for men!) That’s why there is Bonny.
Drink More Water
Water is amazing for you! Water also acts like a magnet for fiber. In order to make the most of your fiber and aid your digestion system, aim to drink at least eight glasses of water throughout the day.
Move your body. Exercise has been known to come with a lot of health benefits, including helping the body with constipation. Physical movement slows down the time travel of food to the large intestine and limits the amount of water absorbed by the body from the stool, which helps with muscle activities in our intestines and stimulates bowel movements.
Get More Sleep
Proper rest or sleep is essential for our body's maintenance of energy levels throughout the day. Ideally, adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
Bonny Can Help With Leaky Gut
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One of the easiest and best ways to improve gut health and avoid leaky gut is with fiber! Enter: your new BFF (best fiber forever), Bonny.
Bonny is the best 100% natural, fiber powder supplement you need to reach your daily fiber goals. Our vegan fiber powder supplements are flavored with real fruit and taste amazing with flavors like Mango Passionfruit, Mixed Ripe Berries, and Apple Pie. Bonny is the easiest and best way to add more fiber to your diet, improve digestion, and restore your gut health.
As always, we wish you pleasant poops (and a healthy gut)!