Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin once said, “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.” Today, that statement would be more accurate if it read “Tell me what you absorb and I will tell you what you are.”
In this post, I’ll highlight some of the problems caused by poor absorption and then I’ll offer some simple, but effective solutions. That said, if you are experiencing ongoing digestive issues it’s worth getting yourself checked out by a healthcare provider. Sadly, the mere mention of a leaky gut in your physician’s office can result in an uncomfortably long stare. As you may have guessed, leaky gut is still medically classified as a theory, ever wonder why?
Well, the short answer is, clinical trials cost money. Nutrition just isn’t sexy enough to pay for million-dollar trials. Alas, any attempt to medicate our way out of a poor diet displays poor judgment. And while most doctors agree that damage to the intestinal lining is plausible. Few seem willing to accept that it causes a cascade of other health issues.
Here’s a visual representation of the problem.
In your mind’s eye, imagine holding a bicycle inner tube. Next, take a pair of scissors and cut the tube so that it hangs down in a single straight line. Then place the tube on the floor in front of you. What you now have is a design very similar to your digestive system. Both are hollow tubes with an opening at the top (the mouth) and an exit at the bottom (anus).
If we now forced food into the top of the inner tube and squeezed it all the way down to the bottom, sooner or later, food would exit at the bottom. In a crude sort of way, this is how the body expels waste.
Now hold that image, got it?
If we again pick up those imaginary scissors. Only this time, make several microscopic nicks to the inner-tube (anywhere you like). And if we stuff imaginary food down into the tube, small particles will soon be oozing out of those tiny nicks. In the body, this is how tiny food particles find their way into the bloodstream.
That’s not good, right?
Not really. Your immune system is smart but it isn’t expecting to see food floating around in the bloodstream, or even worse, bits of fecal matter (eew gross). As far as the immune system is concerned, all bacon sandwich particles are safely trapped inside the inner tube (AKA your digestive tract).
So when the immune system spots something it doesn’t recognize, it gets a little freaked out. Once that happens, the whole system flies into a code red alert. Throw into the mix a few gallons of glyphosate and Boomshakalaka! Say hello to food sensitivities and your new best friend chronic inflammation. But our intestines aren’t meant to leak so why would they do this to us?
Well, as mentioned earlier, candida can be a contributing factor. But so can proteins found in gluten. These proteins are notoriously difficult to break down, more so when they are grown in contaminated soil. This really isn’t rocket science. When the gut is continually damaged, it becomes permeable.
Let’s explore this concept a little, I’ll then show you a couple of things that can do to help resolve a leaky gut.
From the moment we swallow it, to the time it leaves the body, food is meant to stay inside the digestive system. It’s both unusual and unnatural, for food to wander into the bloodstream. Some might say, it’s almost as unnatural as the way we now grow our food.
Let’s simplify. The foods we eat will either deplete our body’s mineral supply or it will replenish it. And yet, the standard western diet relies heavily on grains. Most of which have been “modified” or soaked in Roundup to increase crop yields. While an increase in crops sounds good in theory, nobody knows for sure how this will impact us long term. I’m just going to leave this next statement hanging while it sinks in.
Food has changed more in the last 50 years than it has in the previous 10,000.
For many, the gluten found in wheat, barley, and rye is already causing a wide range of reactions. These reactions can range from a feeling of general fatigue to mental confusion. Add into the mix a few hundred food additives and we shouldn’t be all that surprised when people struggle to detoxify.
Adding to the problem, most of our food is now sprayed with some pretty heavy-duty pesticides. This has become an everyday farming practice and nobody seems to mind. Many of these pesticides contain EDCs (endocrine-disrupting chemicals). They work by disrupting the central nervous systems of bugs. And get this, some of the newer insecticides work by exploding the insect’s gut. Hmm, I see.
GLUTEN-FREE? — Meh, not so fast.
Once grains become a problem, switching to “gluten-free” products are unlikely to solve the problem. Think of a smoker switching to a different brand of cigarettes as a way of limiting symptoms. So what’s the answer?
Once your immune system reacts to gluten, the only viable solution is to go totally grain-free. The good news is this is easy to do. Simply stop buying man-made foods that come in a box, a can, or a packet and replace them with whole foods. We could make this sound more complicated if you like. But it’s probably best if you just think of it this way … if the food comes from a manufacturing plant, don’t eat it. If it comes from a plant, you are good to go.
Everything you need to know about nutrition is covered in more detail here. It’s an enjoyable read that won’t leave you feeling overwhelmed or confused.
S.O.S … I NEED TO FIX MY GUT
It’s no secret that your gut is pivotal to your overall health. Avoiding foods that are known to irritate the gut lining is a given, but is there anything else we can do to help the healing process? As it happens, you are in luck!
Combing colostrum, bone broth, and a high-quality probiotic can help speed up repairs to the gut lining. These three bad boys work synergistically but as always, the devil is in the details. Not all colostrum/bone broth/probiotics are made equal. Fortunately, I’ve done the groundwork for you and below are the brands I think you will find helpful. And if you are wondering, no, I don’t have any affiliation with these products. If it makes you feel more comfortable, you can substitute for any brand that you prefer. I’m simply trying to save you some time.
Colostrum sold by Mt Capra
Bone Broth sold by Kettle and Fire
Probiotics sold by Seed
For best results, take these in the morning on an empty stomach. If you are on a tight budget, try supplementing with L-glutamine instead.
All things being equal, the biggest problem after leaky gut is poor quality stomach acid. Some might say the two go hand in hand. Hold that thought because I’ll be covering this important topic in my next post. It can also be found in my latest book titled Heavy Metals Detox