Written by MasterHealth Staff
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- Dr. Frank Lipman’s Gut Health Strategies
- Symptoms of an Unhealthy Gut
- Leaky Gut Syndrome
- How To Heal Your Gut Naturally
- Fastest Way to Heal Your Gut Microbiome
- How Long Does it Take to Heal Your Gut?
- Getting Rid of Bad Bacteria in Your Gut
- Foods That Are Bad For Your Gut
- Foods That Heal Your Gut
- Learn More About Dr. Frank Lipman’s How To Be Well Health Program
Dr. Lipman spends a lot of time helping his patients solve gut problems. His book and mobile health program How To Be Well details many of the helpful health strategies he uses to help people heal their gut problems.
His MasterHealth program includes important, everyday actions that include fostering beneficial gut bacteria (think: probiotic-rich foods, prebiotic foods, and antimicrobial herbs), repairing the gut lining (think: bone broth, glutamine, and good fats like Omega 3), and supporting gut health (think: fiber, natural bitters before meals, and digestive enzymes).
Many others have started to take action on their gut health with Dr. Lipman’s easy-to-use health program that will guide you in taking the right actions for you, track the state of your gut health, pain, and stool quality (that’s optional!).
There are many ways to tell if you’re having problems with your gut. The first and most obvious sign you’ll get is that you’ll have an upset stomach and abdominal pain.
Food intolerances: You may also find that you are intolerant to certain foods, which are caused by the bad types of bacteria in your gut. These intolerances present themselves when your body is unable to digest certain foods (Meth, 2020).
Food cravings: You may also find that you often crave specific types of foods, especially sweet foods. Consistently giving in to those sugar cravings leads to higher levels of bad bacteria in the gut since these harmful bacteria consume that sugar and reproduce at a faster rate. Over time, this leads to the bad bacteria outcompeting the healthy bacteria in your gut as the dominant population, which can lead to inflammation and other diseases.
Weight changes: If you lose or gain weight too fast unintentionally, that can be another sign of having an unhealthy gut.
Skin quality: Your skin can also be a telltale sign of having a bad gut. Some skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis can be the results of gut issues.
Feeling tired: You’ll find yourself to be more tired throughout the day and have trouble sleeping.
“Leaky gut syndrome” is when you experience one or more of the following – bloating, gas, cramps, and sensitivities to certain foods.
Despite including “syndrome” its title – leaky gut syndrome isn’t an actual diagnosis that has a set course of treatment, but rather is an indicator that suggests you may have a problem with your gut and should consult a medical professional.
You might be able to tell you have “leaky gut syndrome” if you…
- Have stomach pains
- Feel bloated
- Have cramps
- Feel tired with headaches
- Have more food sensitivities
- Crave more sugars or carbs
There are a number of ways to heal your gut naturally. Often it’s a combination of several different lifestyles and dietary changes that leads to results.
Tame your stressors: One of the most impactful changes you can implement is finding a path towards lowering your stress levels. It’s easier said than done, but high levels of stress can be detrimental to your whole body, especially your gut. The brain is more connected with the gut than many think.
Get your sleep: Another matter of the brain to help heal your gut naturally, is getting enough quality sleep for as many nights as possible. Generally, this means aiming to fall asleep and wake up at the same time each day and sleeping for at least 7-9 hours each night. There is a lot more you can do to optimize your sleep (and the subject of a future post). Getting enough sleep can be equivalent to hitting a reset button for your body.
Eat mindfully: Start by eating more slowly. Chewing your food more thoroughly means breaking down the food into smaller pieces so that your digestive enzymes can more effectively work to digest the food you eat and properly free the nutrients so that they can be readily absorbed by your gut.
Eat healthily: If you’re eating a diet full of sugar and fried foods and deficient in non-starchy veggies and fruits, you may want to spend some more time assessing your habits. Beyond making some obvious cuts – try incorporating more leafy greens and high-fiber foods into your diet such as beans, peas, chia seeds, berries, asparagus, avocados, and almonds have tons of positive impacts on your gut (Parnell & Reimer, 2012).
Check out our delicious chocolate avocado smoothie recipe that not only helps to heal your gut naturally, but also gives you energy!
Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water has beneficial effects on the mucosal lining of the intestines, which helps to heal your gut.
Eating your vegetables is the fastest way to heal your gut microbiome (Merwe, 2020). Specifically, eat veggies that contain loads of fiber to bring about the health benefits. The leafy green ones feed the good bacteria in your gut and promote their reproduction, enabling them to outcompete the disease-causing and inflammatory bad bacteria which are also residents of your digestive tract.
Go to sleep! It has been proven that people with inconsistent sleeping patterns carry the risk of disrupting their microbiome and are more prone to inflammatory diseases (Voigt et al., 2014). In short: Aim for 7-9 hours each night, and go to bed at a consistent time.
Avoid antibiotics. If probiotics are your gut’s best friend, antibiotics are your gut’s worst enemy. Antibiotics wipe out all your gut bacteria including the good bacteria and the benefits they bring to your body. If you need to take antibiotics, seek out additional probiotics to protect your gut microbiome balance.
Short-term effects can be realized as soon as 2 weeks, 4 weeks, or even 6 months. It all depends on the state of your gut, how much repair and recovery is needed for you, and what steps you’re taking to heal your gut. You need to continue your healthy habits to get long-lasting results.
It can take approximately 2-3 weeks for your gut to create a new lining to start functioning better, and it can take up to 6 months to kill off the bad bacteria in your gut (Sparks, 2020).
There are good and bad types of bacteria in your gut, and it’s important to try to maintain a healthy level of good bacteria that outweighs the bad. If you have too much bad bacteria in your gut, there’s a good chance that you may start to see signs of a leaky gut and an unhealthy gut in general.
Medicinal antibiotics, supplements, and/or herbs are common approaches that people take to get rid of their menacing gut bacteria. The goal is to restore the balance between good and bad bacteria rather than ridding your gut of all bacteria, so here’s how to get rid of the bad bacteria.
More natural approaches include dietary changes such as including Lactobacillus populations with konjac root, soy, apples, barley, walnuts, or artichokes. They help make lactic acid by breaking down carbohydrates, which is good for your gut (Poulson et al., 2021). This will help move the good bacteria around your gut and lead it towards your intestines.
One of the worst things you can put in your gut are artificial sweeteners. They pass through your body undigested, which over time can affect the microflora in your gut (Shil & Chichger, 2021). These artificial sweeteners include aspartame and sucralose.
Alcoholic beverages harm your gut microbiome. They can inhibit the production of digestive enzymes, which means your gut will have a reduced capacity to break down other foods to extract their nutrients. It also causes fermentation in your gut, leading to bloating and gas. (Bishehsari et al., 2017).
Fried foods are often cooked in poor quality vegetable oils that cause gut inflammation, they are also heavier and more difficult to digest often leading to gas and discomfort.
Processed foods also lead to an unhealthy gut. They often contain long lists of additives, loads of salt, hidden sugars, bad oils, and are typically low in fiber. This can include but is not limited to: bacon, sausage, cakes, cookies, sweets, soft drinks, lunch meats, and chips.
Swap out those bad foods for foods that actually heal your gut!
A healthy gut is achieved by eating healthy foods. The top foods to heal your gut include kefir (a fermented milk drink), sauerkraut, tempeh, which is a fermented soybean product, kimchi, and miso. Almonds, peas, brussels sprouts, kombucha, olive oil, and bananas are also good sources to prioritize healthy gut bacteria.
Yogurt is one of the best foods to eat to restore gut health because it’s a great source for friendly bacteria, or probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms that have tons of health benefits when consumed, a healthy gut being one of them. They can also improve your digestive health, promote heart health, and maybe even lead to better-looking skin.
Depending on your unique food sensitivities or genetics, each food may confer other pros or cons for you aside from helping your gut stay healthy, so be mindful of what you eat and experiment to find what works best for you.