Diet for Gut Healing

Artichoke vegetables

Last updated on August 16th, 2023 at 08:00 pm

The concept of a “heal gut diet or gut healing diet” revolves around adopting an eating plan that promotes gut health, reduces inflammation, and helps restore the integrity of the gastrointestinal tract. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to healing gut diet, several dietary strategies have shown promising clinical and scientific research results. 

Through evidence-based recommendations, you'll discover how certain foods can soothe inflammation, repair the gut lining, and nurture a flourishing microbial ecosystem. Get ready to embrace a delicious, nourishing approach that will empower you to reclaim your digestive well-being.

Common leaky gut symptoms, causes, and health issues

Poor gut health can significantly impact our overall well-being. If your heal gut diet is not functioning properly, it can lead to various symptoms and health issues, but there is a way to heal gut diet that you can try. 

1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a chronic disorder that affects the large intestine. 


  • abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • excessive wind (flatulence), constipation, and stomach swelling
  • occasionally experiencing an urgent need to move your bowel
  • lack of energy (lethargy)
  • feeling sick
  • Heartburn


  • Challenging or demanding experiences during early life, such as instances of physical or sexual abuse.
  • Specific psychological conditions, including depression, anxiety, and somatic symptom disorder (significant focus on physical symptoms).
  • Bacteria in the gut cause digestive tract infections.
  • Elevated levels or altered numbers of bacteria in the small intestine.
  • Difficulties digesting certain foods due to intolerances or sensitivities that result in digestive symptoms.

2. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD is a digestive syndrome that occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter weakens, allowing stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus. 


  • Chest pain/ Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Difficulties or painful sensations while swallowing
  • Indications of complications in the oral cavity, throat, or lungs, like chronic cough or hoarseness
  • Presence of excess weight or obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Regurgitation of food or sour liquid
  • A sensation of a lump in the throat


Certain medications can either contribute to developing GERD or exacerbate its symptoms.

Examples of such medications include:

  • Benzodiazepines: Sedatives that induce a calming or drowsy effect
  • Calcium channel blockers: Medications employed for managing high blood pressure
  • Specific asthma medications
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants

Additionally, hiatal hernia can also be associated with GERD.

Long-term untreated GERD can lead to more severe complications.

3. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

SIBO occurs when bacteria overgrowth in the small intestine. 


  • Bloating
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain
  • absorption of nutrients


  • impaired gut motility
  • certain medical conditions

4. Crohn’s Disease

This chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) primarily affects the digestive tract.


The primary symptoms commonly observed in individuals with Crohn's disease include:

  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramping
  • weight loss
  • fatigue

Additional symptoms may encompass anemia, eye discomfort or redness, fever, joint pain, nausea, loss of appetite, and skin changes characterized by tender, red bumps beneath the skin. The specific manifestation of symptoms can vary depending on the severity and location of inflammation within the body.

Research suggests that stress can exacerbate symptoms. Moreover, certain individuals may find that particular foods can trigger or worsen their symptoms.


  • autoimmune reaction
  • genetics
  • smoking
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin or ibuprofen, antibiotics, and birth control pills 
  • high-fat diet 

It is important to note, however, that stress and specific dietary choices do not directly cause Crohn's disease.

5. Celiac Disease

Symptoms in the digestive system

  • Swelling and discomfort in the abdomen
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Difficulty passing stools (constipation)
  • Excessive gas
  • Inability to digest lactose due to damage in the small intestine
  • Loose, fatty, bulky, and malodorous stools
  • Feelings of nausea or episodes of vomiting
  • Abdominal pain extending to other body parts

Moreover, these symptoms may also extend to other areas of the body, resulting in the following manifestations:

  • Dermatitis herpetiformis
  • Fatigue or persistent feelings of tiredness
  • Joint or bone pain
  • Mental health illnesses, such as depression or anxiety
  • Nervous system symptoms, including headaches, problems with balance, seizures, or peripheral neuropathy
  • Reproductive issues in women and girls, such as infertility, delayed onset of menstrual periods, missed menstrual periods, or repeated miscarriages, as well as male infertility.
  • Oral symptoms include canker sores (ulcers in the mouth and lips), dry mouth, or a red, smooth, shiny tongue.


  • Genetics

It is believed that there is a strong genetic component to the disease, with certain genes connected with a higher risk of developing the condition.

  • Gluten

Gluten triggers the immune response that damages the lining of the small intestine over time. It's advisable to opt for a gluten-free diet.

Additionally, celiac disease is more frequently observed in individuals with certain conditions, such as Down syndrome, Turner syndrome, and type 1 diabetes.

Celiac disease has the potential to develop in individuals of any background. However, it is more prevalent among white, Europeans, and females.

6. Ulcerative colitis (UC)

This is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that primarily affects the colon and rectum. Inflammation and ulcers in the inner lining of the colon characterize it.


  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Urgency to defecate
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue Anemia
  • Fever


The clear cause of ulcerative colitis is still unknown. However, it is believed to result from a combination of genetic, environmental, and immunological factors.

  • Genetics

Studies have shown that people with a family history of the disease are more likely to develop it themselves. Certain genes related to the immune system and the body's response to inflammation are thought to be involved.

  • Environmental factors

Factors such as diet, smoking, and exposure to certain bacteria or viruses may trigger or exacerbate the condition. For example, studies have shown that people who live in urban areas or developed countries are more likely to develop ulcerative colitis than those in rural areas or developing countries.

This abnormal immune response leads to the characteristic symptoms of ulcerative colitis, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding.

7. Gallstones

A gallbladder attack occurs when gallstones obstruct the bile ducts, accumulating bile in the gallbladder. Typically, such attacks result in pain experienced in the upper right abdomen. 


Most individuals with gallstones do not experience any symptoms because the stones typically remain in the gallbladder without causing any issues. However, there are instances where gallstones can result in cholecystitis, inflammation of the gallbladder.

Additional symptoms may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Restlessness


  • excess cholesterol
  • excess of bilirubin, a yellowish pigment during the breakdown of red blood cells
  • insufficient bile salts present in the bile

Gut-Healing Foods

Gut-healing foods for heal gut diet contain healthy bacteria strains, prebiotics, and fiber. These components help maintain a healthy balance of gut microbiota (microorganisms reside in and on the human body, which helps maintain a healthy digestive system), improve health gut health for heal gut diet, and support overall gut function.

1. Greens

Greens, such as leafy and cruciferous vegetables, are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, vital in supporting the gut lining. They are rich in fiber. Fiber acts as a prebiotic, nourishing the healthy gut bacteria known as probiotics.

The probiotics in our gut help to break down and digest food, produce essential vitamins and support our immune system. They also help to maintain the balance of the gut microbiota for our heal gut diet.

2. Leafy vegetables

Spinach and kale, a nutrient-rich green, are excellent sources of fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, and minerals like calcium and magnesium. It also has antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the gut and support digestive health.

3. Cruciferous vegetables

Broccoli and cauliflower, which are high in fiber and contain a compound called sulforaphane, reduce gut inflammation and promote good bacteria growth.

4. Banana

Bananas promote gut health for our heal gut diet through their high fiber content, including soluble and insoluble fibers. They also provide prebiotics that nourish good gut bacteria, supporting a healthy balance of microorganisms. 

Additionally, their easy digestibility makes them suitable for those with digestive sensitivities. 

5. Fermented Foods

Foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, kefir, and other fermented vegetables have gained popularity in recent years due to their potential health benefits, particularly for gut health and for healing gut diet.

When foods undergo fermentation, beneficial bacteria or other microorganisms break down the carbohydrates and sugars in the food. This process creates lactic acid, giving fermented foods a distinctive tangy taste. 

Ways How Fermented Food promotes a healthy gut. 

  • They help to restore and maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut through their high probiotic content.
  • Enhance the variety of beneficial gut bacteria. This can help to crowd out harmful pathogens and prevent them from gaining a foothold in the digestive system.  
  • Enhance the production of short-chain fatty acids in the gut. These fatty acids are byproducts of bacterial fermentation and have been shown to provide numerous health benefits. They help to nourish the cells lining the colon, reduce inflammation, and support a healthy immune system.

6. Polyphenols

Polyphenols are a group of plant compounds that have been shown to provide various health benefits, including promoting gut health for heal gut diet. These compounds are found in various foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

Ways polyphenols promote gut health

  • Acting as prebiotics. Polyphenols can stimulate probiotics' growth and activity, helping maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation in the gut can cause various digestive disorders. By reducing inflammation, polyphenols help to protect the gut lining and prevent inflammation-associated damage.
  • Polyphenols act as antioxidants, neutralizing free radicals and reducing oxidative stress in the gut. This helps to protect gut cells from damage and maintain their proper functioning.

Certain polyphenols, such as quercetin and resveratrol, have also been found to have antimicrobial properties. They can inhibit the growth of bad bacteria in the gut while elevating the growth of good ones. This helps to maintain a healthy microbial balance in the gut and prevent the overgrowth of harmful bacteria.

Examples of polyphenol-rich foods include:

  • Berries (blackberries, blueberries, blackcurrants
  • Herbs and Spices (star anise, cloves, peppermint)
  • Celery seed, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and sage
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Nuts (chestnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans)
  • Flaxseeds
  • Vegetables (artichoke, red onion, spinach, or shallots)
  • Olives 
  • Coffee

7. Whole Grains

These grains are rich in fiber which has the indigestible part of the plant that passes through our digestive system mostly intact. The enzymes in our body do not break down fiber; instead, it serves as a food source for the healthy gut bacteria in our gut.

The gut microbiota consists of trillions of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. These microorganisms help in the digestion and absorption of nutrients, support our immune system, and even influence our mental health. However, an imbalance in the gut microbiota, known as gut dysbiosis, can lead to various health issues, including digestive problems.

Ingredients for the healthy foods- Heal Gut Diet

Incorporating Gut-Friendly Foods in Your Diet Tips

Incorporating gut-healing foods into your heal gut diet is essential for maintaining good digestive health. A healthy gut is crucial for overall wellness, as it aids in nutrient absorption, supports the immune system, and promotes a balanced mood. Here are some tips to help you incorporate gut-friendly foods into your daily meals:

  1. Include more fiber-rich foods: You can add black beans to your salad or enjoy a fiber-rich smoothie with berries and spinach.
  2. Consume fermented foods: Consider adding a serving of yogurt with live cultures to your breakfast or incorporating sauerkraut as a topping for sandwiches or salads.
  3. Don't forget about omega-3 fatty acids or polyphenols: You can include salmon as a protein source in your dinner or sprinkle chia seeds over your morning oatmeal.
  4. Avoid processed foods and added sugars: Instead of processed foods, choose fresh fruits or homemade meals.
  5. Stay hydrated: Water helps to soften stools and prevent constipation, allowing for the proper elimination of waste. Aim to drink at least 8 cups of water daily and hydrate with a fermented tea drink, herbal tea, or infused water for added flavor.

The Gut-Brain Axis and Its Use on Overall Health

The gut-brain axis refers to the collaborative communication network between the gut and the brain. It involves the constant exchange of signals and information between the two, influencing various aspects of our health, including our immune system, mood, and overall well-being.

The gut is known as the gut microbiota. The gut microbiota helps maintain the integrity of the gut lining, preventing the leakage of harmful substances into the bloodstream. This barrier function is essential for overall health, as a compromised gut lining can lead to various health issues, including inflammation, autoimmune disorders, and even mental health disorders.

Research has shown that disruptions in the gut-brain axis can significantly impact our overall health. Studies have linked imbalances in the gut microbiota to digestive conditions and even mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Furthermore, the gut-brain axis plays a role in regulating our immune system. The gut microbiota helps educate and train our immune cells, ensuring they respond appropriately to pathogens (harmful microorganisms) while maintaining tolerance to harmless substances. Gut microbiota imbalances can lead to dysregulation of the immune system. This increases the risk of allergies, autoimmune diseases, and other immune-related conditions.

So, how can we optimize the gut-brain axis for better overall health? Through diet. Consuming a balanced diet rich in fiber, prebiotic, and probiotic foods can promote healthy gut microbiota. 

Leaky gut diet plan

Meal planning is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy digestive system. The goal is to support the growth of beneficial bacteria and reduce inflammation.

To plan meals for a nourishing, healthy gut diet, it is crucial to include a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Here are some examples:

  • Fiber-rich foods

Incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes into your meals. These foods provide essential nutrients and promote healthy digestion by adding stool volume and preventing constipation. 

  • Fermented foods

Include these foods in your diet, as they are excellent sources of beneficial bacteria. These foods can help restore the balance of gut bacteria, improving digestion and overall healing gut diet.

  • Anti-inflammatory foods (polyphenols)

Chronic inflammation in the gut can lead to various digestive disorders. An anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce inflammation and support a healthy gut.

  • Limit processed foods and sugar.

Processed foods often contain additives, preservatives, and unhealthy fats that can disrupt the gut microbiome. Additionally, excessive sugar consumption can lead to imbalances in gut bacteria. Opt for whole, unprocessed foods and limit your intake of added sugars or artificial sweeteners.

When planning meals, it's essential to make them balanced and varied. Aim for a combination of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Here's an example of a healthy gut diet meal plan:

  • Breakfast

Yogurt with fresh berries with chia seeds.

  • Snack

A handful of almonds and a piece of fruit.

  • Lunch

Grilled chicken salad with greens, avocado, and lemon dressing and a drizzle of olive oil.

  • Snack

Carrot sticks with hummus.

  • Dinner

Baked salmon with steamed broccoli and quinoa.

  • Dessert

A serving of dark chocolate.

Remember to listen to your body and adjust your meal plan based on your needs and sensitivities. Seeking a registered dietitian or nutritionist can also provide personalized guidance for a nourishing, healing gut diet.

Bowl of healthy Breakfast- Heal Gut Diet

Recommended gut healing supplements

1. Peppermint Oil: Easing IBS Discomfort 

Although further research is needed, several studies suggest that peppermint oil may reduce pain and bloating associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Enteric-coated capsules of peppermint oil do not dissolve in the stomach but instead reach the small and large intestines, where the oil is released. Peppermint oil is safe when taken in small doses.

Fresh peppermint and oil on wooden- Heal Gut Diet

2. Psyllium: Fiber for Relieving Constipation

Psyllium is included in bulk laxatives due to its high fiber content that enables it to absorb water in the intestines. This adds bulk to the stool, making it easier to pass. It is important to consume adequate fluids when treating constipation to prevent dehydration or worsening of the condition. Individuals allergic to English plantain pollen, grass pollen, or melon may experience a severe allergic reaction when taking psyllium.

Heap of psyllium husk- Heal Gut Diet

3. Chamomile: More Than a Calming Tea

Chamomile is widely utilized for various ailments. Naturalists have explored the use of chamomile as a way of healing gut diet treatment on healing gut diet issues. However, individuals with certain plant allergies, such as ragweed, may experience an allergic reaction to chamomile. Always consult your doctor regarding the use of any supplement.

Chamomile tea- Heal Gut Diet

4. Artichoke: Alleviating Stomach Discomfort

Extract from artichoke leaves may alleviate symptoms of indigestion. Regular use of the extract reduces nausea, vomiting, gas, and abdominal pain. It may also be beneficial in treating IBS and reducing cramps and abdominal pain. The artichoke extract does not have any known interactions with medications. However, individuals allergic to ragweed and related pollens may experience allergic reactions.

Artichoke- Heal Gut Diet

4. Ginger: Soothing for the Stomach 

Traditional Asian medicine employs ginger to address stomachaches. In the Western world, ginger is used to alleviate nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Ginger is available in powdered form, as capsules or tablets, or as freshly cut root. When taken in small doses of 1 to 2 grams per day, ginger is generally considered safe.

Ginger powder capsules- Heal Gut Diet

5. Probiotics: Beneficial Microorganisms 

Probiotic supplements consist of living organisms, predominantly bacteria, and a specific yeast strain. These microorganisms resemble the beneficial bacteria found in the digestive system, aiding digestion. These supplements are utilized to address certain gastrointestinal disorders and promote overall digestive health. Certain types of probiotics may alleviate diarrhea and relieve symptoms associated with IBS. Consider incorporating them into malted milk or yogurt.

Smiling woman taking care of her health- Heal Gut Diet

6. L-Glutamine: Assisting the Intestines 

Glutamine naturally occurs in the body and supports the intestines and other organs. Some experts believe that the supplement L-glutamine may help alleviate diarrhea caused by surgery, infections, or stress. It may also aid in better nutrient absorption for individuals with an imbalance of harmful bacteria in their digestive system, those undergoing cancer treatment, or those who have had a portion of their intestines removed. However, further research is required.

L-glutamine powder supplement- Heal Gut Diet

7. DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice): Soothing Heartburn

Licorice has traditionally been employed to alleviate indigestion symptoms like heartburn and acid reflux. However, these uses lack scientific evidence. In its raw form, licorice can also have side effects, including contributing to high blood pressure in some individuals. DGL is a specific licorice extract with a certain chemical component removed, resulting in fewer side effects. Nonetheless, pregnant women should consult their doctor before taking DGL or any other supplement.

Licorice cup of tea


Adopting a “heal gut diet” can be a transformative journey towards restoring and maintaining optimal gut health. The understanding that our gut plays a crucial role in our overall well-being has led to extensive research and the development of evidence-based dietary strategies. By incorporating this diet, inflammation of the leaky gut is reduced, and a diverse microbial community is supported. With this, we can nourish our bodies from within and experience a renewed sense of digestive well-being.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a heal-leaky gut, the concept of healing your gut empowers through heal gut diet individuals to make informed choices about the foods they consume. Following evidence-based recommendations, we can choose foods that soothe inflammation, repair the gut lining, and promote a thriving gut ecosystem. These dietary strategies provide a delicious and nourishing approach to healthy eating, allowing us to enjoy a wide variety of flavors and textures while supporting our gut health by healing our gut diet for heal gut diet.

So, let's venture on this journey armed with knowledge and a commitment to nurturing our bodies with foods that promote digestive health. Through this approach, we can reclaim our digestive well-being and embrace a more vibrant and fulfilling life.

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