This week, food sensitivities are big on my mind as we prepare to implement a pretty large healing protocol for my daughter. I know that oftentimes, people are handed a list of food sensitivities and told to just avoid those foods for, the rest of their lives. But, with the list my daughter has, that just isn’t acceptable. I believe the body always wants to heal. Always. You just have to give it the right tools. Thankfully, this past summer I went through this process for myself and did in fact reverse this for me. So, now, with even more conviction, we will do this for my daughter as well.
But, how? Below are the 4 R’s to heal the gut. I’ll admit, it is a big commitment, but in the big picture of life, this actually doesn’t take that long. After playing dodge ball with my own food sensitivities for years, 6 months of head on healing, felt surprisingly streamlined and worth every moment.
This component is two-fold. First you need to identify as many of your food sensitivities as you can and remove all of them. I am aware this sounds extreme. But, in order to create healing, you have to first remove the irritants. If you had a broken leg, you wouldn’t go for a run the next day, would you? Or, think of when a scab gets ripped off a scrape too soon, it makes a bigger mark as it tries to heal and then possibly leaves a scar. You have to stop scraping off the scab so that the body has a fighting chance at repairing the injury.
Secondly, you need to identify if there is any type of infection in the gut. Do you have a fungal overgrowth? Do you have a bacterial overgrowth? Do you have a parasitic infection? These components must be ruled out. If you have any one of these conditions present, you must address it in order to truly be able to heal your gut and reverse your food sensitivities.
If you find that you do have food sensitivities, it is likely been an ongoing issue due to some breakdown of functionality in how your body digests foods. To get your digestive system back on track, you will need to support it from the north end all the way down to the south end. This may mean stimulating gastric juice production with bitters or taking some HCl, it can mean taking enzymes if you are not producing enough on your own, it may also mean taking supplements to help thin and move the bile and, this part is huge, changing your behavior around your meals. You will need to slow down and sit, take a moment to appreciate the nourishing foods you are about to eat, and you will need to focus on chewing your foods appropriately to fully set yourself up for success.
As with any injury, you must reduce inflammation and give it tools to repair itself with. You will need to change your diet to incorporate nutrient-dense, healing foods throughout the day. Think broth. Copious amounts of homemade broth. Additionally, eating plenty of high-quality proteins, fats and colorful fruits and vegetables to provide your digestive system with a wide-spectrum of nutrients to support healing. Some great digestive healing agents to consider supplementing with are: l-glutamine, aloe vera, chlorophyll, slippery elm, Jerusalem artichoke, chamomile, ginger and many others. Some nutrients to consider include: Zinc, vit. A, and vit. D, magnesium, and vit. C to start.
Lastly, you need to reincorporate beneficial gut flora back into the GI tract and the best way to do this is through probiotic-rich foods such as: sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, and homemade yogurt. Think of this step as rebuilding your army within your gut, because, you literally are. The digestive system houses about 70% of our immune system and when we are in need of repairing it after dealing with food sensitivities, you can almost assume that your army is wiped out and in need of reinforcements. Particularly if you did have some form of gut infection.
The final piece is that this process does take time and dedication. And, you have to be ready to commit yourself to this process. But, once you are ready to say goodbye to food sensitivities and really take back your health, the payoff is huge. Food sensitivities are part of the foundation of so many of our chronic health conditions today, that taking the time to reverse them pays dividends over the years to come.