However, it’s not always clear which foods these are, let alone which foods your body is merely intolerant of. So it can be a challenge to nail down exactly what part of your diet is targeting your leaky gut syndrome.
So let’s discuss a few foods that may aggravate this condition.
Hard to Digest FODMAPs
To start, the FODMAP acronym stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols.
These are all a type of short-chain carbohydrate found in food that bacteria break down, essentially fermenting in our body. And with fermentation, comes gas, which causes bloating, flatulence, and other painful (or embarrassing) symptoms.
For those of us with leaky gut syndrome, it’s wise to embrace a low FODMAP diet. Following a low FODMAP diet may reduce gas, which alleviates digestive discomfort and pain.
Some FODMAP examples are:
- Fructose — The simple sugar from certain fruits, such as apples, pears, cherries,
- Lactose — Milk-based carbohydrate.
- Fructans — Think grains like wheat, spelt, rye, and barley.
- Galactans — Found in certain legumes, such as black beans, fava beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas.
- Polyols — Artificial sweeteners such as xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol, and mannitol.
Adopting a low FODMAP diet is a great start, but you may find it’s not enough to relieve a leaky gut. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the other foods that could be aggravating it.
Wine and Beer
Even if you sometimes abstain from drinking or consume an alcoholic drink every so often, it’s still quite bad for a leaky gut. Wine and alcohol can contribute to a never-ending, vicious cycle. And you’ll forever have indigestion.
Not to mention that when drinking, nutrients such as folate do not absorb properly, which can lead to poor metabolism and bad gut bacteria.
Studies have shown that animal products are terrible for a healthy gut microbiome. But at the top of this list is red meat, which reduces those short-chain carbohydrates and fatty acids that feed bacteria and increase IBS.
While it’s okay to have meat in moderation, red meat can aggravate a leaky gut. So best to stay away from it.
As you try to moderate animal fats from your diet and find a replacement, you’ll be tempted by avocados. However, while avocados seem like they’d be perfectly neutral with anti-inflammatory properties, this isn’t the case for everyone.
For some, who are FODMAP-intolerant, avocados can create more havoc and cause bloating and other issues. This is because avocados contain the Polyop sugar Sorbitol.
If you love your avocado smoothies and avocado toast, this can come as a disappointment. But all you need to do is cut back. Don’t eat an entire avocado (or bowl of guac, for that matter). Simply cut back your intake.
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Na HK, Lee JY. Molecular basis of alcohol-related gastric and colon cancer. International journal of molecular sciences. 2017 Jun;18(6):1116.