This is Part 9 of my 12-Part Series on Leaky Gut and Family Health. Part 1: Leaky Gut: What Is it, And Do You and Your Child Have It? Part 2: Leaky Gut According to Chinese Medicine Part 3: The 4 R’s to Gut Healing: Removal (Step 1) Part 4: The Feingold Diet for Behavioral Problems Part 5: Real Food 101 Part 6: Autoimmune Paleo Protocol for Leaky Gut Part 7: The 4 R’s to Gut Healing: Replacement (Step 2) Part 8: Reinoculation Phase for Healing Leaky Gut Part 10: Challenges of Going Through Dietary Changes and How To Succeed Part 11: Raising Kids with Healthy Cravings and Part 12: Leaky Gut: Tying It All Together
In this part of the series, I’ll be discussing the fourth “R” involved in healing a leaky gut. You can’t do the fourth “R” until you’ve done the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd “Rs”, respectively.
After you have (1) Removed pro-inflammatory foods and those that cause an IgE, IgA, or IgG immune response, (2) Replaced hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes, essential and conditional amino acids, and (3) Reinocculated your gut with probiotics, prebiotics, and fermented foods, you can now focus on (4) Repair. Some people try to skip straight to this fourth stage of healing a leaky gut, try to include poor foods “in moderation”, skimp on fermented foods, and forget the importance of digestive enzymes and amino acids. If you really want to feel better and heal your gut, you must not skip the first three stages of healing your gut. I just can’t emphasize that point enough!
In the Repair stage, you’ll be including bone broth, gelatin, collagen, colostrum, L-glutamine, glycine, and Chinese Herbs in your daily supplementation regimen. All of these things have been shown in scientific literature to improve the integrity of the gut lining, preventing large undigested food particles and metabolic wastes from “leaking” through the gut into your bloodstream. There are also cookbooks on the market if you’re stumped about what to cook in order to heal your gut!
The Chinese Herbs you should be taking during the Repair phase will depend on what your pattern diagnosis is, which is usually determined by your pulse, tongue, bowel patterns, presence of inflammation, tendency to be hot or cold, and a variety of other factors your acupuncturist will ask you about. Herbal formulations meant to “strengthen the spleen” and “dry dampness” contain herbs that have gut-healing properties. The combination of Szechuan pepper, dried ginger root, and ginseng root has been heavily studied for the treatment of Crohn’s disease, for example.
I’ve included a few recipes below to help get you started integrating bone broth, collagen, gelatin, and colostrum into your diet. For a beef bone broth recipe, see this blog post.
Easy Chicken Bone Broth
- 1 lb bones from a pastured-raised chicken
- 2 chicken feet (for a broth that gels)
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 small onion
- 1 handful parsley
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- pinch of sea salt
Put the bones in a 3-quart slow cooker. Chop the veggies and add to the slow cooker. Add the apple cider vinegar. Then fill the slow cooker with water until it reaches the fill line. Set on low and cook for 18 – 24 hours.
You can use this broth as a liquid base for soups and stews, or just drink it alone for a hot beverage. For breakfast, try adding a little bone broth to scrambled eggs. If you aren’t hungry enough for a sit-down meal at breakfast, try: 16 oz bone broth, 1 tbsp grass-fed ghee, 1 tbsp colostrum, and 1 tbsp collagen blended in a blender until frothy. This makes a great liquid “break fast” that will keep you away from the donuts and snack machine until lunchtime.
For my local readers here In Los Angeles, you can purchase grass-fed beef bones through certain meats purveyors at many farmers markets (purveyors keep changing so keep an eye out every time you go to a farmer’s market), Belcampo Meat Company, and Whole Foods to start with. Belcampo also sells frozen bone broths in pints and I even just recently found one Whole Foods in the Westside selling hot broths! If you can’t find good quality bones where you live, or if you tend to run short on time, there are some high quality bone broths that you can purchase online. Bone Broths Co. sells a shelf-stable bone broth, and Pete’s Paleo sells a gut-healing kit that includes frozen bone broths, gelatin gummies, and soup mixes.
Blueberry Gelatin Gummies
- ¼ cup grass-fed gelatin
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- ¾ cup lemon juice
- brown sugar or Lakanto (sweeten to taste)
Blend the berries and lemon juice in a blender. Pour into a saucepan and add gelatin. Heat on low until you have a thick paste with no lumps. Then pour into silicone molds or a ceramic dish. Refrigerate until firm.
Enjoy these as a snack to nip cravings for sweets in the bud, or eat a couple of these before bed to enhance sleep quality. The gelatin will help to repair your gut as well as your skin and joints.
Next, I will talk about the challenges of going through dietary changes and how to succeed!