Hippocrates, the founder of modern medicine and the food is medicine concept, once said, “All disease begins in the gut.” Today, more than ever, we know this is true as we hear scientists connecting disease after disease to microbiome disruption. This assault on your gut — largely triggered by eating danger foods — often leads to a condition known as leaky gut.
Also known as “intestinal permeability,” leaky gut is characterized by a malfunction in the tight junctions of your intestines. This results in things like toxins, microbes and undigested food particles leaking out of your gut and into your bloodstream. This sets off a cascade of inflammation, leading to all sorts of side effects and diseases like allergies, asthma, eczema and autoimmune disease symptoms.
Clearly, leaky gut doesn’t only impact your gastrointestinal tract. Bloating, food intolerance and gas are common symptoms in people living with leaky gut, but not everyone experiences them. One important way to start healing your gut is to start avoiding danger foods. Let’s take a look.
Danger Foods to Always Avoid
1. The Wrong Fats
The best sources for healthy fats include things like avocados, raw or organic grass-fed butter, omega-3 rich fish like wild-caught salmon or anchovies, coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil. Always avoid damaging, processed fats found in things like margarine, other “vegetable oil spreads,” and rancid, inflammatory vegetable oils like canola oil, safflower oil, and cottonseed and soybean oils.
Processed oils are extracted by high heat and pressure and the use of solvents. The fats in these oils are exposed to light and air, which oxidizes the fat, turning them rancid. The high heat and pressure destroy antioxidants and alter the chemical nature of the fat, creating dangerous free radicals. BHA and BHT, dangerous preservatives, are then often added to the oil to extend the shelf life.
Trans fat, listed as hydrogenated oils or sometimes “shortening” on the ingredients label, should be avoided at all costs, too. Harvard researchers estimate that trans fats cause about 50,000 premature heart attack deaths annually. (1) A 2015 review of studies concluded that those who ate the highest levels of trans fat were 34 percent more likely to die from any cause compared to people who ate the least trans fat. (2)
2. Tap Water
OK, not technically a food, but tap water is a diet staple for millions of Americans. (It’s the second most consumed beverage behind carbonated soft drinks.) What’s concerning here is that a growing number of microbiologists believe even low levels of chlorine commonly found in tap water could be damaging the beneficial bacterial community in the digestive tract. (3) That’s the No. 1 reason this lands on the danger foods list.
I’m not suggesting that bottled water, which is about 300 times more expensive than tap water, is the right alternative, either. (4) Numerous studies suggest bottled water also contains contaminants. A recent German study detected nearly 25,000 chemicals in a single bottled water. (5) I suggest looking for a water filter featuring the NSF/ANSI 42 standard label. This means it’s been proven to significantly reduce levels of chlorine from water. Activated charcoal filters often bear this label.
3. Surprising Inflammatory Grains
This may come as a surprise, but I’m not here to tell you that all grains are evil. While I do recommend going exclusively grain-free during the first phase of the leaky gut diet, avoiding ancient grains for the rest of your life may not be necessary. Instead, learn how to soak and sprout grains. This helps break down gut-irritating phytic acid and antinutrients in ancient grains, helping your body absorb more nutrients without all of the unnecessarily inflammation.
Years ago, our ancestors typically soaked, sprouted and fermented ancient grains before consuming them. The shift to eating grains without taking these important steps has left our bodies more inflamed.
In fact, consuming high levels of phytic acid (or phytate, as it’s called in its salt form) in unsprouted grains can actually lead to nutritional deficiencies. These antinutrients impair your body’s ability to absorb things like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc. (6) Phytic acid also inhibits our digestive enzymes called amylase, trypsin and pepsin. Amaylase breaks down starch, while both pepsin and trypsin are needed to break down protein. (7, 8)
For those who love bread and don’t want to give it up, Ezekiel bread in moderation is a better choice.
4. The Sneakiest Sugars
To be clear, I’m not suggesting you eliminate all forms of unprocessed fruit from your life. In fact, the health benefits of blueberries make them a great part of your breakfast routine. What you need to start avoiding are the sneakiest forms of sugar, though. This includes avoiding things like yogurt (even organic yogurt) that contains added sugar.
Too much sugar causes yeast overgrowth, triggering the yeast in your gut to start overtaking the beneficial microorganisms in your gut. Sugar feeds yeast overgrowth and candida, causing malabsorption issues over time. This means your body won’t be able to absorb and digest all of the vitamins and minerals you need. If your’e experiencing certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies, particularly vitamin B12, iron, zinc and/or magnesium, know that these are chief symptoms of leaky gut.
Intense breeding practices in agriculture have left us with a modern wheat that’s loaded with gluten, a protein that’s very hard to digest. Today’s hybridized wheat contains about double the amount of gluten compared to grains of the past, too. And let’s not forget that, historically, people prepared wheat in a much different way, routinely sprouting and pre-digesting it so it’s easier for the body to process.
Today, some people in particular are more sensitive to gluten. Some signs of gluten intolerance include frequent headaches, infertility, muscle and joint pain, skin rashes, mood disorders, and a higher risk of learning disabilities, among others.
A quick note from our founder-
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d) Hip Flexors
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To begin, I apologize for the dark nature of today's email.
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Imagine a rotting corpse draped over your body from head to toe...
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Is Bread Really the Staff of Life… or the Stuff of Disease?
For most us, there are few foods more comforting than bread.
Fluffy biscuits, crusty baguettes, flaky croissants… even a simple slice of toast topped with melted butter can taste like heaven.
And that smell… few scents are quite as pleasant as fresh bread baking in the oven.
But there is a lot of confusion as to where bread fits into a healthy diet.
The Bible practically commands followers to eat it: “Give us this day our daily bread…” The government put it at the base of the food pyramid. And for centuries, it has been called “the staff of life.”
Of course, there are some who disagree…
Well-known cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, calls wheat “the perfect chronic poison.”
And for a poison, we sure eat lots of it…
The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, making refined flour the #1 source of calories in the American Diet – a situation that nutrition expert Chris Kresser describes as, “a public health catastrophe.”
So, what is the truth about bread and wheat?
- Is it the perfect poison… or an essential daily food?
- Is “gluten-free” bread better for you than regular bread?
- And can you still eat bread… while maintaining a lean body and optimal health?
The answers to these questions may surprise you!
Be sure to read #5 – the biggest surprise of all!
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
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You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
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“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
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Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.