Healing Leaky Gut Naturally: Top 10 Health-Restoring Foods!

Frog and Plumber

Food can be your medicine, but it can also be your poison. Especially when it comes to your gut health. Healing leaky gut naturally or an unhealthy gut in general is possible, and it can also be quite easy—as long as you know what healthy foods will truly help you.

“If there’s one thing to know about the human body; it’s this: the human body has a ringmaster. This ringmaster controls your digestion, your immunity, your brain, your weight, your health and even your happiness. This ringmaster is the gut.”
-Nancy S. Mure, PhD

Leaky Gut Stomach Pain

First off, you may be wondering…

What Is Leaky Gut?

It all starts with your small intestine (where the majority of vitamins are absorbed). In order for that to happen, the small intestine has microscopic pores (a point of safe transfer to the bloodstream). Once this transfer occurs, those nutrients are sent all throughout the body via your blood.

In other words, the intestinal wall is semipermeable, meaning that nutrient molecules can pass through. And if all is well gut-wise, toxins and big undigested food particles are blocked off.

Here lies the problem: When your gut goes into “leaky mode,” those micro-pores widen. You know what the means… Those toxins and undigesteds pass right through the barrier and run rampant in your bloodstream.

Due to this, the immune system feels the need to attack these foreign particles (“invaders” in their language), which causes various allergies, intolerances, and even autoimmune diseases more often than not.

All would be fine and dandy if your immune system only attacked the particles, but no… Those hyper-activated antibodies attack healthy cells as well!

This chart below further clarifies what I’m talking about:

Leaky Gut Chart

Gut-Damperers in Food Form

Before we get into nature’s gut-healers, it’s absolutely vital to know what kinds of foods one should avoid (as much as possible) when facing digestive issues of any kind.Tomato

And here they are: Grains, legumes, sugars, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, carbs, and bad-for-you oils like soybean and corn oil. Oh, and don’t forget about nightshades (potatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, cayenne peppers, paprika, etc.), nuts, seeds, and eggs.

Your goal is to reduce bodily inflammation, especially in your gut. This doesn’t necessarily mean you can never eat that stuff I just listed. Just keep them at a bare minimum until your gut truly heals.

“All disease begins in the gut.”

Gut-Restorers in Food Form

Okay, now let’s focus on the positives. Here are the top 10 good guys!

 1  Fermented Veggies

Pickled Cucumber

This one’s for the plant-based foodists. Add a spoon full of sauerkraut to your salad, or eat it on its own. Kimchi is another good one! Pickles too.

 2  Fermented Drinks


Try some kombucha or ginger beer. Wine and beer are fermented beverages as well, but remember the foods I told you to avoid (alcohol)?

[Related Post: Top 10 Reasons to Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Daily.]

 3  Cultured Foods

Tzatziki Sauce

Yogurt is what usually comes to mind, but that isn’t the only cultured food out there. There’s also sour cream and cottage cheese. If you aren’t casein intolerant, fermented milk products are the way to go. These have been fermented with a bacteria called lactic acid (i.e.: Lactobacillus).

The reason I didn’t mention lactose intolerance is because the University of Michigan Integrative Health states that such foods can actually improve overall lactose (milk sugar) digestion.

 4  Bone Broth

Bones for Broth

This one’s for the paleo eaters. Not only is it supremely easy to digest, it’s also teeming with easy-to-absorb minerals. The glycine, glutamine, and gelatin in bone broth is what makes this option optimal for the repair of your leaky intestines.

 5  FAT. Healthy Fat, That Is!


Think in terms of organic, pasture-raised meat and avocados. Virgin coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil are also considered healthy fats.

 6  Omega-3s


Wild-caught fish—salmon especially are the best source of omega 3s out there! For those who don’t eat meat, try seaweed or walnut oil. Chia, flax, and hemp seeds are great as well, but seeds shouldn’t be eaten too often when attempting to restore gut health.

[Related Post: What Does “Wild-Caught” Mean?]

 7  Turmeric

Tumeric Tea

With undeniably powerful anti-inflammatory properties, Turmeric has proven to aid in healing the gut, by supporting its growth of probiotics (good bacteria).

 8  Lemon


The best way to ingest lemon is by squeezing some into a room-temperature glass of water the moment you wake up and drinking it slowly. This cleanses the digestive tract. A cleaner digestive tract, is surely a healthier one.

[Related Posts: The Next Time You’re Thirsty, Do This… (Ayurveda Eating Tips) + Health Benefits of Drinking Warm Lemon Water Every Morning.]

 9  Garlic

Garlic in Bowl

I mentioned probiotics already. Garlic is a PREbiotic, so it’s partially fermented by the nice gut flora into short-chain fatty acids. That’s great news for your gut, but at the same time… fermentation = gas. Quite a bit of it! Unless the case of the farts is a consistent issue for you, this gas-production “perk” shouldn’t deter you from eating garlic.

 10  Ginger


Another natural antibiotic! My favorite way to eat ginger is in curried dishes. I dice it up into tiny pieces and throw it in the meal. Ginger tea is a wonderful alternative too and it’s known to aid in digestion and combat that nasty inflammation.

Best of all? There are virtually no side effects. This will pack an even greater punch if combined with garlic!

“The road to health is paved with good intestines!”
– Sherry A. Rogers, M.D.

As you can see, damaged gut flora and a leaky gut to match doesn’t need to be a permanent sort of thing. Nutritional foods like the ones mentioned above will have a profoundly positive impact on the overall healing process.

But that alone won’t turn it all around for you. Exercise and low-stress is also a must! Not that into exercise? Rebounding just might change your mind.

[Related Post: Rebounding Benefits: 10 Reasons to Jump Like Nobody’s Watching]

And if you’re prone to becoming easily stressed and anxious, then check out some extremely helpful, science-backed tips to stop those negative emotions dead in their tracks.

You are now on your way to a healthier, happier gut! Do you know of any gut-restoring foods that you would like to share with everyone?

Eva Xanthopoulos

U-M Integrative Medicine
U.S. News: Health

*DISCLAIMER: Always consult a medical professional before applying the advice given throughout this website. While the articles on HMM are thoroughly researched, it is important to speak with your medical provider before starting a new exercise routine or introducing something new to your diet. We ourselves are NOT doctors, so the information we feature should not be used to replace any of your medications or lifestyle choices that have been recommended by your doctor. Read at your own risk and read our full disclaimer here.*


  1. Thanks for this article! I had heard of leaky gut but didn’t know what it was. I bought some turmeric not long ago because I know it has health benefits, but I haven’t figured out how to work it into my diet. Any suggestions?

  2. Hi Eva, I have read so much about this. I have been having some problems with my gut and I honestly think that you really need to listen to your body. The leaky gut diet says that you should not eat grains but for me that had a bad consequence on my body because we need fiber to help our body digest the food and the fiber found in veg for me wasn’t enough. Loved the article though. Will follow some tips.

    • Absolutely! Thank you for bringing that up. What works for one person, may not necessary work for another person. We’re all quite unique.

      Grains tend to give me issues, but seeds do not. However, my extensive research on the topic keeps on pointing to avoiding seeds and even nuts as much as possible while trying to heal your gut. At the same time, though, I’ve heard that hemp seeds give your digestive tract an extra boost (http://healthmasterymovement.com/hemp-seed-health-benefits/). All of this information can certainly be overwhelming.

      Honestly, a whole foods approach seems to be the most beneficial approach all-around. Limiting our consumption of processed sugars and highly refined grains (and junk food in general) is a step in the right direction. Don’t get me wrong… I am definitely not saying that whole grains like brown rice aren’t healthy. 🙂

      What kind of grains do you typically like to eat?

      • Hi Eva, I always try to be the most healthy that I can. Wholegrain rice is a most in my diet, gluten free oats, quinoa, wheat (only in the form of my homemade bread, Gluten free breads are to difficult for me), in rare ocasions corn meal. And that’s it really. I tend to focus more on fruit and veg.

  3. Being a nutritionist by choice not by profession this was a very important site to me . You are what you eat. I literally consume all the 10 items you have mentions .. I must add in the list.. Take enough water at least 8 glasses a day and don’t overfeed or starve your body finally think of alternating the menu time to time. Bon Apetit and good health.

    • Thanks for the insight! Being properly hydrated and adequately nourished is absolutely vital to optimal health. Overfeeding is the worst, especially for those with GI issues.

  4. Great article! As a sufferer of Crohn’s I use almost all from the list and it really helps. It is important to remember that every person is individual and so is leaky gut. This is a great reference point to start but you always should listen to your body’s reactions!

    • Thank you! 🙂

      Absolutely! Nutrition in general is very individualized. One size does not fit all and it’s certainly far from black and white. These are merely guidelines that I researched, but I’m glad you’ve found that most of these foods have proven beneficial to your gut issue.

    • Eating habits tend to fluctuate and it’s okay. But I say, gluten free is the way to go for people with gut issues.

      The no seeds and nuts thing seems a bit perplexing to me because I read that hemp seeds are HELPFUL for digestion! But everyone’s different.

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