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4 Science-Backed Steps to Combat Leaky Gut

Leaky gut can trigger anything from itchy rashes and headaches to bloating and mood swings. Here’s what it is and how you can fight it – or reduce your risk – in a few easy steps.  

Leaky gut refers to increased intestinal permeability. When this happens, toxins, undigested food particles, and bad bacteria can sneak past the gut lining and enter your bloodstream. Yikes! So, how can you tell if you might have a leaky gut? Here are some tell-tale signs to look out for:

  1. Belly blues: Do you often experience bloating, gas, or cramps after meals? A leaky gut might be the sneaky culprit behind your unhappy belly.
  2. Food sensitivities: Suddenly sensitive to foods you used to love? Frequent food intolerances or unexplained allergies could be red flags for leaky gut.
  3. Energy Drain: Feeling tired all the time, even after a good night's sleep? The constant assault on your immune system from leaky gut can leave you feeling drained.
  4. Skin irritation and rashes: Pesky skin issues like acne, eczema, or rashes might be your body's way of signalling gut troubles.
  5. Mood swings: Leaky gut doesn't just impact your belly; it can mess with your mood too. Anxiety, irritability, and brain fog may be linked to gut health.
  6. Frequent infections: If you find yourself catching every bug that comes your way, it could be due to a weakened immune system tied to leaky gut.
  7. Achy joints: Unexplained joint pain and inflammation might have more to do with your gut health than you think.

If you're experiencing a combination of these symptoms, don't worry! There's hope for fortifying your gut defences. Start by nourishing your body with wholesome foods, rich in fibre, and antioxidants. Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and kombucha can introduce good bacteria to help mend those gut walls. Reducing stress, getting enough sleep, and staying hydrated also play key roles in supporting gut health.

Get Your Probiotics

Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria that can help restore a healthy balance of gut microbiota. Consuming probiotics through supplements or fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha can promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Studies have shown that probiotics can enhance gut barrier function and reduce intestinal permeability, helping to combat leaky gut.

Don’t Forget the Prebiotics

Prebiotics are non-digestible fibres that act as food for probiotics, stimulating their growth and activity in the gut. Foods rich in prebiotics include garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, bananas, and whole grains. Incorporating prebiotic-rich foods into your diet can help nourish and support the beneficial bacteria in your gut, contributing to a stronger gut barrier.

Follow an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Chronic inflammation is a key factor in promoting leaky gut. Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats (like omega-3 fatty acids), and lean proteins, can help reduce inflammation in the gut and throughout the body. Foods rich in omega 3s, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties can support gut health:

  • Fatty fish
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • leafy greens
  • Citrus fruits
  • Berries
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger

It’s also about what you don’t eat – added sugar is a major contributor to inflammation and poor gut health. Diets high in sugar can negatively impact the balance of gut microbiota, and an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and a decrease in beneficial bacteria can disrupt the gut's delicate ecosystem and contribute to leaky gut. So, it’s no surprise that high sugar intake has been associated with an increase in intestinal permeability, with studies showing excessive sugar consumption can lead to changes in tight junction proteins – these are responsible for maintaining the integrity of the gut lining – and when they become compromised, they allow unwanted substances, such as toxins and undigested food particles, to pass through the gut lining and enter the bloodstream, leading to leaky gut. Chronic high sugar consumption may alter the gut barrier function, making it less effective in regulating the passage of substances between the gut and bloodstream. This alteration can increase the risk of harmful substances crossing into the bloodstream and triggering inflammation and immune responses.

Reduce Stress and Practice Mindfulness

Stress and anxiety can negatively impact gut health and contribute to increased intestinal permeability. Engaging in stress-reducing activities like meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, and spending time in nature can help manage stress and promote a healthier gut. Mindfulness practices have also been shown to positively influence gut health and digestion. Try this simple activity at home – it’s known as the 5 Senses Grounding exercise. This exercise helps you become fully present in the moment by engaging all five senses and bringing your awareness to the present experience. Here's how to do it:


  1. Find a Comfortable Spot: Sit or stand in a comfortable position. You can do this activity indoors or outdoors, whichever feels best for you.
  2. Take a Deep Breath: Start by taking a slow, deep breath in through your nose, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Let go of any tension as you breathe out.
  3. Engage Your Senses: Now, focus on each of your senses, one by one:
  4. Sight: Look around and notice five things you can see. Pay attention to colours, shapes, and textures. Take your time to observe each object mindfully.
  5. Hearing: Listen carefully for four things you can hear. It could be the sound of birds chirping, traffic, or even your own breath. Be present with the sounds around you.
  6. Touch: Pay attention to three things you can touch or feel. It might be the texture of a surface, the warmth of your skin, or the sensation of the ground beneath your feet.
  7. Smell: Notice two things you can smell. It could be the scent of flowers, fresh air, or anything else present in your environment.
  8. Taste: Finally, become aware of one thing you can taste. You can simply notice the taste in your mouth at that moment, even if you haven't eaten or drunk anything recently.
  9. Take Another Deep Breath: After going through all five senses, take another deep breath to anchor yourself in the present moment. 

By engaging your five senses, this simple mindfulness activity helps you redirect your focus away from racing thoughts and distractions, bringing you into the present moment. It's an excellent way to ground yourself, reduce stress, and increase your overall sense of well-being. This exercise can be done in just a few minutes, making it perfect for incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine.

Need a little more support in healing your gut? That’s what we’re here for. Our ALL NEW 21-Day Gut Rebalance Program kicks off soon with delicious, nourishing recipes and exclusive expert content to support you on your way to better health. Whether it's constipation, bloating or even stress that's got you down, it could be your gut warning you that you're missing out on the gut-nourishing foods that help us thrive. We'll show you the ins and outs of healing, from the benefits of probiotics and prebiotics to the inflammation-busting foods you should be eating. Take a look at some of the exciting new recipes on the program:

  • Pork Kimchi Dumplings
  • Homemade Sourdough Bread
  • Miso-Baked Salmon
  • Tempeh Satay
  • Chinese Beef + Broccoli
  • Chocolate Chia Smoothie Bowl

And that's not even scratching the surface! We're selling out fast so don't wait, sign up now!

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