A damaged gut equals compromised health
Through poor food choices, environmental toxins or genetic disposition, the gut can develop lesions that leak toxins into the bloodstream. This opens the door to a host of dysfunctional autoimmune conditions, systemic candida infections and neurological disorders. Dr. Campbell-McBride, who specializes in neurology and human nutrition, recognizes the crucial role a well functioning digestive system plays in physical and mental health. Using the GAPS protocol, she has witnessed full recoveries from autism to irritable bowel syndrome to food allergies.
The GAPS program is intended to heal the gut, balance intestinal flora, detoxify the body, vastly improve digestion and subsequently, health. It is not a quick fix. “Rather, it is about completely pulling back from all those things that exacerbate our already over-loaded, tired, lethargic, toxin-ridden, out-of-balance and damaged system, so that our gut can truly heal,” according to Stephanie Langford, author of Keeper of the Home website.
The essence of GAPS consists of high quality meats and oils, fermented foods, eggs and an abundance of produce. Grains, starchy vegetables, sugar and caffeine are strictly forbidden. Bone broth and soup along with probiotics are the cornerstone of the program. Additionally, food combining is important to minimize digestive strain. To begin, an introduction diet is followed for several weeks up to many months, depending on the constitution and reactions of the individual. Ginger tea, homemade yogurt/kefir, egg yolks, animal fats, nuts and seeds, meat stews, fermented vegetables and avocados are consumed in stages during the initial transitionary period. Nut-flour breads, cooked apples and winter squash are also included. An organic diet is recommended with a focus on grass-fed, free-range animals.
After the introductory phase is complete, the full GAPS protocol is set in motion which has much more flexibility and variety. Grains, starches, caffeine, processed and sugar-laden foods are still illegal, but specific aged cheeses are allowed. Sprouted navy beans and lentils, apple cider vinegar, whole eggs, seaweed, honey and fruit are reintroduced into the diet as well.
GAPS is not forever. It is only used until the gut is completely healed. Dr. Campbell-McBride estimates this usually takes a child six o eight months; whereas with an adult, it may take much longer depending on the severity of the damage. Once the integrity of the intestinal wall is restored, grains and starches are gradually added to the diet — the body can now properly digest these foods. And when the gut is thoroughly healed, long standing health issues disappear.
Sources for this article include:
Gut and Psychology Syndrome Introduction Diet. Retrieved on November 22, 2012 from: http://gapsdiet.com/INTRODUCTION_DIET.html
The Full GAPS Diet. Retrieved on November 22, 2012 from: http://gapsdiet.com/The_Diet.html
“The GAPS Diet: Why Our Family is Doing It” Stephanie Langfor, Keeper of the Home, February 23, 2010. Retrieved on November 22, 2012 from: http://www.keeperofthehome.org
“The GAPS Diet: What It Is and Why You Might Consider Doing It” Stephanie Langfor, Keeper of the Home, February 22, 2010. Retrieved on November 22, 2012 from: http://www.keeperofthehome.org
“Autism, ADD, ADHD, constipation, candida, asthma, learning / behavioral problems & depression – Natasha Campbell-McBride: Gut and Psychology Syndrome” Kelly the Kitchen Kop, September 16, 2008. Retrieved on November 22, 2012 from: http://kellythekitchenkop.com
“Heal Your Autoimmune Disease Now” The Healthy Home Economist, July 20, 2010. Retrieved on November 22, 2012 from: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com
“Why everyone is talking about the gaps diet, plus 5 resources to get started…” Nourished Kitchen, July 6, 2011. Retrieved on November 22, 2012 from: http://nourishedkitchen.com/what-is-the-gaps-diet/
“GAPS Intro: For Gut Healing and Sealing” Health, Home & Happiness, April 14, 2012. Retrieved on November 22, 2012 from: http://www.healthhomehappy.com/grain-free-2/gaps-intro
GAPS FAQ. Retrieved on November 22, 2012 from: http://gapsdiet.com/uploads/FAQS_Listing_1012.pdf
About the author:
Carolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision.
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