Healing Leaky Gut Diet – GAPS

How Severe Is Your Lack Of Energy?TAKE OUR QUIZ

Healing Leaky Gut Diet

The GAPS diet, commonly known as a ‘healing leaky gut diet’, is a comprehensive healing diet that combines particular food with lifestyle changes.

Originally formulated to serve as a natural therapy for patients suffering from brain-related disorders. Nowadays disorders related to a leaky gut and other digestive system ailments are associated with the diet.

The GAPS diet provides an effective way to cleanse and eliminate toxins from the body and reduce inflammation. Most importantly, links exist that connect the functions of the brain and the digestive system.

Why Was This Diet Developed ?

Healing leaky gut dietThe GAPS Diet was designed and developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a nutrition and neurology expert, specializing in treating cases like Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Schizophrenia, Autistic spectrum disorders (ADD)/ Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorders(ASD).


Dr. McBride developed the GAPS diet based on her experience of working with hundreds of children and adults who suffered from psychiatric and neurological conditions. She also used the same method to treat her son’s autism effectively.

An imbalance in the bacterial ecosystem  of the digestive tract is the link between depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and bipolar disorder. Imbalanced gut bacteria is the primary cause of many of these health conditions.

The GAPS Diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) was essentially created to restore gut health, with the primary objective of removing difficult to digest foods which can cause damage to gut flora.

Nutrient rich foods replace a standard diet thereby allowing the intestinal lining to heal properly. It is also effective for treating conditions related to gut imbalance like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.

In addition, various gastrointestinal problems such as chronic diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, gastritis and Crohn’s disease can also be helped with the GAPS diet.

Importance Of The GAPS Diet

healing leak gut dietThe original aim of using the GAPS diet as a treatment procedure for various health conditions is to detoxify the body by eliminating toxic brain fog.  The brain can function and develop properly with elimination of toxins.



The digestive tract needs a thorough detox to heal leaky gut. This prevents it from being the primary source of toxins in the body, and transforms it into becoming the main source of nourishment, as it is meant to be.

According to reports from studies carried out, an estimated 90% of the toxic contents found in our blood, which usually find their way into the brain, come from the gut. Furthermore, healing the gut will automatically reduce the level of toxins found in the body.

The digestive system is very vulnerable, and toxins can easily find their way into our bodies from here. Factors like diet and genetics also have an impact on our health, as does the gut since it controls the absorption of nutrients in the body.

Emphasis on gut health and working to improve it is very important, as it aids healing from various serious health conditions and ailments. For more information on this click here

The GAPS Healing Leaky Gut Diet – What Does It Involve?

Specifically, the GAPS diet involves working through three stages to balance gut flora, fix nutrient deficiencies, and most importantly, heal a leaky gut.

The first stage of the diet is very restrictive with different foods being introduced back into the diet gradually as digestive health improves. The second stage is the full GAPS diet. In the final and third stage you are coming off the diet with the introduction of a greater variety of foods.

Depending on how much healing you need, the diet can last from a few months to over a year. For example in my case I started with the full GAPS diet and stayed on it for about eighteen months.

More importantly, I continue to follow it’s general food guidelines and eat fermented foods and bone broth regularly to keep my gut healthy. Learn how to make bone broth easily here

Main Aspects Of The Diet Include:

  • Removal of refined carbohydrates, starches and grains as they feed pathogenic bacteria.
  • Provision of nutrient-rich foods to replace any deficiencies.
  • Emphasis on fermented food products and pro-biotic supplements aimed at rejuvenating gut flora
  • A six step food-reintroduction regime.
  • Enabling Lifestyle changes which include different detoxification and immune-boosting tips.

The GAPS Diet has a lot of health benefits. Apart from its primary function of restoring gut health and the elimination of toxins from the body, other significant benefits derived from the GAPS diet include:

  • Reducing the impact of food allergies.
  • Improved digestion of nutrients
  • Fewer digestive issues, resulting in less gas, bloating, reflux and heartburn
  • Improved mental concentration
  • Healthier skin
  • Reduced pain and inflammation
  • Better weight loss

What Can You Eat On The Full GAPS Diet?

healing leaky gut diet

  • Non starchy vegetables
  • Nuts and Legumes
  • Healthy Fats and oils
  • Raw and grass fed dairy products
  • Wild caught fish
  • Grass fed organic meat and poultry
  • Moderate amounts of fruit
  • Herbs and spices
  • Non dairy milks like coconut and almond milk etc.
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut

For an easy fermented vegetable recipe to make at home click here

The above is by no means a full list, however as you can see it is not restrictive and consists of healthy nutritious foods. For a full list of GAPS Diet foods and guidelines click here This comprehensive information also includes meal suggestions.

Supplements Recommended As Part Of The Diet

  • High Quality Probiotic – Helps restore the correct bacteria balance in the gut.
  • Essential Fatty Acids and Cod Liver Oil – Provides a good balance of Omega 3 and 6.
  • Digestive Enzymes – Elevates stomach acid and assists in the digestion of proteins.

Putting It All Together

The GAPS Diet is best seen as an effective treatment procedure which requires a comprehensive dietary change and supplementation to rid the body of toxic products and heal a leaky gut.

Healing processes takes time, and it’s important to note it does not work overnight. The Full GAPS Diet requires six different stages which you have to work through for the treatment to be effective. How long you need to be on the diet depends on the amount of healing required.

Please feel free to leave a comment below.

More Posts


  1. Interesting post about healing leaky gut. I had previously read how the gut is connected to the brain.

    Didnt realize it was through the circulation of the bodies blood. That makes sense what we eat gets transformed into usuable energy by the stomach.

    I have an issue with my stomach which does not permit me to eat spicy foods and dairy products among other foods. If I do it causes me lots of pain and problems.

    Do you have any ideas if this is something that can be healed using this diet or another one? Are there different types of damage to the lining of the stomach?

    • Hi Jody

      I’m not sure what you mean when you say you have an issue with your stomach. Have you ever been tested for food sensitivities to particular foods? I’d find a naturopath or integrative healing professional who can guide you through working out what the issues might be whether that is food sensitivities or a leaky gut or other possible reasons. Hopefully you can get the help you need. 


Leave a Reply

Table of Contents