****This blog post will review the GAPS diet at a high level. ****
Do you or any of your family members regularly experience common digestive problems such as heartburn (reflux), indigestion, bloating, cramping, constipation, or diarrhea?
Do any of you suffer from eczema, asthma, dyslexia, or depression?
Have your children received labels such as autism, ADD or ADHD?
Do you wonder if there is a common link between any of these things?
A few years ago, I became a member of WAPF (Weston A. Price Foundation)and discovered the GAPS diet book. As a nutritionist, this was a major discovery. I finally had in front of me, a tool that would allow me to help many people resolve their psychological and physiological distress at its root cause.
So what is the basic premise of the GAPS diet?
It’s Simple: healing the gut.
Yes, the GAPS diet is like a “reset button” that allows for the healing and regeneration of the digestive system. That is truly what the GAPS diet is all about. It is not about a quick “fix” or making some improvements in the way that our digestive system functions. It is so much more than that. 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.
What does the GAPS diet address?
Here is a brief list of some of the symptoms and disorders that are very often related to the gut and that have been positively impacted by the GAPS diet:
- Psychological disorders such as ADD, ADHD, depression , addiction, learning disabilities, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, bipolar disorder, epilepsy, eating disorders and many other psychological conditions.
- Physiological disorders such autoimmune conditions (celiac, rheumatoid arthritis, MS, lupus, osteoarthritis, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, skin problems, etc.), asthma, food allergies, chronic cystitis (bladder infection), colic, eczema, fibromyalgia, PMS, endocrine disorders (thyroid, adrenal and others) and all digestive disorders.
GAPS includes three main principles
- Healing the gut – This occurs by avoiding all foods that irritate it, and by consuming only foods that will nourish and heal it.
- Repopulating the gut with beneficial bacteria – This is done by avoiding all foods that feed opportunistic (bad) bacteria/gut flora. Also, high quality probiotic supplements are used to actively repopulate the gut while cleansing/starving of the bad bacteria.
- Getting rid of toxins – This happens in a number of ways. First, by limiting the diet to only foods that can be easily digested and eliminated, then by strengthening the gut and the beneficial bacteria so that they can deal with toxins thoroughly, and finally by fresh juicing to speed up the elimination of toxins.
Detoxifying is one of the most crucial benefits of the GAPS diet. When there is an overgrowth of yeast, bad bacteria, fungi, parasites and anything else that stems from gut dysbiosis (an unhealthy, improperly functioning intestinal tract), myriads of dangerous toxins are produced. These toxins are able to alter brain chemistry, cause auto-immune reactions, severely hamper immunity against infections, and more.
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride
In a nutshell, “Through her research, [Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride] has determined a distinct correlation between unhealthy intestinal flora, poor digestion and toxicity from chemicals created by undigested foods, which can severely affect brain chemistry.”-(Source: Weston A. Price Foundation book review).
I do have to mention that this is not a quick-fix diet. The diet GAPS can take anywhere from several months to up to 2 years depending on the severity of your symptoms and how your body responds to the healing work that takes place.
To better support the individual on the GAPS diet, support groups and classes are available, as well as private consultations.
Need help to start the GAPS diet
If you are looking for a more in-depth review of the GAPS diet, head over to the official site for GAPS certified practitioner here.
If you are looking for one on one coaching I’m also happy to recommend Dr. Biljana Uzelac. You can reach Dr.Uzelac 1-219 232.2772 and also visit her website here.