A beginner’s guide to healing your gut & feeling amazing

Medically reviewed by Dr. Anthony Gustin, DC, MS on September 12th, 2019 — Written by Spencer Brooks

  • What is Leaky Gut?
  • Symptoms of Leaky Gut
  • Causes of Leaky Gut
  • The Leaky Gut Diet: How Keto Can Help
  • Other Ways to Heal Leaky Gut

You may have heard of leaky gut syndrome before. Leaky gut happens when your intestinal lining gets damaged, allowing the contents of your small intestine — undigested food particles, gut bacteria, and more — to leak into your bloodstream, triggering an immune response.

Leaky gut is becoming more and more common thanks to food sensitivities, chronic stress, inflammation, nutritional deficiencies, and imbalances in gut flora.

The good news is that a ketogenic diet can help improve symptoms of leaky gut and the health problems associated with it. A high-fat, low-carb diet like the keto diet can relieve a lot of the inflammation and intestinal barrier damage that contributes to leaky gut.

This article will cover what leaky gut is, its causes and symptoms, how keto can help with leaky gut, and a few other ways you can repair your intestinal wall and get rid of leaky gut.

What is Leaky Gut?

Leaky gut is a condition in which your intestinal barrier (the lining of your gut) develops holes, allowing the contents of your small intestine to leak into your bloodstream.

Your gut lining is designed to separate the contents of your digestive system from the rest of your body. Its goal is to isolate toxins, pathogens, poisons, inflammatory compounds, and other damaging things that you might eat, protecting the rest of your body from any ill effects they may cause[ * ].

However, your gut lining isn’t totally impermeable. It lets certain beneficial molecules out of your gut and into your bloodstream, including signaling molecules that allow your gut to communicate with the rest of your body.

For that reason, your gut has tiny holes called tight junctions that are like gatekeepers between your gut and your bloodstream. Tight junctions stand guard at your intestinal wall, deciding what gets out of your gut and what stays.

But if your intestinal wall becomes damaged, those tight junctions begin to open up. They stop regulating the right molecules, allowing damaging compounds and foreign substances to leak out of your small intestine and into your blood[ * ]. Researchers call this issue leaky gut syndrome.

Symptoms of Leaky Gut

There are a few different symptoms of leaky gut.

  • Brain fog and fatigue are common early symptoms of leaky gut. In fact, leaky gut may be misdiagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome, or may be a root cause of it[ * ].
  • Skin problems like eczema or dermatitis may be a result of leaky gut as well[ * ]. Intestinal permeability only seems to link to skin issues in certain people[ * ].
  • Digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, and other types of inflammatory bowel disease can either develop or worsen as a result of leaky gut[ * ]. Symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, and general digestive distress.
  • Celiac disease , type 1 diabetes , rheumatoid arthritis , and other autoimmune diseases may be influenced by leaky gut. An increasingly supported theory in the medical community suggests that leaky gut causes foreign substances to leave the small intestine, which triggers an excessive immune response and can make immune system issues worse[ * ].
  • New food intolerances and/or food allergies are signs of leaky gut syndrome[ * ].

If you have several of the symptoms listed above, you may want to consider improving your gut barrier. Fortunately, there are quite a few things you can do to bring your gut into balance and strengthen your digestive tract.

Causes of Leaky Gut

There are several potential causes of leaky gut.

A beginner's guide to healing your gut & feeling amazing

It’s hard to believe, but a few years ago, very few people were familiar with the term “leaky gut”.

Now, everyone’s talking about it, and I even wrote a whole book on the subject. (1) One of the main reasons that people are talking about it so much is that leaky gut has affected (or will affect) the vast majority of the population – thanks to many modern conveniences that we enjoy daily.

We oversanitize. (2) We use antibacterial cleaners to wash away harmful bacteria that could make us sick, but they also wipe away beneficial bacteria that could boost our immune systems. We rely on pre-packaged, highly processed foods, which are full of genetically modified foods, chemicals, and other toxins. They feed bad bacteria and kill off the good bacteria, which naturally occurs in our guts. We pump our bodies full of antibiotics and other drugs at the first sign of a stuffy nose. Meanwhile, our go-go-go society has us checking email 24/7, bouncing from one meeting to the next, and feeling more stressed than ever. And all of these factors contribute to the development of leaky gut.

Do you struggle with bloating, gas, constipation, or other digestive issues? We’ve created a FREE guide to healing your gut naturally.
Click here to get your FREE copy of our Digestion Guide! [tweet_quote]Sanitizers, processed foods and stress are to blame for leaky gut syndrome.[/tweet_quote]

While the root causes of leaky gut are basically the same in everyone, the results can vary considerably, including psoriasis and irritable bowel syndrome. The good news is that you can start healing your gut, no matter what your symptoms are. In addition to a clean, healing diet, supplements are a great place to start. (3)

Here are the five best supplements for healing leaky gut:

Soil-based Probiotics

A beginner's guide to healing your gut & feeling amazing

Probiotics are absolutely essential when it comes to healing leaky gut. They can help restore the balance of bacteria in the gut by replenishing the good guys and crowding out the bad ones. (Experts estimate that a healthy ratio is 85% good/neutral bacteria to 15% bad bacteria.) But not all probiotics are created equal.

Our ancestors didn’t have to take probiotic supplements because they spent the majority of their lives outdoors, and they planted and harvested their own foods. (4) So they regularly came in contact with all the beneficial bacteria that occurs naturally in the soil. [tweet_quote]You don’t have to eat dirt to fix your leaky gut. Try a soil-based probiotic pill![/tweet_quote]

Today, we have soil-based probiotics (SBOs) that are designed to mimic these bacteria. Because SBOs are formulated to mimic bacteria that thrive in harsh, natural, outdoor environments, they can also withstand the harsh conditions of the human digestive tract. In other words, they’ll actually arrive at their intended destination – where they can start taking root and flourishing. That can’t be said about many commercial probiotics, which are actually destroyed in the body before they ever reach the gut.

Digestive Enzymes

A beginner's guide to healing your gut & feeling amazingFood is the very thing that’s supposed to give you energy and strength, but when you suffer from leaky gut, food can become your worst enemy. In many cases, the digestive system has been compromised, so most foods are not properly broken down. The increased permeability of the gut then allows these undigested food particles to leak through the gut and into the bloodstream – where they wreak all kinds of havoc and cause allergies, skin rashes, and other issues.

One way to combat leaky gut is through the use of digestive enzymes. (5) There are many full-spectrum enzymes on the market, which work to break down proteins, starches, fats, and dairy. They ensure that there will be fewer food toxins passing through the gut and causing further damage.

L-Glutamine

A beginner's guide to healing your gut & feeling amazing

L-glutamine is an amino acid supplement that is critical for healing leaky gut. (6) By definition, a leaky gut is damaged. It has increased permeability (i.e., tiny holes) that allow toxins, undigested food proteins, and others foreign particles to pass into the bloodstream. L-glutamine coats the intestinal lining and starts repairing that damage. It also helps thicken cell walls and prevents future infections.

DGL Licorice Root

Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) is an adaptogenic herb that’s one of my favorite supplements for correcting leaky gut. (7) It helps maintain the mucosal lining of the stomach, while also improving acid function (a key way to properly break down food).

Licorice is also beneficial in the treatment of adrenal fatigue, which can be a side effect of stress-related leaky gut. In addition to taxing the adrenal glands, cortisol (the hormone that’s elevated when we feel stressed out) inhibits the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, while also allowing the bad bugs to proliferate. Licorice can help keep cortisol levels under control, which will put a stop to the domino effects that trigger leaky gut. [tweet_quote]Licorice can heal your gut while also fixing adrenal fatigue.[/tweet_quote]

There are multiple formulations of licorice root on the market, but generally speaking, the the removal of glycyrrhizin makes it safer for a large portion of the population. When taken in excess, glycyrrhizin can cause certain side effects, including increased blood pressure, reduced potassium levels, and edemas. This overdose can be particularly problematic for pregnant women, as well as those with blood pressure and liver and kidney issues.

Collagen

A beginner's guide to healing your gut & feeling amazingBone broth has been the health food du jour of late, and for good reason. Among other health benefits, it contains the amino acids proline and glycine, which are instrumental in repairing a damaged intestinal lining. It can also help boost gastric juices (and again, restoring healthy digestion is key) – as well as a healthy mucosal lining.

But for those short on time, you don’t have to constantly simmer gallons of bone broth to get those benefits. The key component of bone broth that is behind those miraculous benefits is actually the collagen, which is readily available in powder form. (If you’re looking for a beef-free alternative, I recently launched my line of bone broth protein, which is derived entirely from chicken.)

A beginner's guide to healing your gut & feeling amazing(Read This Next: The Top 10 Natural Detox Foods)

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A beginner's guide to healing your gut & feeling amazing

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You’ve got a difficult choice to make.

You are up for a promotion on your current job and suddenly, out of nowhere, you are confronted with another, very attractive job opportunity. The salary and benefits are great for both your current job and for this new position.

If you stay on your current job you eliminate having to deal with all of the woes of transitioning to a new job and you may get the promotion you’ve been working so hard for these last five and half years.

On the other hand, if you take the new job, you will be making more money, you’ll have more responsibilities, you’ll have to learn a new system and make new friends.

What should you do? Should you play it safe? Should you take the risk? What does your gut tell you? Should you even listen to your gut?

What is Intuition?

Often times when you’re faced with a difficult decision, you just know what the right choice is. You feel the answer in your gut. That’s what experts refer to as your intuition. Intuition is defined as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning.” And while intuition [1] may seem to be some instinctual and mysterious internal process, it’s actually a form of unconscious reasoning. It is a process that is rooted in the way our brains collect, store, synthesize and recall information.

The problem so many of us have with trusting our intuition is two-fold. First, the process in which we undergo to arrive at our “gut feeling” is an almost entirely, subconscious process. Therefore, you have no idea what data and processes you used to arrive at your conclusion. The second issue is that we often times confuse fear with intuition. We literally feel fear in our gut. This feeling can lead us to believe that our gut is telling us to avoid danger.

When To Trust your Gut

So, when should you trust your intuition? And how do you distinguish between fear and a legitimate gut feeling? Below are three tips that can help you determine when you should go with your gut and when you should get a second opinion.

1. Evaluate your thoughts

This is so important because intuition is a highly subconscious process. Understanding how you think and process information builds confidence in your internal reasoning process. You assimilate information and use inductive and deductive reasoning constantly. The trick is to shift the process from the background to the forefront of your consciousness.

Consider a routine task you do daily without actually thinking about it–such as driving a car. Just as you perform all of the necessary actions to operate a vehicle without actually thinking about it, if asked, you could reverse engineer your thought process. You could describe circumstances, conditions, other people’s motivations, and your own behaviors using the assumptions and calculations done unconsciously. And while this is an unnatural and somewhat difficult process in the beginning, with time and practice you will be able to understand how you think and quickly track your thought process. Here are a few tips to assist you evaluating your thoughts:

  • Observe own thoughts. Ask questions like, “What is causing me to think this way? What belief is forming this thought? What pressure is making me believe my assumption is true?”
  • Practice “beginner’s mind.” The concept of “beginner’s mind” has it’s origin in Zen Buddhism [2] and encourages you to adopt a fresh perspective when looking at things. It involves considering a multitude of possibilities. Try to adopt an attitude of openness, eagerness, and steer away from personal bias when considering your choices.
  • Play Devil’s Advocate. For each option, find reasonable, logical and legitimate reasons why you should choose the other option. You could do this by simply making a list of pros and cons for each decision. Measure out the pros and cons and see if your reasonable and measured deduction matches your gut feeling.

Frequently practicing these mental exercises will lead to you knowing when to trust your instincts and when to seek the advice of others.

2. Distinguish Fear from Intuition

When trying to distinguish if your gut feeling is something intuitive or good old fashioned fear, consider the following aspects:

  • Fear is highly emotional- Fear is emotionally charged and worries about the future or the past. Fear is often anxious, dark or heavy. It has cruel, demeaning or delusional content and considers past emotional wounds.
  • Intuition is emotionally neutral– Intuition doesn’t carry overly positive or negative emotions, it is benign. Intuition is logical and not emotional. Intuition focuses only on the present and does not consider past wounds. It is a gathering, sorting and synthesizing of evidence. It does not attach itself to your emotions. It brings with it a steady calm

One of the best ways to determine if your gut is feeling fear or if it has arrived at a logical conclusion is to make a list of everything that scares you. Then it becomes much easier to recognize when a gut feeling is referring to one of your fears versus being logical. If it’s fear based–get a second opinion, if not, go with your gut.

3. Don’t dismiss your inner skeptic

Our instincts are the primal internal urges and alarms that help keep us alive. Listening to and interpreting these urges is especially critical when a decision affects your safety and well-being. In situations such as the initial stages of dating, hiring someone to babysit your child, decisions concerning your health or when making investment decisions–in short, any decision requiring you to trust another individual–you must trust your instincts.

We’ve all said something similar to, “if I would have just went with what I thought, this never would have happened.” And the truth is nine times out of ten there are warning signs, red flags and things that feel “a little off” about a situation, which we choose to dismiss. Ignoring these inclinations could be costly and even fatal.

In his book, “The Gift of Fear,” author Gavin de Becker explains how our primal fight or flight instincts work. He explains that what we refer to as “a feeling” is actually the result of hundreds of quick calculations done subconsciously that register as a physical response. We feel suddenly afraid or uneasy. When there is no logical explanation for fear (it’s not tied to a past or present event or an emotional scar) you should absolutely trust your gut. And I’m talking about the heart pounding, pit in your stomach type of fear. Your brain has done the calculations and something about the situation is wrong. Becker has found that 85% of the time our calculations are accurate. The other 15% of the time our calculations are not necessarily wrong, just slightly askew.

A beginner's guide to healing your gut & feeling amazing

Your psychic sense may be just below the surface – however, you wouldn’t know unless you were able to identify your ability and hone it to work for you. Clairsentience is one of the more common intuitive gifts and one of the four main gifts that we will talk about in this article.

What Is Clairsentience?

Clairsentience, when broken down to its base components, means ‘clear-feeling’. Generally, when a person is clairsentient their psychic information comes to them via feeling or sensing subtle energies around them. People who are clairsentient can sense pass what is physically there and pick up energy. It is the most down-to-earth of the four intuitive gifts.

When a clairsentient is using their ability, it often takes the shape of a gut feeling that can be formed about a person, place, or situation. Clairsentients tend to use their ability every day. Here are a few examples of what clairsentience looks like:

  • You get a slight discomfort only to turn around and find that someone’s staring at you.
  • You’re overly sensitive and can become overwhelmed in large crowds or in places with a violent past.
  • When you enter a room, you can sense the mood and can tell if people are relaxed or if there’s tension.

Symptoms of Clairsentience

If you aren’t exactly sure if you or someone you know are clairsentient, here are some signs to look out for:

  • They get a gut feeling about people they’ve just met or about situations or events they’re about to attend.
  • They can easily pick up on another person’s feelings and feel what it’s like for another person.
  • They’ll have physical sensations such as chills, a feeling of heaviness or lightness depending on the person they’re around or situation they are in.

You may often hear a clairsentient talk about a gut feeling they have about a person, place, or thing. This sensation is the hallmark of a clairsentient. Gut feelings are intense emotional responses and can either feel like a sinking in the pit of your stomach or a light-excited feeling. The difference between the two will usually let the clairsentient know whether they are on the right track or if they’re in a situation that isn’t going to work out in the end or that needs to be avoided at all costs. It can even help them figure out whether to trust someone or not.

Because of a clairsentient’s heightened sense of feeling they are often very empathic and may even be an accomplished empath. Not only can they feel what others are feeling but they may even be able to absorb some of those emotions that are given off by other people. Sometimes this can negatively affect they’re mood and cause them to feel emotions that aren’t theirs.

Clairsentients also tend to feel sensations in their bodies when they are tuning into other energies. These can come in the form of a tingling or pressure when a clairsentient tunes into the energies around them.

Related Content:

How to Develop Clairsentience

If you believe you are Clairsentient, here are a few ways that you can hone your abilities:

  • Quiet Your Mind: Clearing out all the loud thoughts and distractions will allow you to become more aware of your body. Learning to listen to what your body tells you is just the first step to developing your clairsentience. It will also make it easier to pick up on the energies around you and hone your clairsentient abilities. Meditation is a great start for this. If you haven’t meditated before try starting out with five minutes of silent meditation every day.
  • Be Aware of your Feelings: Knowing how you feel at all times and being aware of your natural responses will help you gage when you have a sudden shift in mood or when you have a feeling or express an emotion that isn’t yours. Knowing how you feel or how you would normally feel when you enter a new situation will help you differentiate between your inherent feelings and the feelings that you receive from your Higher Self. Learning from yourself and how to decipher the subtle feelings you get will go a long way in the development of your clairsentience.
  • Keep a Journal: This will help you keep track of your feelings and will assist you in recognizing your emotions and your clairsentient abilities.

The easiest way to start developing your clairsentience is by going with your gut. Paying attention to your gut feeling and learning to trust them is the first step to becoming an accomplished clairsentient. Once you have the basics down the rest should develop naturally over time with ample practice and a keen awareness of your emotions and feelings. Most of your clairsentient feelings will only make sense in hindsight so remember to use your journal.

A beginner's guide to healing your gut & feeling amazing

Your psychic sense may be just below the surface – however, you wouldn’t know unless you were able to identify your ability and hone it to work for you. Clairsentience is one of the more common intuitive gifts and one of the four main gifts that we will talk about in this article.

What Is Clairsentience?

Clairsentience, when broken down to its base components, means ‘clear-feeling’. Generally, when a person is clairsentient their psychic information comes to them via feeling or sensing subtle energies around them. People who are clairsentient can sense pass what is physically there and pick up energy. It is the most down-to-earth of the four intuitive gifts.

When a clairsentient is using their ability, it often takes the shape of a gut feeling that can be formed about a person, place, or situation. Clairsentients tend to use their ability every day. Here are a few examples of what clairsentience looks like:

  • You get a slight discomfort only to turn around and find that someone’s staring at you.
  • You’re overly sensitive and can become overwhelmed in large crowds or in places with a violent past.
  • When you enter a room, you can sense the mood and can tell if people are relaxed or if there’s tension.

Symptoms of Clairsentience

If you aren’t exactly sure if you or someone you know are clairsentient, here are some signs to look out for:

  • They get a gut feeling about people they’ve just met or about situations or events they’re about to attend.
  • They can easily pick up on another person’s feelings and feel what it’s like for another person.
  • They’ll have physical sensations such as chills, a feeling of heaviness or lightness depending on the person they’re around or situation they are in.

You may often hear a clairsentient talk about a gut feeling they have about a person, place, or thing. This sensation is the hallmark of a clairsentient. Gut feelings are intense emotional responses and can either feel like a sinking in the pit of your stomach or a light-excited feeling. The difference between the two will usually let the clairsentient know whether they are on the right track or if they’re in a situation that isn’t going to work out in the end or that needs to be avoided at all costs. It can even help them figure out whether to trust someone or not.

Because of a clairsentient’s heightened sense of feeling they are often very empathic and may even be an accomplished empath. Not only can they feel what others are feeling but they may even be able to absorb some of those emotions that are given off by other people. Sometimes this can negatively affect they’re mood and cause them to feel emotions that aren’t theirs.

Clairsentients also tend to feel sensations in their bodies when they are tuning into other energies. These can come in the form of a tingling or pressure when a clairsentient tunes into the energies around them.

Related Content:

How to Develop Clairsentience

If you believe you are Clairsentient, here are a few ways that you can hone your abilities:

  • Quiet Your Mind: Clearing out all the loud thoughts and distractions will allow you to become more aware of your body. Learning to listen to what your body tells you is just the first step to developing your clairsentience. It will also make it easier to pick up on the energies around you and hone your clairsentient abilities. Meditation is a great start for this. If you haven’t meditated before try starting out with five minutes of silent meditation every day.
  • Be Aware of your Feelings: Knowing how you feel at all times and being aware of your natural responses will help you gage when you have a sudden shift in mood or when you have a feeling or express an emotion that isn’t yours. Knowing how you feel or how you would normally feel when you enter a new situation will help you differentiate between your inherent feelings and the feelings that you receive from your Higher Self. Learning from yourself and how to decipher the subtle feelings you get will go a long way in the development of your clairsentience.
  • Keep a Journal: This will help you keep track of your feelings and will assist you in recognizing your emotions and your clairsentient abilities.

The easiest way to start developing your clairsentience is by going with your gut. Paying attention to your gut feeling and learning to trust them is the first step to becoming an accomplished clairsentient. Once you have the basics down the rest should develop naturally over time with ample practice and a keen awareness of your emotions and feelings. Most of your clairsentient feelings will only make sense in hindsight so remember to use your journal.

Read Time: | 5th December 2019

A beginner's guide to healing your gut & feeling amazing

Grace Forsythe from Viva!Health discovers that the smallest microbes can have the biggest of impacts on your gut health.

T he microbes that live in and on our bodies are easy to overlook – not that we could see them if we tried! We’ve known about these microscopic organisms for a long time, but only now is research beginning to reveal how important they really are to our health. Learn how to look after your gut bacteria.

What is the gut microbiota?

The term ‘microbiota’ is used to describe the collection of different microbes that inhabit different parts of the body. For example, the microbiota of the skin is made up of different species of microbes to the microbiota of the gut. These microbes can include bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Why is it important?

The microbiota of the gut has been found to have a particularly important role in our health and can influence our immunity, nutrition, behaviour, and can cause or prevent disease. The species, diversity and numbers of microbes in our gut have been linked to conditions such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, fatty liver, obesity, type 2 diabetes, allergies, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It can be influenced by a huge number of factors including genetics, infections, medications, and even the method by which we’re born and whether we’re breastfed or not. The factor that we have the most control over is diet – and it’s a crucial one.

How can we keep our gut healthy?

Research into the gut microbiota and its role in health consistently shows that the healthiest diet is a vegan one. Here’s how the different components of our diet can affect our gut microbiota:

Fibre

Some criticise the vegan diet for including large amounts of food with low bio-availability, meaning that our bodies can’t absorb or use them. This includes foods high in fibre, which we cannot digest, so some believe there’s no point in eating it – but they forget that we’re not just feeding ourselves.

These foods are also known as ‘prebiotics’, and some types of bacteria in our gut use them to produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). These provide an energy source to the cells of the intestine and they also have protective anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer effects. One SCFA called butyrate has been shown to prevent colorectal cancer, and also to prevent the growth and spread of this disease when it is already present.

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A beginner's guide to healing your gut & feeling amazing

As these foods are not absorbed by the small intestine, they reach the large intestine where they can enrich the gut microbiota. Much of the typical western diet consists of highly processed foods where any intact plant cells are destroyed, removing the fibre. These foods are easily absorbed by the small intestine, and hence are less likely to travel further down to the large intestine, depriving the microbiota located there of nutrients.

Over time, if someone consumes mostly processed foods and meat and dairy products, the composition of their gut microbiota shifts. As there is less fibre passing through, the types of bacteria that depend on it for energy reduce in numbers and ‘bad’ types can fill their place. The good news is that it can also shift into a healthy state with the introduction of whole plant foods and the reduction of meat and dairy.

Protein

The type of protein we eat also influences our gut microbiota. Those who eat animal protein show reduced amounts of gut bacteria that can use plant carbohydrates. This results in less SCFAs being produced, increasing the risk of inflammation and colorectal cancer. SCFAs are not the only products produced by gut microbiota – some of them can also be harmful.

L-carnitine and choline are found in meat, egg yolks and dairy products and in very small amounts in some plants, and can be converted in the gut into trimethylamine. This is later converted into TMAO, associated with heart disease, kidney disease and neurological disorders. Some fish and other seafood are naturally high in TMAO.

Studies have shown that vegetarians and vegans have a significantly reduced ability to produce TMAO, even when foods high in L-carnitine are consumed. This is thought to be due to L-carnitine having a high bio-availability in the small intestines of vegetarians and vegans, meaning it doesn’t reach the bacteria in the large intestine that would convert it into trimethylamine. This may sound complicated but the take-home message is healthy food produces
a healthy gut.

Polyphenols

Polyphenols are found in all plants, but some have particularly high levels such as coffee, turmeric, herbs, tomatoes, nuts, garlic and cocoa. Some gut bacteria can free these compounds from the plant foods in the gut, so that the body can use them. Many polyphenols have strong anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to protect against chronic diseases.

A beginner's guide to healing your gut & feeling amazing

Intuition. It’s that voice in the back of your head telling you that you should bring a raincoat or umbrella. It’s that sinking feeling you have in the pit of your stomach when feeling that you’ve been betrayed. It’s the instant connection that you have with your best friend. It’s that hunch that you should make that investment or .

Intuition has long been studied. From Aristotle to Carl Jung’s groundbreaking in the early 20th Century. More recently, intuition has been linked to successful executive management and been favored by successful individuals like Steve Jobs, who , “Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion. That’s had a big impact on my work.”

However, intuition also has a bad reputation. Dr. Gerd Gigerenzer, a German social psychologist and director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, told that is because “it is not thought to be rational.” That can be a problem in “some situations, that demands too much information. Plus, it’s slow.”

Dr. Gigerenzer adds, “When a person relies on their gut feelings and uses the instinctual rule of thumb ‘go with your first best feeling and ignore everything else,’ it can permit them to outperform the most complex calculations.”

A gut feeling, Dr. Gigerenzer says, is “a judgment that is fast. It comes quickly into a person’s consciousness. The person doesn’t know why they have this feeling. Yet, this is strong enough to make an individual act on it. What a gut instinct is not is a calculation. You do not fully know where it comes from.”

Despite the misconceptions, intuition is beneficial. It’s a form of intelligence that .In fact, Bruce Kasanoff makes the argument in that intuition, is in fact, the highest form of intelligence.

“Sometimes, a corporate mandate or group-think or your desire to produce a certain outcome can cause your rational mind to go in the wrong direction. At times like these, it is intuition that holds the power to save you,” writes Kasanoff.

“That ‘bad feeling’ gnawing away at you is your intuition telling you that no matter how badly you might wish to talk yourself into this direction, it is the wrong way to go.”

“Smart people listen to those feelings,” concludes Kasanoff. “And the smartest people among us – the ones who make great intellectual leaps forward – cannot do this without harnessing the power of intuition.”

How Intuition Enhances Your Life

“There is a growing body of anecdotal evidence, combined with solid research efforts, that suggests intuition is a critical aspect of how we humans interact with our environment and how, ultimately, we make many of our decisions,” Ivy Estabrooke, a program manager at the Office of Naval Research, .But, what exactly do intuitive people do differently and how does that enhance their lives?

They listen to their inner voice, instead of ignoring it. Slow down, spend some time by yourself, and listen to that voice in the back of your head. We often make our best decisions when we balance our instincts and rational thinking.

They practice empathetic accuracy. This means that they can read other’s body language and tone of voice to understand their thoughts and feelings. It’s an effective way to develop more meaningful relationships.

They create. “ does its best work when it functions intuitively,” .

They practice mindfulness. “ can help you filter out the mental chatter, weigh your options objectively, tune into your intuition and ultimately make a decision that you can stand behind completely,” explains the .

They trust their gut. There’s a reason why we refer to intuition as a “gut feeling.” Sometimes our body is telling us that something’s wrong. We either feel sick to our stomachs or still to get clammy. Don’t ignore your “Spidey” senses. They’re telling you that something isn’t right.

They analyze their dreams. While some dreams are nonsense, there are plenty of other dreams that are trying to tell us something. Don’t dismiss these dreams. The ask, “Where did this dream come from?” and “What can I take away from it?”

They let go of negative emotions. Your intuition can fail when you’re depressed or angry. And, those negative emotions aren’t good for your health or productivity as well. Those who are intuitive, however, are able to accept and let go of these emotions.

Make no mistake about it. Intuition is a powerful part of our intelligence that can assist us in making better decisions.

Tips to Harness the Power of Intuition

Thankfully, intuition is something that we can turn up by following these tips:

What is your gut feeling? When making a decision, you’re probably going to be competing with your thoughts and your gut. Instead of overthinking or overanalyzing the situation, consider how you feel about making this decision, as opposed to thinking about it. Keep in mind that when listening to your gut you should be calm.

Inside or outside? Are there outside forces, your family, friends, or colleagues, pushing you in a certain direction? That’s not always a bad thing. But, remember, these outside forces always have an agenda, so take their advice with caution. Unlike your inner sense that always has your best interest at heart without an agenda attached.

Keep a journal. “Writing your thoughts and feelings down on paper—even if you ‘think’ you have little to say — helps the nonconscious mind open up,” , author of “The Intuitive Compass: Why the Best Decisions Balance Reason and Instinct.”

Knowing or thinking? “I rely far more on gut instinct than researching huge amounts of statistics,” Virgin Group founder Richard Branson in his memoir. “I tend to make up my mind about people within thirty seconds of meeting them.” In other words, sometimes we just know an answer before being asked and having time to think about.

Silence your inner critic. “Allow the inner dialogues to happen without fear or ridicule,” Cholle.

Remember, your gut feeling could be wrong. While you should listen to your gut or inner voice, there are times when it can be wrong. Before making any rash, , or major decisions, make sure that you instincts gel with your thoughts. For instance, you may have the gut feeling that you need to start a business, but you’re still going to need to think about your industry, audience, marketing, etc. After your research, you may decide that you need to develop a different business because the one you had won’t be profitable.

A beginner's guide to healing your gut & feeling amazing

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John Rampton is serial entrepreneur who now focuses on helping people to build amazing products and services that scale. He is founder of the online payments company Due. He was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine. Time Magazine recognized John as a motivational speaker that helps people find a “Sense of Meaning” in their lives. He currently advises several companies in the bay area.

A beginner's guide to healing your gut & feeling amazing

What exactly is intuition? You may believe it’s a supernatural force, or simply the brain analyzing facts at a subconscious level and sending you “hunches” based on that analysis. Either way, there’s no denying that intuition is a powerful force in the business world. Donald Trump and Conrad Hilton are just two of the business icons who’ve relied on intuition to help them make smarter business decisions.

Highly developed intuition is a “secret weapon,” says Judith Orloff, MD, professor of psychiatry at UCLA and author of Dr. Judith Orloff’s Guide to Intuitive Healing. “It gives you all kinds of information you wouldn’t normally have. This isn’t the brain analyzing; this is nonlinear knowledge. It’s a second kind of intelligence. You want to use both.”

But what if you’re someone like me who depends on analysis and isn’t especially intuitive? Never fear, Orloff says. There are simple techniques you can use to develop your intuition and start listening to your nonlinear self. And they work for everyone. “People can develop their intuition even if they think they don’t have it,” she says. After all, intuition is in large part messages from the right side of the brain. And all of us have one of those. Well-developed intuition can seem like a superpower, she adds. “People get these amazing flashes.”

Ready to give it a try? Here are four simple steps that are sure to increase your intuitive powers:

1. Listen to your gut. Literally.

Believe it or not, your digestive system can help improve your intuition. “There are neurotransmitters in your gut, so if you get a gut feeling, it’s not good to ignore that,” Orloff says. Enhance that aspect of your intuition by checking in with your gut when you have decisions to make.

For instance, if you’re hiring someone, set an intention before the interview to listen with both your mind and your gut. “Notice the physical sensations in that area and ask yourself how this person makes you feel,” she says. “Do you feel queasy, tight, or nauseated? Or comfortable, exhilarated, and at ease?”

One client of Orloff’s was about to enter into a large business deal, but his gut kept telling him to stay away. “He opted to wait, and it turned out the man he was about to go into business with was an embezzler,” she says. “At work, anybody can say the right things and look good. If your intuition tells you otherwise, pay attention.”

2. Observe your energy levels.

Pay attention to whether being around someone makes you feel tired and drained or energetic and lively, Orloff suggests. Some people, she says, are energy vampires who will suck the life out of you and drag you down. “If you don’t feel well around someone, your intuition is trying to tell you something,” she notes.

3. Capture your flashes.

Intuition usually comes to us in a flash of insight–an aha! moment, says Orloff. “They come very quickly,” she says. “‘Aha–I should call someone. This person could help my project along.'” When those moments hit, don’t let them go by, she says. “Write them down, and follow through.”

4. Do a three-minute meditation.

“Just getting three quiet minutes a day can get you in touch with your intuition,” Orloff says. If even that is too challenging, at least get off by yourself for a few moments. Take a walk, or duck into the bathroom if need be. Orloff says she herself does this when she wants to engage her own intuition. “I need to be separate from other people and tune in,” she explains.