The GAPS diet is a diet that specifically works to heal Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) was first coined by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride about 12 years ago. She specialized in working with children who had autism spectrum disorders and she found a correlation between gut health and problems like autoimmune disorders, digestive problems, allergies, depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Switching to the GAPS diet can eliminate many of the maladies and symptoms that don’t respond to drug therapy. It’s also safer than some types of drug therapy.
What Causes GAPS?
Anyone is susceptible to Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Many people develop GAPS because of the hazards of modern lifestyles like eating too much processed food and not enough natural vegetables and fruits. Extensive use of antibiotics and other medications can also throw the natural flora in the gut out of whack. Over time portions of the gut wall become very thin and eventually start to allow bacteria and food particles to leak directly into the blood stream.
Dysbiosis is the root of GAPS. Dysbiosis is the clinical term for an imbalance of the healthy flora that lives in the gut and maintains the right balance in the digestive tract. When that flora is out of balance or when there is a leak in the gut wall that allows bacteria to seep out GAPS occurs. That’s when things like food allergies occur. The body doesn’t know what to do with the foreign matter in the blood stream so it attacks itself. Healing the gut is essential to healing autoimmune disorders and it can also greatly improve overall health.
The staple of the GAPS diet is bone broth. Bone broth has been in the news a lot lately but it’s much more than just the latest healthy food trend. Bone broth has been used a natural healing tonic for centuries and it’s one of the original superfoods. Bone broth can heal the gut and bring the gut flora back into balance and eliminate problems like digestive upset, diarrhea, constipation and other uncomfortable and potentially dangerous medical problems.
Bone broth is made by boiling the bones of an animal until they become so soft and brittle they essentially fall apart. All the nutrients in the bones along with healthy gelatin get absorbed into the broth. Bone broth contains protein and important minerals that can’t be gotten from any other food. Bone broth also contains essential amino acids like Proline and Glycine which help the body repair damaged tissue and muscles. The GAPS diet recommends bone broth made from chicken but bone broth can be made from chicken, beef, turkey or fish. It’s best to make your own, but you can buy bone broth too. Always make sure if you are buying bone broth that is from grass fed animals and is simmered for at least 24 hours.
Bone broth is the core of the GAPS diet and is encouraged in every phase, especially in the Introduction phase of the diet. When you are in the introduction phase of the diet you can drink all the bone broth that you want. You should be drinking at least 2 cups of it a day. It will start to heal your gut immediately. You will notice a dramatic drop in your symptoms as soon as you start sipping bone broth regularly.
Foods You Can Eat on The GAPS Diet
The GAPS diet isn’t really that complicated. During the Introduction phase and the phases after that in addition to bone broth you should be eating organic dairy foods like yogurt and taking a probiotic supplement. The first stage of the diet is all about getting your gut healthy again and restoring the balance of the good bacteria in the gut. You can have meat, cheese, dairy products like sour cream and yogurt, eggs, bone marrow and some vegetables. Over the course of the next few stages of the diet you will add back in vegetables and fruits in small amounts to see how your body handles them. Anytime you have a reaction to a certain food you should take that food out of the diet and focus again on healing your gut with bone broth and probiotics. Keeping a log of the food that you eat will help you keep track of what foods cause bad reactions and need to be avoided. All of the food that you should eat should be organic, grass fed, hormone and antibiotic free and as natural as possible.
Foods You Can’t Eat on The GAPS Diet
The GAPS diet is designed to heal the damage to your gut caused by a lifetime of modern processed foods. So, processed foods are the first thing that must go when you start the GAPS diet. No processed foods of any kind. Also you shouldn’t eat any type of grains or baked foods. No bread, no cereal, no crackers or items that are breaded. Even in restaurants you need to avoid these foods. This is the part of the diet that most people have a problem with. It’s tough to purge all that processed food from your diet but if you do it might just save your life.