7 Ingredients that Trigger Leaky Gut

I’m vegan. I’m taking the supplements that are supposed to heal my gut. And after all that, I still get bloated, have diarrhea, skin problems, and brain fog! What Am I Doing Wrong?

This was me a few months before my gut started getting better. I was so confused as to why I was still having problems with digestion, my skin, and mental clarity. Well, I’ll tell ya, you might not know that certain ingredients can trigger leaky gut symptoms, and you should definitely avoid them, especially if you notice they are causing inflammation in your body.

What is Leaky Gut?

Leaky gut, also known as Intestinal Permeability, is a health condition where the lining in your intestines develops little holes, which can cause food sensitivities, and other health problems. Chances are, you probably have it if you’re reading this article. So many things can cause leaky gut, many people have it, so don’t feel alone!

7 Ingredients That Trigger Leaky Gut

1. Refined Salt

More than 75% of Americans’ salt intake comes from refined table salt found in processed foods. Sodium is essential for us to live, but there are healthier ways to get our daily intake. These include using a higher quality salt (Pink Himalayan, Celtic, etc.) instead of table salt, limiting consumption of processed foods, and eating veggies that have natural plant sodium.

2. Vegetable Oil (soybean, canola, corn)

Vegetable oils containing soybean, canola, and/or corn should be avoided at all costs. These plants are heavily genetically modified (which is possibly a cause of leaky gut). A better option for cooking oil would be organic olive oil (for low temperature cooking), or organic sunflower oil (for high temperature cooking).

Just a reminder that you should always strive for a whole foods plant based diet when healing your gut.

3. Wheat Flour

People who are living with leaky gut typically always have some food sensitivities, and most of the time they believe one of those is Gluten. The thing most people don’t realize is that Modern day wheat contains way less fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals than ancient wheat does. This means that consuming wheat which hasn’t been modified by humans may be the key to help “fix” your gluten intolerance. It should be noted that ancient wheat does contain gluten, but the other nutrients it contains could work synergistically with the gluten causing it to become easier to digest.

4. MSG

MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is used as a flavor enhancer in a big number of highly processed foods like chips, condiments, microwave messages, and so on. MSG is also present in a lot of Asian cuisine to provide the Unami flavor for the taste buds. Eating an excess of Monosodium Glutamate can cause the same effects of too much sodium, like flushing and headaches. When you have leaky gut, these effects can be exacerbated, so it’s advised to avoid MSG as much as possible.

5. Genetically Modified Corn

Corn was one of the first crops to become genetically modified, and what it does to the bugs should tell you what it could be doing to us. When a bug tries to eat “Round-Up Ready” corn, their stomach explodes within their tiny bodies. Now, we’re much bigger than bugs, but what if we consume GMO corn everyday, in high amounts, and eating other GMO crops, as well?

6. Alcohol

In your gut, there are hormonal substances called prostaglandins. These substances moderate inflammation. Drinking alcohol suppresses the production of prostaglandins. Without these, more inflammation is likely to happen inside the gut, and cause damage in the form of intestinal permeability (leaky gut). You can read more about their correlation here.

7. Polysorbate 80

Polysorbate 80 and other emulsifiers have been known to cause inflammatory bowel disease, and more illnesses. They are usually found in processed foods to improve food texture and shelf life. Unnatural emulsifiers can cause low level inflammation in the gut that can allow leaky gut to form.

How to Combat Leaky Gut

Their are quite a few different approaches people choose to take to try to heal their leaky gut. Most of the time the methods they use aren’t vegan, so when I was trying to heal I tried something new. I decided to figure out how to heal myself, while staying completely vegan. I didn’t want to compromise my morals just to see if the other method would work. It didn’t make sense to me anyway, because I knew how bad animal products were for our health.

I tried some things, some of which didn’t work, but after about a year and a half, I finally got it! It all clicked…

I had to do more for myself than just be vegan, I had to implement other foods, supplements, and practices that promote gut health, all while sticking to a vegan diet and lifestyle.

If you’d like to find out about the program that will best fit your gut type, go to my new site, defoor.institute!

Thank you for reading, and I hope you got some valuable information from this blog post. If you know someone who could benefit from learning more about vegan gut health, share this with them! Also, make sure you comment below with your favorite emoji or any questions you have, so I know to keep making these types of posts. 😄


Much love to you,

Allyson DeFoor



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