(NaturalNews) Over the last 20 years a large body of evidence has been found associating varying neurodevelopmental, mental/mood, psychosocial disorders to intestinal problems. One program that has looked at addressing this issue is the GAPS diet. The GAPS diet stands for 'Gut and Psychology Syndrome.' This diet and lifestyle has seen significant changes in children and adults with autism, ADHD, & depression among others.
The GAPS program was developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. Through her research, she found a strong correlation between unhealthy intestinal flora and functional brain chemistry. When digestion is interfered with through poor diet, stress and environmental toxicity, it causes toxins to be released into the blood stream. These toxins travel and make their way through the blood brain barrier creating inflammatory reactions that damage brain cells.
The GAPS program focuses on 3 key principles. Attention is immediately placed on healing the gut by avoiding irritating sources like sugar and processed foods. The second principle is all about inoculating the gut with beneficial microorganisms. This is done through high quality probiotic supplements and fermented foods. These two processes together starve out yeast and bad bacteria while adding in symbiotic organisms that help supply the body with critical B vitamins and trace minerals and while repairing the intestinal lining.
The final principle is detoxifying the body of waste product through avoidance of toxins and specific detoxification strategies. One of these strategies includes drinking fresh vegetable juices that are full of chlorophyll and anti-oxidants. Chlorophyll is a natural blood purifier that pulls organic toxins out of the system.
The GAPS lifestyle focuses on an anti-inflammatory diet that is built around healthy fat sources, phytonutrient rich fruits & vegetables and raw nuts & seeds. Healthy protein sources include organic eggs, free range chicken, grass-fed beef & wild game. Naturally fermented foods such as homemade sauerkraut, kimchee and coconut kefir are necessary.
Fermented raw dairy from organic grass-fed animals is a staple. This includes kefir, amasi and yogurt. Amasi is the fermented beverage native to Africa and is considered the greatest probiotic vehicle in the world. Specific probiotic supplements containing greater than 50 billion microorganisms from a diverse population of species is also recommended during the initial stages. Supplementation is essential until the gut is repaired and the individual is accustomed to making and consuming these fermented foods at meals.
Individuals are recommended to eat fruit on its own and not with meals. This is due to the simple carbohydrates that digest much different than thicker proteins and fats. Small pieces of fruit are acceptable for active children as a snack between meals.
Fatty acids are of particular importance in order to provide essential raw materials to rebuild the gut and brain. These fats include healthy meat sources as listed above, organic butter, ghee, coconut products, olive oil and avocados.
An often overlooked source of healthy fats and other super nutrients is organic meat and fish stock. Chicken and beef soup have been used as a natural immune aid for centuries due to the powerful nutritional value provided. The marrow of the bone contains many fat soluble nutrients such as Vitamin A, D, & E. The bone/bone marrow complex is also the animals` richest source of minerals.
Grass-fed beef and wild game that were raised on nutrient rich soil are the best. The bone marrow of non-organic, grain-fed animals will be full of omega 6 fats and toxic pesticides. Cooking down the bones helps release more of the minerals. Apple cider vinegar also helps pull out more of the critical minerals in the bone marrow and make them more bioavailable for human consumption.
Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information go to www.exodushc.com To find a Maximized Living doctor near you go to www.maximizedliving.com