What is it?
The Clean Gut Program is based on the book ‘Clean Gut’ written by Dr. Alejandro Junger, an American Internal Medicine doctor. It is a 21-day detox dietary program designed to repair pre-existing gut dysfunction that commonly contributes to chronic pain and/or disease. In his book, Dr. Junger explains that years of damage to the gut results in impairment and malfunction to the intestinal tract’s normal defence system. This results in chronic inflammation in the body causing many chronic health problems.
How does it work?
The program is a self-guided dietary program and it is 21 days long. In addition to following a pre-set food list, you will also consume 7 different supplements to promote ‘repair’ of the gut. After completing the 21-day program, you will re-introduce specific food groups one at a time to monitor your reaction to these food groups. At the end of the re-introduction phase, you should learn which foods are not tolerated well by your intestinal tract, leading to a unique dietary plan suited just for your long term health.
Who should do this Program?
There are 3 groups of people who may consider doing the Clean Gut Program
i. Chronic Disease – You have been diagnosed with a chronic disease that affects you daily life and may be using regular medication to control your condition.
ii. Recurrent Symptoms – You have noticed recurrent symptoms (Eg: pain, stomach upset, skin rashes) that can affect your daily life but usually resolve without treatment or improves if you avoid what you think is the ’cause’. Sometimes over-the-counter medication can help.
iii. Healthy – You believe your health is good but you struggle with fatigue, headaches or often feel sluggish. You frequently consume caffeinated (Eg: coffee, energy drinks) or high-sugar drinks (Eg: Juice, pop, sports drinks). Your diet consists mostly of processed, pre-made or restaurant-made food.
What should I expect?
During the 21-day program, individuals describe of different effects. Common feedback from people who have completed the program describe of increased energy, less dependency on caffeine or sugar and feeling more alert after sleeping. People who have also reported reduction of chronic symptoms such as fatigue and pain but could relieve stomach upset, bloating, eczema, allergy symptoms, however these vary depending on the individual. Weight loss can also occur but is not the primary intent of the program. You should not feel hungry while on this program but the program encourages you not to over eat. A good target is to only eat until you are 80% full. If you have a chronic disease, this program does not intend to cure your condition but may improve your symptoms or reduce your need for medication.
What foods are allowed during the Program?
EAT: Greens and fresh vegetables, Quinoa, Wild Fish, Grass-fed meats (beef, lamb), Organic or pasture-raised eggs, Fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut), Nuts, seeds & nut butters, Avoocado, Coconut, Fresh and frozen berries
DON’T EAT: Gluten, Dairy, Processed sugar, Alcohol, Caffeine, Beans, Rice, Soy, Potatoes, Corn and almost all fruits
For more information on the Clean Gut Program, contact Dr. Kevin Ho. You may also purchase the Clean Gut book to learn more about. The book is available for purchase at your local bookstores and online at Amazon or Chapters.