Introduction to the GAPS Diet

Posted September 3, 2014 | Nutrition & Health Tips

By Adriane Angarano, MS, CN

Welcome to the first of our GAPS Diet series. If you’ve never heard of the GAPS Diet before, GAPS™ stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome and is a program designed to treat chronic health conditions that arise from a poorly functioning digestive system. Since the health of your gut is associated with the health of your immune system and affects all other systems in your body, the GAPS Diet aims to achieve optimal digestion and absorption of all the necessary building blocks for health and healing. Put simply, the goal of the GAPS Diet is to heal and seal the gut and strengthen the gut-brain relationship.

The GAPS Diet consists of these basic principles:

  • Healthy lifestyle changes that promote detoxification and optimal immunity
  • Elimination of complex carbohydrates that can feed pathogenic bacteria and yeast
  • Elimination of processed refined foods that cause inflammation
  • Plenty of nutritive gut-healing foods including bone broth and fermented foods
  • A structured two-step process for implementing the diet: 1) Introduction Diet 2) Full GAPS Diet

The GAPS Diet was designed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a medical doctor with two postgraduate degrees in neurology and human nutrition. Formulated out of a need to better treat her patients, this diet targets individuals with behavioral and learning disabilities, immune disorders, and digestive disorders.

If the following looks like you or your family, the GAPS Diet protocol may offer the structure and the tools to help you stop feeling sick and begin a path to healing:

  • Asthma
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Chronic Allergies
  • Depression
  • Digestive Disorders including Constipation, Diarrhea, Dysbiosis, IBS, IBD (Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis),     Leaky Gut, SIBO
  • Food Allergies and Sensitivities
  • Hormone Imbalances
  • Learning or Social Difficulties
  • Neurological Issues including Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, OCD, Seizures, Schizophrenia
  • Skin Issues such as Eczema or Acne

Resources to get you started:

1. Read Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride

2. Check out personal experiences on GAPS:

To learn more about the GAPS Diet program at Vital Kids Medicine and to discuss if this approach may be appropriate for you or your child, check out:

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