Gut Health Detoxification

SIBO Diet Food List and SIBO Diet Plan

SIBO Diet Food List and SIBO Diet Plan

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a common digestive condition that occurs when there is an increase in the overall population of bacteria in the small intestine. Often this includes pathogenic bacteria that are not native to the digestive tract.

 

SIBO often occurs when something causes an obstruction that slows the passage of food and waste in the digestive tract, creating a suitable environment for bacteria to breed.

 

Getting rid of SIBO typically involves the use of antibiotics or antibiotic herbs, that kill the bacterial overgrowth. The best practice, however, is to do a total SIBO cleanse protocol that involves utilizing diet, antibiotics, and probiotics to restore beneficial bacteria.

 

In this article, we discuss the SIBO diet in depth. If you’d like to learn more about small intestinal bacterial and how to get rid of it, read our blog "Best Nutrients for Fighting SIBO".

 

What Causes SIBO?

 

SIBO commonly occurs due to an imbalance in the gut microbiome, or when a disease or abdominal surgery slows the passage of food and waste in the digestive tract, providing an environment for bacteria to breed.

 

Some of the primary causes of SIBO include:

 

  • Low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria). Stomach acid plays a key role in moderating bacterial growth. When stomach acid is low, it is less effective at fighting off bacteria that enter the body with food.

 

  • Structural issues. Structural problems in the small intestine can interfere with the clearing of bacteria and can create extra pockets for bacteria to accumulate. These issues can be caused by complications of surgery or by gastrointestinal diseases.

 

  • Small intestine dysmotility. Small intestine dysmotility means that waste is held for too long in the small intestine before emptying into the colon. This gives more time for small intestine bacteria to grow and multiply.

 

  • Overuse of certain medications. Certain medications, such as antibiotics, narcotics, and gastric acid suppressants, can upset the normal balance of intestinal flora.

 

How Can Diet Help Get Rid of SIBO?

 

When SIBO is caused by an imbalance in the gut microbiome, it is important to try to correct this balance to restore your gut health and to get rid of the bacterial overgrowth. Diet plays a major role in this.

 

In fact, one of the biggest causes of poor gut health and bacterial imbalance is diet. So simply by altering the foods that one is eating and cutting out foods that may be contributing to poor gut health, one will already have taken a significant step.

 

The next step involves adding in the foods that support gut cleansing and promote a healthy gastrointestinal tract overall.

 

SIBO Cleanse Protocol

 

To cleanse the body of SIBO, it is recommended to follow the following protocol:

 

  • Get rid of the foods that are contributing to poor gut health
  • Get rid of the bacterial overgrowth with antibiotic medications or antibiotic herbs
  • Include the foods that contribute to good gut health
  • Include probiotics to restore a healthy bacterial balance in the gut microbiome

 

Worst Foods for SIBO: Foods to Eliminate from Your Diet When You Have SIBO

 

The following foods are the worst foods for SIBO because they either contribute to poor gut health, or they feed the bacteria that have already overgrown in the gut:

 

  • Foods that are high in sugar, especially processed sugar
  • Processed foods
  • Foods with added chemicals or preservatives like BHT, Red 40, etc.
  • Foods that contain industrial vegetable or seed oils like canola oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil, etc.
  • Alcohol, especially beer and wine
  • Foods high in yeast (bread, nutritional yeast)
  • Grains
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Soda and soft drinks

 

Additionally, while on the SIBO diet, it is recommended to avoid foods that contain a lot of prebiotics. Prebiotics are indigestible carbs that feed bacteria. Usually, it is beneficial to include prebiotic foods in the diet as they help beneficial bacteria grow and colonize the gut. However, prebiotics are some of the worst foods for SIBO as they can be used by these bacteria to continue to grow.

 

When you’re dealing with a SIBO infection it is recommended to avoid prebiotics short-term as you get rid of the bacterial overgrowth. Later on, after the infection is cleared, reintroducing prebiotics in the diet is a good way to encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria and to improve your gut health.

 

Examples of prebiotic foods include:

  • Oats
  • Apples
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Artichokes
  • Shallots
  • Leeks
  • Squash
  • Bananas
  • Dandelion greens
  • Asparagus
  • Chicory root
  • Barley
  • Flaxseeds
  • Wheat bran
  • Seaweed
  • Burdock root
  • Jicama root
  • Cacao
  • Legumes
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Berries
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Cabbage
  • Rice
  • Potatoes

 

Getting Rid of the Bacterial Overgrowth

 

After cutting out the foods that contribute to poor gut health or encourage bacterial growth, the next step is to target the bacterial overgrowth itself with antibiotics. Your doctor will likely prescribe a pharmaceutical antibiotic medication. These can be very effective, but can also be detrimental to beneficial bacteria in the gut as well—which means it is very important to focus on rebuilding gut health with beneficial probiotics after using a round of prescription antibiotics.

 

Some people prefer to use herbal antibiotics to kill off SIBO, as many herbs have strong antibiotic properties. Our Zuma Nutrition team has created a powerful tonic just for getting rid of SIBO, which is coming soon to the Zuma Nutrition product line.

 

Through the extraction of key clinically-studied herbs, our SIBO Cleanse tonic may help to kill bacterial overgrowth.† 

 

Our formula uses a therapeutic extraction process that is able to concentrate the active ingredients into a therapeutic liquid extract that is significantly more potent than regular tea powders or capsules.

 

The high quality active ingredients extracted in our SIBO cleanse tonic are completely water soluble, so they absorb immediately in the bloodstream and are not lost in the digestive tract, allowing them to instantly begin killing excess bacteria. Plus, we use only 100% sustainable and wildcrafted herbs. Which means, no pesticides, preservatives, chemical fillers, or genetically modified ingredients.

 

Our formula includes some of the best herbs for SIBO, including:

 

  • Pomegranate peel
  • Green Black Walnut Hulls
  • Lavender
  • Cramp Bark
  • Feverfew

 

Pomegranate peel in particular is one of the best herbs for SIBO because it has potent antimicrobial properties, and an extremely broad range of action against multiple pathogens.

 

Best Foods for SIBO: Foods to Include in Your Diet When You Have a SIBO Infection

 

It is recommended to begin the SIBO diet right away once you start eliminating trigger foods. After you have gotten rid of SIBO with antibiotics, it is then encouraged to include probiotic foods in the diet. You can then introduce more prebiotic, or fiber-rich, foods in the diet after that.

 

This SIBO diet food list includes the foods that are recommended while on the SIBO diet:

 

  • Fruits (except bananas, nectarines, peaches, berries and apples)
  • Vegetables (except for those mentioned above in the worst foods for SIBO section)
  • Probiotic-rich foods (fermented foods or probiotic supplements)
  • Eggs
  • Meat

 

This SIBO diet food list is obviously very small, and very restrictive, but the dietary recommendations for SIBO are created with a specific purpose in mind. The goal is to eliminate all foods that the bacteria can feed on.

 

Since the diet eliminates grains and legumes, it is more difficult for vegans to follow. It is recommended for vegans to supplement with essential daily nutrients like amino acids, B vitamins and minerals while on the SIBO diet.

 

In fact, many health professionals actually recommend that most people, not just vegans, emphasize supplementation while on the SIBO diet. The reason being, that supplements such as amino acids, B vitamins, minerals, and healthy fat oils like hempseed oil and MCT oil, absorb very quickly in the body, and therefore, do not give the gut bacteria time to eat them.

 

Phases of the SIBO Diet

 

It is best to think of the SIBO diet in phases. The first phase involves taking out the trigger foods that encourage bacterial growth, while the second phase emphasizes adding probiotics and encouraging overall gut health.

 

SIBO Diet Phase 1

 

The first phase of the SIBO diet is to take out the trigger foods. These are the foods listed in the “worst foods for SIBO” section.

 

During this phase, you will also want to begin following the SIBO diet mentioned in the “best foods for SIBO section.”

 

Additionally, this is the part of the protocol where you include antibiotics or if you want to go the natural route antibiotic herbs.

 

How long you follow phase 1 will depend on how severe your infection is. Typically, however, once your symptoms have gone away for a few days, you can begin to shift into phase 2.

 

SIBO Diet Phase 2

 

After you have gotten rid of SIBO the next phase of the SIBO diet is to rebuild your gut health. This phase has a major emphasis on including clinically studied strains of probiotics and probiotic-rich foods in your diet like kim chi, sauerkraut, yogurt, etc.

 

You can also begin to include foods with prebiotics again during phase 2. However, if you want to protect your gut health long-term and prevent another infection, it is encouraged to stay away from toxic foods and foods harmful to gut health.

 

This is a long-term lifestyle change that focuses on supporting your overall gut health. The foods that are recommended to stay away from long-term are:

 

  • Foods that are high in sugar, especially processed sugar
  • Processed foods
  • Foods with added chemicals or preservatives like BHT, Red 40, etc.
  • Foods that contain industrial vegetable or seed oils like canola oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil, etc.
  • Alcohol, especially beer and wine (okay in moderation)
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Soda and soft drinks

 

Summary

 

Small Intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a common digestive condition that occurs when there is an increase in the overall population of bacteria in the small intestine. Often this includes pathogenic bacteria that are not native to the digestive tract.

 

Getting rid of SIBO typically involves the use of antibiotics that kill the bacterial overgrowth. The best practice, however, is to do a total SIBO cleanse protocol that involves utilizing diet, antibiotics, and probiotics to restore beneficial bacteria.

 

By following the tips laid out in this article, you can give your body a better chance at eliminating SIBO than taking antibiotics alone. In addition to antibiotics, you can cut out trigger foods and add in foods and supplements that encourage gut health after your round of antibiotics. Of course, if you have a SIBO infection it is recommended to consult with your doctor about what the best protocol is for your specific condition.

 

 

 

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK546634/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC7386065/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6884350/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6682904/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4290017/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6456667/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5031164/

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