Health Matters Clinic

Make Your Body Smile

 

GAPS therapy

 

At Health Matters London we are now offering advice & consultation on the GAPS diet. Our resident medical herbalist Paul Michael is a fully trained GAPS diet practitioner, having trained with Dr Natasha Campbell McBride.

 

GAPS is a very natural approach to nutrition that has successfully benefited a significant number of different individuals.

 

What is the GAPS diet?

 

GAPS stands for Gut And Psychology Syndrome. It’s a diet that focuses on allowing the gut lining and flora to heal in order to improve health. It can be beneficial to a wide range of health issues and is most commonly used to treat:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune disease.

  • Autism, ADHD, depression and anxiety.

 

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride created this system based on years of research & clinical experience.

 

The diet is based around three main protocols that run in parallel; nutrition, supplementation & detoxification.

 

 

Nutrition

 

The first GAPS diet protocol has two main phases:

 

1. The Introduction Diet consisting of six stages: This is designed to initiate the healing process and can be especially beneficial for patients with more severe digestive or neurological disorders (e.g. IBS, Crohn’s, Colitis, Depression & Bipolar). This phase serves as a lead in to the full diet & usually takes 3–6 weeks to complete.

2. The Full GAPS diet: This is usually followed for 18-24 months, has an extensive list of both recommended foods and those to avoid. It focuses on certain key principles:

 

  • Vegetables, which are alkalising, should be combined with meats and fish that are more acidic at each meal. This balances gut pH and avoids creating and environment too acidic or alkali, which is not ideal.

  • Fruit (except avocado) should be eaten on its own in between meals to avoid interfering with with the digestion of meat protein.​

  • Organic foods are best in order to avoid toxins.

  • Natural fats, particularly animal based, are recommended including butter, ghee, cold pressed olive oil, lard, coconut and goose fat.

  • Broths made from homemade stock are a key staple of both the introductory and full diet.

  • Fermented foods form an important part of the diet. This includes fermented vegetables, yoghurt, kefir and kombucha.

  • Processed, packaged and tinned food should be avoided as well as anything containing artificial preservatives, colours or chemicals.

Supplementation

 

The second GAPS diet protocol involves certain key supplements, which form an important part of the diet. It is recommended to use the best quality natural supplements available with the minimum amount of added or artificial ingredients.

 

Depending on the needs of individual patients, the following may be recommended by the practitioner:

 

  • Good quality, high strength probiotics.

  • Essential fatty acids.

  • Digestive enzymes.

  • Vitamin and mineral supplements.

 

 

Detoxification

 

The third protocol of the GAPS approach focuses on gentle methods of detox that enhance the body’s own cleansing and repair systems. For example:

 

  • Fresh vegetable and fruit juices

  • Toxin removing supplements such as seaweed, chlorella, spirulina and diatomaceous earth

  • Swimming in natural unpolluted water; lakes, rivers or the sea. Moderate sunbathing is also beneficial since in enhances the skin’s health and helps it perform its detoxification functions.

  • Bathing using Epsom salts, seaweed, clays or bicarbonate of soda.

 

An important aspect of the detoxification protocol is reducing the body’s toxic load. There are a number of things that can help this:

 

  • Reduce exposure to artificial chemicals in the home environment – e.g. from paint or flooring.

  • Ensure that anything you put on your skin is as natural as possible.

  • Keep plenty of household plants, which are great for detoxifying the air we breathe.

The final ingredient…

The diet can be quite difficult to manage and get used to, particularly in the introductory stage.

 

Hence, it is important to seek help from a qualified GAPS practitioner who can guide you and tailor the diet to your individual requirements, allowing for things like food allergies.

 

If you are interested in finding out more about the GAPS diet please call Health Matters London on 020 8441 8335, or email us at health@healthmatterslondon.co.uk