The concept of healing diets has been around since at least the time of Hippocrates, the Greek physician in 400 BC, who stated: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Food is the first place to start when trying to heal the gut, and the gut is the first place to start when you are trying to heal the body.

In addition, the gut is known as the “second brain”, so healing the gut can help to heal the brain, including mood disorders and neurological disorders.Using Food to Heal

Using food to heal is a multi-faceted approach consisting of:

  • Switching to a healing diet
  • Making lifestyle changes
  • Incorporating the right types of foods, herbs, and diet
  • Eating good quality fats
  • Searching for foods specific for gut healing and detoxification
  • Eliminating food allergies and food sensitivities
  • Taking enzymes to improve digestion
  • Supplementing prebiotics and probiotics to increase gut flora
  • Eating organic foods

Food can be a very powerful healing tool for the body and the brain.

Healing Diets

Sometimes more than one diet is necessary especially if your child has a chronic disease or disorder, even a neurological disorder.

If your child does not show a significant amount of improvement on a particular diet, then try another diet.

Keeping the gut clean and not continually having your child eat foods with toxins and chemical preservatives will help facilitate healing the gastrointestinal tract more efficiently.

Sometimes changes are subtle and on a deeper biochemical level that are not always visible to parent.

Good quality foods to which your child is not sensitive are very healing to the gut.

Below are the most commonly used healing diets:

Healing Foods

Depending on which healing diet you choose for your child, some of these healing foods will or won’t be allowed:

  • Fermented vegetables and foods:
  • Bone broth from chicken, turkey, red meat or fish bones http://recipes.mercola.com/bone-broth-recipe.aspx
  • Good quality fats (please note that vegetable oils and trans fats are not listed):
    • Avocados and avocado oil
    • Nuts (no peanuts, which are not nuts)
    • Seeds
    • Dark chocolate
    • Eggs
    • Butter
    • Ghee (clarified butter)
    • Wild fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines
    • All coconut products
    • Cold-pressed olive oil
    • Chicken schmaltz
    • Beef tallow
    • Pork lard
    • Duck fat
    • Olives
    • Grapeseed oil
    • Hemp oil
    • Cod liver oil
    • Sesame oil
    • Borage oil
  • Algae and seaweeds:
    • Wakame
    • Dulse
    • Kombu
    • Chlorella (fresh water)
    • Spirulina
  • Leafy green vegetables:
    • Kale
    • Mustard greens
    • Arugula
    • Watercress
    • Beet greens
    • Collard greens
    • Mescaline greens
    • Dandelion greens
    • Parsley
    • Cilantro
    • Escarole
    • Endive
    • Scallions
    • Leeks
    • Romaine and other dark-green lettuces
  • Cruciferous vegetables:
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Kale
    • Collard greens
    • Bok choy
    • Cabbage
    • Broccoli
    • Cauliflower
    • Broccoli rabe
    • Broccoli sprouts
  • Root vegetables:
    • Rutabaga
    • Onions
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Parsley root
    • Yucca
    • Yams
    • Turnips
  • Mushrooms
    • Shiitake
    • Maitake
    • Porcini
    • Reishi
    • Turkey tail
    • Oyster
  • Antioxidants-rich foods:
    • Pomegranate arils
    • Goji berries
    • Wild blueberries
    • Dark chocolate
    • Pecans
    • Artichoke
    • Elderberries
    • Raspberries
    • Blackberries
    • Currants
    • Acai berries
    • Cranberries
    • Strawberries
    • Mangoes
    • Cherries
  • Seeds:
    • Flax
    • Sesame
    • Hemp
    • Pumpkin
    • Chia
    • Sunflower
  • Nuts:
    • Almonds
    • Walnuts
    • Pine nuts
    • Filberts
    • Brazil nuts
    • Cashews
    • Macadamia nuts
    • Chestnuts
    • Pecans
  • Grains:
    • Millet
    • Amaranth
    • Quinoa
    • Wild rice
    • Buckwheat
    • Gluten-free oats
    • Teff
  • Protein:
    • Lamb
    • Turkey
    • Chicken
    • Beans
      • Kidney
      • Adzuki
      • Black
      • Pinto
      • Navy
      • Lima
      • Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
    • Peas
    • Mung beans
    • Lentils
    • Wild game
    • Wild-caught fish
    • Seafood
    • Venison
    • Buffalo
    • Bison
  • Sweeteners:
    • Raw local honey
    • Manuka honey
    • Stevia
    • Xylitol
    • Maple syrup
  • Condiments:
    • Apple cider vinegar
    • Balsamic vinegar
    • Cocoa
    • Carob
    • Mustard
    • Himalayan salt
    • Paleo ketchup
    • Paleo mayonnaise
    • Paleo salad dressings
  • Other fruit:
    • Lemon
    • Limes
    • Apples
    • Pears
    • Pineapple
    • Melons
    • Bananas
    • Oranges
    • Grapes
  • Other vegetables:
    • Asparagus
    • Radishes
    • Zucchini
    • Cucumber
    • Celery
    • Sprouts
    • Artichoke
    • Beets
    • Tomatoes
    • Eggplant
    • Fennel
    • Carrots
    • Summer squash
    • Winter squashes

Healing Herbs

Herbs have been used in traditional medicine practices for millennia. Here are some of the most common healing herbs:

  • Ginger (for nausea)
  • Turmeric (for inflammation)
  • Garlic (to support the immune system)
  • Cinnamon (to lower blood sugar)
  • Hot pepper (to stimulate the liver)
  • Thyme (for sore throats)
  • Oregano
  • Holy basil (to reduces stress)
  • Horse chestnut (for hemorrhoids)
  • Rosemary
  • Kudzu (to counter alcoholism)
  • Sea buckthorn (for dryness)
  • Chamomile (to aid digestion)
  • Ginseng (for energy)
  • Hops (for calming)
  • Licorice root (to balance blood sugar)
  • Nettles (to support kidneys)
  • St. John’s Wort (to counter depression)
  • Slippery elm (to heal leaky gut)
  • Echinacea (to support the immune system)
  • Goldenseal (natural antibiotic)
  • Mullein (to support the lungs)
  • Kava (for anxiety)
  • Lemon balm (for digestive calming)
  • Herbal marshmallow (for a sore throat)
  • Chasteberry (for PMS)
  • Calendula (for skin soothing)
  • Black cohosh (for hot flashes)
  • Ashwagandha (to support the adrenals)
  • Hibiscus (to lower blood pressure)
  • Milk thistle (to aid in liver regeneration)
  • Sage (for colds)
  • Green tea (to support immune system)
  • Dill (to aid detoxification)

Foods That Promote Detoxification

Lemon water first thing in the morning supports liver detoxification, and here are other foods that aid the removal of toxins form the body:

  • Beets
  • Brazil nuts
  • Goji berries
  • Seaweed
  • Onions
  • Sesame seeds
  • Basil
  • Ginge
  • Pineapple
  • Avocados
  • Artichokes
  • Broccoli
  • Collard greens
  • Dandelion
  • Dill
  • Cinnamon
  • Apples
  • Fennel
  • Green tea
  • Kale
  • Garlic
  • Mung beans
  • Parsley

Related Pages

Exploring the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet

Food Affects Mood

Food Guidelines

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet

Healing the Gut

Improving Picky Eating by Modifying Adult Behavior

Leaky Gut

Low Blood Sugar

“The Diet” (Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet)

The Leaky Gut and Autism, ADHD and Other Neurodevelopmental Delays

The Picky Eaters

The Straight Scoop on the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet

What If I Have an Affected Child?