How to Calm a Gut Flare Up (Gut Healing Soup Recipe Included) - Mary Vance, NC (2024)

Healing isn’t linear. If you have IBS or IBD, and you are working to restore and heal your gut, setbacks are part of the process. Just when you thought everything was going swimmingly, bam! You get hit with a flareup of diarrhea, bloating, gut pain, bleeding, cramping, fatigue, change in stool, and/or frequent bathroom visits.

If you’re experiencing a gut flare, this post is for you. I created this little reset for my clients to calm inflammation and pain and regulate stools and digestion if you’re in a flare. If you have Crohn’s, colitis, diverticulitis, or any inflammatory gut-related issue that causes flares, you can use this reset.

This 3-5 day plan incorporates limited and easy-to-digest fruits, protein, and vegetables. You can do this plan anytime you experience gut pain or a flareup of symptoms. Get creative as to how you want to prepare the foods, but I’ve given you suggestions and two recipes below.

Before we get going, you might be wondering what causes a gut flare?Unfortunately there isn’t a black and white answer (that’s code for we don’t really know), but here are a few main causes:

  • stress, which raises cortisol levels and can affect the terrain of the gut or trigger diarrhea
  • food sensitivities or a change in diet
  • trigger foods (common with GERD or gastritis)
  • certain strains of gut bacteria growing out of balance
  • NSAID drugs: Aleve, Advil, aspirin
  • smoking
  • antibiotics

How to Calm a Gut Flare Up: Foods to Eat

The goal is to eliminate foods that can trigger flares, are inflammatory, or are harder to digest. You’ll be focusing on a very limited number of easy-to-digest and lower FODMAP foods. The FODMAP foods contain starches that can irritate the small and large intestines. (read more here)

  • Bone broth (if you don’t want to make your own, buy this brand. Fast shipping!)
  • Shredded chicken, ground meat (turkey, chicken, beef, bison) or wild salmon
  • Eggs (provided you do not have an egg sensitivity)
  • Smoothies made with limited ingredients like bone broth protein (this one is dairy free) and banana. (note that cold smoothies may worsen diarrhea in some people)
  • Banana, blueberries
  • Spinach or Swiss chard (lower FODMAP option), potato or sweet potato*, cooked carrot, zucchini
  • Grated fresh ginger (add to smoothies or make a tea)
  • Peppermint tea (anti-spasmodic), slippery elm
  • White rice
  • Canned pumpkin, which soothes diarrhea

*potatoes will not work for everyone and may worsen IBS if you have SIBO.

Foods to Avoid

  • Anything not mentioned above
  • Grains, dairy, soy, sugar, processed food
  • Coffee, alcohol, any caffeinated tea
  • Raw foods
  • High FODMAP foods, especially onion, garlic
  • Cruciferous: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts. Kale may be ok if well cooked, as it is low FODMAP.
  • Starchy foods (sweet potato may be an exception)
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Thickeners, additives, guar gum, carrageenan (major gut irritants, found in canned coconut milks & almond milk)

How to Calm a Gut Flare Up: Good Habits

  • Drink lots of water and herbal teas that work for you
  • Use glutamine powder: Try this one, 2 scoops per day
  • Take a probiotic if appropriate for you (avoid if you have SIBO) several times daily + saccharomyces boulardii if diarrhea
  • Consider a digestive enzyme
  • Practice stress relief and sleep hygiene (many flares are causes by a surge in stress hormones)
  • Try water kefir or gut shots (the probiotic liquid in krauts and ferments)
  • At the end of your reset, reintroduce foods slowly
  • For watery diarrhea you can take 2 activated charcoal caps daily with 8oz water. Make sure to take these away from food and other supplements or meds.

How to Calm a Gut Flare Up: Example Menu

Use limited spices: sea salt and black pepper only. Oregano and thyme may be OK. NO garlic or onion powder, spice blends, or any spices with heat.

Note that you can adjust this however you like. Some people do meat patties with hard boiled eggs for breakfast and gut healing soup for lunch and dinner. The worse your flare, the more limited ingredients you want. Decreasing vegetables and focusing on meat and broth only may be the best option for some.


Breakfast: Smoothie with bone broth protein and/or collagen protein, banana (use green tipped which is a lower FODMAP option and great for diarrhea), additive-free coconut or almond milk, frozen blueberries. 2 hard boiled eggs with sea salt if you need additional protein.

Lunch: Turkey burgers with roasted carrot (drizzle chopped carrots with olive oil; sprinkle with sea salt; roast about 30-45 minute in a 425F degree oven).

Snack: mug of bone broth with sea salt

Dinner: gut healing soup (see below for recipe) with shredded chicken, zucchini, spinach, carrot. Add sweet potato if you can have potatoes, or use white rice, which is easy to digest. ➡️Jump to Recipe⬅️


Breakfast: 2-4 scrambled eggs with sea salt and spinach or chard. Smoothie if needed.

Lunch: leftover gut healing soup

Snack: smoothie or mug of bone broth

Dinner: leftover turkey burgers with roasted carrot and white rice


Breakfast: smoothie with 2 hard boiled eggs

Lunch: gut healing soup

Snack: leftover turkey patty

Dinner: bunless beef burger with roasted carrot or carrot puree + sauteed chard and/or white rice



Gut Soothing Smoothie

5 from 1 vote

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes mins


  • Blender


  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 banana frozen will make this smoothie creamier and thicker
  • 1/2 cup almond milk, more or less for desired thickness no additives or gums
  • 1 scoop collagen or bone broth protein


  • Add everything to blender and blend.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Note that sweet potato or potato may worsen symptoms in some people.

How to Calm a Gut Flare Up (Gut Healing Soup Recipe Included) - Mary Vance, NC (3)

Gut Healing Soup

soothing, easy-to-digest soup to calm digestive flares.

5 from 1 vote

Print Recipe Pin Recipe


  • 1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 1 chicken breast or a couple thighs, shredded can use leftover already cooked
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 bunch spinach or Swiss chard
  • zucchini, sliced or use zucchini noodles for zoodle soup
  • 4 cups bone broth or chicken stock


  • Heat oil in large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, then add chicken. Season with a little sea salt. Saute meat until browned; remove from pan. Skip this step if you're using leftover cooked chicken.

  • To the same pot, add carrot, potatoes, and stock. Bring to simmer and turn heat to low. Simmer till vegetables are tender, about 15-20 minutes, and season as needed.

  • Add greens and/or other veggies or zucchini noodles. Simmer til tender, about 5 minutes.

  • Add chicken back to pot. *If adding already cooked chicken, add it at this stage.

  • Add spices: sea salt, thyme, oregano, etc. Simmer til flavors come together. This is just a base-- add whatever veggies you have on hand, but stick to low FODMAP. I like a dash of tamari too.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


If you’re experiencing a gut flare, a 3-5 day reset is exactly what you need to calm your system. There are many ways to customize your reset, but be sure to include gut soothing foods and eliminate the harder-to-digest and inflammatory foods. Supplements help also. You could also consider a 3 day bone broth fast, especially if your symptoms are severe, but consult your doctor or get support if you are underweight.

Let me know how your reset goes!

How to Calm a Gut Flare Up (Gut Healing Soup Recipe Included) - Mary Vance, NC (4)

Mary Vance, NC

Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. She combines a science-based approach with natural therapies to rebalance the body. In addition to her 1:1 coaching, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and improve your health. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.

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  1. How to Calm a Gut Flare Up (Gut Healing Soup Recipe Included) - Mary Vance, NC (5)

    Sam bon 30 December, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    How to Calm a Gut Flare Up (Gut Healing Soup Recipe Included) - Mary Vance, NC (6)
    Excited to try this chicken soup. Thank you for the tips on how to calm a gut flare up. I’ve not been diagnosed with anything in particular, but I do have a lot of digestive issues and hormone imbalances..which are very connected I’m finding out. I have been doing restorative yoga which really helps me learn to relax, and I try to eat as clean as possible. I’m gluten intolerant, like to the point if I touch gluten I get joint pain, nausea, diarrhea, extreme anger, itchy skin, the whole works. I will welcome any tips and advice you have for getting well again. I feel like I can be doing well until all of a sudden I’m sick as a dog again and worse each time.

  2. How to Calm a Gut Flare Up (Gut Healing Soup Recipe Included) - Mary Vance, NC (7)

    Mary Vance, NCon 3 January, 2022 at 5:15 pm

    Hi Sam, I know how frustrating that can be! I would recommend stool analysis (I offer this in my practice) and working with a skilled practitioner who cam help you connect the dots and heal your gut so you may be able to tolerate more foods. Certain pathogens that may show up on a stool analysis can trigger or worsen GI flares. Check out my coaching page for info on my programs. best wishes.

  3. How to Calm a Gut Flare Up (Gut Healing Soup Recipe Included) - Mary Vance, NC (8)

    HolisticSoulHealings.comon 8 June, 2022 at 3:10 pm

    Love discovering informative content about foods that are good for your gut especially after having issues with my gut. Glad I rendezvoused with it. 🙂

  4. How to Calm a Gut Flare Up (Gut Healing Soup Recipe Included) - Mary Vance, NC (9)

    Monica Son 21 July, 2022 at 11:49 pm

    I was diagnosed with diverticulitis. And now I might have IBS. I’m not sure if I should do the LOFOD diet or plant based?

  5. How to Calm a Gut Flare Up (Gut Healing Soup Recipe Included) - Mary Vance, NC (10)

    Mary Vance, NCon 29 July, 2022 at 3:30 pm

    Hi Monica, your diet will be based on your symptoms. a Low FODMAP diet is useful for reducing bloating and IBS symptoms but shouldn’t be followed long term. Ideally you would do breath testing for SIBO and stool testing (large intestine assessment) to inform how to proceed. there is likely some microbiome imbalance to address.

  6. How to Calm a Gut Flare Up (Gut Healing Soup Recipe Included) - Mary Vance, NC (11)

    Minaon 4 January, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    hi there. my question is about the gut-healing soup. what veggies do you recommend other than the zucchini noodles?

  7. How to Calm a Gut Flare Up (Gut Healing Soup Recipe Included) - Mary Vance, NC (12)

    Mary Vance, NCon 5 January, 2023 at 6:52 pm

    Mina, you don’t have to use zucchini noodles. you could use rice noodles or add extra of any of the veggies mentioned. The recipe is completely customizable.

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How to Calm a Gut Flare Up (Gut Healing Soup Recipe Included) - Mary Vance, NC (2024)


How do you calm a leaky gut flare up? ›

avoiding foods that commonly cause symptoms, such as sugar, gluten, and dairy. adding probiotics to repopulate healthy gut bacteria. eating fermented foods, such as pickles, yogurt, and sauerkraut, which can help heal the gut. considering supplements, such as L-glutamine, which may heal the intestinal lining.

What foods soothe gut lining? ›

Gut Health Foods - 15 Foods For Good Gut Health
  • Yoghurt. Live yoghurt is an excellent source of so-called friendly bacteria, also known as probiotics. ...
  • Kefir. ...
  • Miso. ...
  • Sauerkraut. ...
  • Kimchi. ...
  • Sourdough. ...
  • Almonds. ...
  • Olive oil.

How can I heal my gut fast? ›

Gut health and diet
  1. Eat a high fibre diet. Fibre is important for our gut health for many reasons. ...
  2. Eat a diverse range of food. ...
  3. Limit ultra-processed foods. ...
  4. Drink water. ...
  5. Eat foods rich in polyphenols. ...
  6. Eat slowly. ...
  7. Eat fermented foods.
Mar 23, 2023

How long does it take to recover from an inflamed gut? ›

It can take anywhere from 4 weeks to 6 months to fully heal the gut.

How do you calm down your gut? ›

A nervous stomach can often be treated with home and natural remedies, as well as lifestyle changes.
  1. Try herbal remedies. ...
  2. Avoid caffeine, especially coffee. ...
  3. Practice deep breathing, mindfulness, and meditation. ...
  4. Try calming diffuser oils or incenses. ...
  5. Find space for yourself to relax.
Dec 15, 2017

What does a leaky gut flare up feel like? ›

Leaky gut syndrome (LGS) is a proposed digestive condition where the intestinal lining allows bacteria and toxins into the bloodstream. Symptoms include diarrhea, bloating, and fatigue. There is no standard treatment but dietary and lifestyle changes may help.

What are the 3 super foods for your gut? ›

Three superfoods for the gut are fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut, prebiotic-rich foods like garlic and onions, and probiotic-rich foods like yogurt and kefir. These foods contain beneficial bacteria that support the growth of healthy gut flora and promote digestion and nutrient absorption.

How do you fix an inflamed gut lining? ›

How to Improve Gut Health Naturally and Reduce Inflammation
  1. Eat probiotic foods to boost good gut bacteria. ...
  2. Add prebiotic foods to feed the gut microbiome. ...
  3. Practice stress-management techniques. ...
  4. Stay active to keep your body healthy.

What naturally repairs stomach lining? ›

Taking a probiotic supplement along with eating fermented foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, and kefir can help with gut lining repair. When choosing a probiotic supplement to help heal your leaky gut, you want to choose one that has several different strains of probiotics.

What drink is best for gut health? ›

The bottom line

Fermented drinks like kombucha and kefir may promote gut health. Green tea and ginger tea might also help ease gut symptoms.

How can I reset my gut at home? ›

What is a 3-day gut reset?
  1. removing foods that feed harmful bacteria and cause inflammation.
  2. introducing plenty of prebiotic foods, which feed beneficial bacteria.
  3. encouraging healthful practices, such as getting enough sleep and exercise and staying hydrated.
Nov 28, 2023

What are the 4 steps to heal the gut? ›

The four R's protocol (Remove, Replace, Re-inoculate, Repair) works to address the underlying causes of imbalance and aids in alleviating symptoms. Working with your healthcare provider, you will first determine the best approach for your particular situation and symptoms, then move through these four steps.

How long does it take for inflamed intestines to calm down? ›

Acute colitis that is caused by a temporary infection, food intolerance or radiation exposure typically goes away by itself. Some types of infections may need treatment to go away, especially parasite infections. Most infections take about a week to go away, while radiation colitis takes a few months.

What is the strongest natural anti-inflammatory? ›

  1. Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids , which are abundant in fatty fish such as salmon or tuna, are among the most potent anti-inflammatory supplements. ...
  2. Curcumin. ...
  3. S-adenosylmethionine. ...
  4. Zinc. ...
  5. Green tea. ...
  6. Frankincense. ...
  7. Capsaicin. ...
  8. Cat's claw.
Aug 22, 2023

How can you tell if your gut is inflamed? ›

IBS is defined by its symptoms: stomach pain with diarrhea, constipation, or both. What determines a diagnosis of IBD is gut inflammation. “A telltale sign of IBD is the inflammation we see when we evaluate a patient's intestines with imaging, such as a CT scan or MRI, or the ulcers we see during a colonoscopy.

What is the best home remedy for leaky gut? ›

Taking self-care steps that promote overall digestive health may be the best way to protect yourself from leaky gut.
  1. Increase your intake of high-fiber foods. ...
  2. Reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates. ...
  3. Reduce your use of NSAIDs. ...
  4. Take probiotic supplements. ...
  5. Reduce your stress levels. ...
  6. Reduce your alcohol intake.
Sep 4, 2019

What is the best supplement for leaky gut? ›

Some supplements and treatments that may be beneficial in the treatment of leaky gut syndrome may include:
  • zinc.
  • L-glutamine.
  • collagen peptides.
  • probiotics.
  • fiber.
  • DGL.
  • curcumin.
  • berberine.
Feb 26, 2019

What is a good breakfast for leaky gut? ›

  • Fruit parfait: Top a bowl of Greek yogurt with blueberries, strawberries, or kiwifruit slices.
  • Oatmeal: Add water or dairy free milk to rolled oats and top with blueberries.
  • Eggs and toast: Add one or two eggs to some sourdough toast.
Aug 20, 2019


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