In 2017 the health world were turning their heads towards the gut and its tiny inhabitants ‘microbes’ most commonly known as bacteria. There are 100 trillion microbes in our gut alone and mostly like to live in our intestines. But before you have a meltdown and scream “OH MY GAWD! I have bacteria floating around in my insides!” STOP! Not all bacteria is bad. It is instrumental that you have adequate amounts of good bacteria in your gut and these little dudes are there to keep your whole body working how it should; from hormone production, nutrient absorption and promotion of healthy bowel movements. If you have bad gut bacteria it can make you really quite sick. It has recently been linked to a multitude of symptoms ranging from weight gain/weight loss to determining your mood. It can also be responsible for more serious aliments such as:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- IBS (irritable bowel Disease)
- IBD ( Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
- SIBO (small Intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
- Yeast Infections
- Brain fog
- Adrienal Fatigue
If you are suffering from any of these problems, now is a good time to nurse your digestive system back to health. Many of us can take our gut for granted. We underestimate the vast amount of work and strain we put it under on a daily basis and like everyone, it deserves a little tender-loving-care now and then.
Fermented foods are some of the best ways of nursing your gut back to health from stress. Fermented foods should be a staple part of everyone’s diet not just a one-time quick fix, no.
Humans have been fermenting/pickling foods for as far back as 7000–6600 BCE in Jiahu, China. They are packed with good, friendly bacteria that help breakdown your food in the gut to keeping your gut working. Without them you would not properly absorb the nutrients your body needs. This is often why those who suffer with the conditions listed above are likely to be under nourished in certain vitamins and minerals.
The most commonly known fermented food in western culture is yogurt. Not the sweetened kind but instead the natural bio-yogurt. Live cultured yogurt has been proven to lower the levels of harmful bacteria Candida albicans, which causes yeast infections and in turn leading to bowel infection. It also helps to relive diarrhea and constipation by promoting healthy bacteria which may cause these symptoms. It can also:
♥ Be a good source of calcium, phosphorus, B2 B12
♥ Prevent bad breath
WATCH OUT FOR: Some flavoured yogurts can contain a lot of added sugar (be sure to read the label)
If you’re lactose intolerant, there are many lacto-free and dairy free alternatives to choose from, I really like COYO’s plain vegan yogurt.
*I would recommend eating a yogurt after a course of antibiotics as this will help to restore any bacteria destroyed during that time. Alternatively try taking a strong probiotic containing ‘lactobacillus acidophilus’. Learn more about Probiotics here.
Very similar to Kimchi without the spice. Sauerkraut gets its taste from bacterial fermentation. It promotes healthy gut flora & fauna which helps with the absorption of vitamin B. It can also:
♥ Prevent colon cancer
♥ Relive gastric ulcers
♥ Good source of vitamin C
-May promote iron deficiency if eaten to excess
This of this as the Eastern version of Sauerkraut. I love this and when I lived in Asia I would eat this on a daily basis straight out the packet. Kimchi is a Korean dish and is loved so much that when taking a photo they will say “KIMCHI!” as opposed to our western “CHEESE”…maybe that’s why they have good gut health.
Kimchi is a spicy dish made from cabbage, spring onions and anything else they decide to add in. If you think well I’m low FODMAP I can’t eat onions, think again. Due to the fermentation of the sugars in onions (ogliosaccarides) you should have no problem, as they are already digested by the bacteria. It’s packed with probiotics also containing lactobacilli. It also:
♥ Can lower cholesterol
♥ Helps to promote clear vision
♥ slows down the aging process
♥ Helps you lose weight
-Can cause an upset tummy if eaten too much.
Another dish from the far east that I can’t get enough of (although most of who have to watch me eat it think I’m mad). Natto is not for the faint-hearted, it smells bad, textured like something out of Aliens the movie and the taste is an acquired one to say the least. However, it is one of the healthiest foods you can get a hold of. It is an extremely powerful probiotic due to containing bacillus subtilis and will happily set your gut right in no time! It also:
♥ Boosts immune system
♥ Is a great source for vitamin K1 & K2
♥ Can reduce bone loss
Apple cider vinegar
Many people know apple cider vinegar as a weight loss aid but I take a tbsp of it in a glass of cold water every morning when I wake up. I find it does wonders to keep IBS symptoms away and prevents SIBO, It also:
♥ Controls blood pressure
♥ Balances gut bacteria
♥ Clears acne
Do you have any other fermented foods that work for you? Share in the comments below 👇