Healthy Gut And Digestion
Your digestion is a window into how the rest of your body is functioning.
Healthy digestion means a healthy immune system, a healthy hormonal balance, and a healthy mood.
The balance of gut bacteria in your digestive tract plays a BIG role in how well you digest and absorb nutrients, so keeping your gut bacteria healthy and happy is very important to having healthy digestion.
A bad balance of gut bacteria can lead to all kinds of complications from crazy-out-of-control sugar cravings to painful bloating, to crazy-out-of-control bad moods.
Depending on your diet, your gut can be a hostile environment for your gut bacteria. The foods you eat can either support their health or hinder their health. Part of having a healthy gut is creating a healthy environment for these little guys, and part of having a healthy gut is making sure that you have enough of them and the right balance living in your digestive tract.
Raw Fermented Foods Are Friends For Your Gut
Raw fermented foods are a wonderful way to replenish your gut bacteria because they are high in healthy probiotic bacteria.
Wellness Mama–“Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of lacto- fermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics.”
Traditional cultures would eat fermented foods at almost every meal to help them digest and absorb the nutrients from their foods– the beneficial enzymes help break down food and support healthy digestion, while the probiotics enhance nutrient absorption.
I try to eat at least one serving of fermented food every day. It’s usually raw sauerkraut with my eggs in the morning, but sometimes it’s homemade or store-bought kombucha or kimchi. Fermented foods have a very distinct taste that can take some getting used to, but here are
5 Ways to Eat More Fermented Foods
My first introduction into fermented foods was Bubbies Raw Sauerkraut. Raw sauerkraut is lactofermented cabbage and usually tastes less vinegary than the non-lacto-fermented sauerkraut. When looking for fermented foods with probiotic benefits, make sure to read the labels. The only ingredients should be the veggie, water, salt, and spices– if it has vinegar in it as an added ingredient, it won’t have the same benefits. Lacto-fermented foods are always refrigerated too!
Try some fermented tea like Kombucha. It is a bubbly fermented beverage that’s full of enzymes and probiotics. It’s a great soda replacement and a natural pick-me-up. It might taste a little vinegary at first because there is acetic acid in it as a byproduct of the fermentation process, but when it’s paired with fruit juices, it’s the best!
My favorite flavors are GT Synergy Passionberry Bliss and Trilogy Flavors– they’re great ones to start with if you’ve never had kombucha before.
Use a Fermented Doppelganger
You can fermented ANY kind of vegetable, so an easy way to get more fermented foods is to replace some of your raw or cooked veggies with fermented veggies. Lacto-fermented pickles and beets are common– you can add them to salads or eat them as side dishes.
You can also make lacto-fermented salsa, ketchup, mayonnaise and apple sauce!
Try all different flavors of fermented foods! Kimchi is usually spicy (you can even find SUPER hot Kimchi from Mama O’s), and there are tons of different flavors of raw sauerkraut out there– from madras curry to garlic and dill. Experiment with some different flavors to find one that you really like.
My current favorite is the Garlic Dill Pickle Sauerkraut from Farmhouse Cultures. It’s sauerkraut with bits of pickles in it! SO good with runny eggs and greens in the morning.
Keep on Keepin’ On
Don’t give up! Fermented foods are an acquired taste. Most of us didn’t grow up eating them– I didn’t try them until I was in my late twenties–and when I tried them at first, I REALLY didn’t like them. BUT I knew how good they were for me, so I kept experimenting with different flavors and types and I finally found a few that I really, truly enjoy.
How do you eat your fermented foods? Are they a regular part of your diet?