Dr. Libby: Give Your Gut a Hug by Feeding It Fermented Foods

When it comes to understanding the role of bacteria in our health, consider this – we are actually more bacteria than we are human.

A healthy balance of the bacteria in our gut governs the functioning of many systems including the immune system and metabolism. It plays a critical role in our mood and brain function – and it helps us maintain our body size.

The health of the gut is central to every aspect of health. It is through our digestive system that we absorb all of the goodness from our food, a process that is essential for life. Yet today, many people suffer with an array of gut-based illnesses or dysfunction, which can have a broad-reaching impact on many other areas of our health.

Fermented foods are like a big hug for your gut and a wonderfully nourishing addition to your diet, whether you have experienced gut dysfunction or not. Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugars and starches in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food and produces beneficial enzymes, B-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and  are a source of probiotics.

The fermentation of foods may also preserve the nutrient content of the food and assist in making the food easier to digest. It’s this along with the probiotics created during the fermentation process that explains the link

between consumption of fermented foods and improved digestion.

WHAT KIND OF FERMENTED FOODS ARE THERE?

Kombucha – a fizzy fermented tea that has a good mix of different strains of bacteria. However, it’s important to read the label when buying  commercial brands as many can have a high sugar content.

Sauerkraut – probably the most cost-effective and delicious fermented food, this fermented cabbage dish is easy to prepare at home.

Homemade pickles – pickles preserved in apple cider vinegar offer a great digestive boost.

Coconut yoghurt – a delicious and great way to get plenty of enzymes and probiotics.

Miso – miso is made from fermented soybeans and grains and is a good source of essential minerals like potassium.

WHY EAT FERMENTED FOODS?

Besides the fact that they generally taste delicious, there are a number of reasons they’re great for your health and a nourishing inclusion to your diet. . .  reader_3

 

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