Are you wondering what this whole craze is to do with our guts? There is so much buzz out there about gut health and fermented food I thought it was time I wrote a little blog on the matter!
I’ve been reading up a lot of this lately and it’s truly mind blowing! Did you know we have a similar number of microbial cells to that of human cells in our body !?! It must be pretty important stuff.
Clinical studies are still in their infancy in the grand scheme of things but there are some very promising results linking the health of our guts to the health of our bodies in terms of weight management, immune health (including allergies and intolerances) and even benefits to mental health (eg. helping to manage depression). Beneficial or "good" bacteria in our microbiome (the world of bacteria in our guts) also help with the digestion and absorption of essential nutrients in our diet.
So how can we adapt our diet to help the health of our gut?
PREBIOTICS: these are foods that our good bacteria like to feed and thrive on ... the best thing to do is to eat a wide variety of plant foods ... great prebiotic foods include onions, leeks, chicory, asparagus, bananas, oats, barley and apples.
PROBIOTICS: this is actual bacteria strains, and can be found in supplement form, or in some foods. They can help populate your guts with more healthy bacteria. Great foods that are a source of probiotics include yogurts with live cultures, some cheeses and fermented foods. Popular fermented foods include sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), kefir (fermented dairy drink), kimchi (spicy fermented vegetables including cabbage) and kombucha (fermented tea).
A quick word on inflammatory foods
To help your gut health you could also do with limiting refined sugar and processed foods that can cause inflammation and harm your gut health (and general health of course!).
So whilst the jury is out on some of the research, the benefits are promising - and a lot of the prebiotics and probitic foods are generally healthy anyway so are worth including in your diet! Cheers Kefir!