You Need to be Eating More Fermented Foods, Here’s Why.

Gut health has been a hot topic as of late, and for good reason. The health of our gut microbiome is directly reflected in the health of our bodies both physically and emotionally. The systemic inflammation associated with an unhealthy gut can cause chronic metabolic conditions, but can also be reversed quite easily.

Chronic inflammation is widely believed to be at the root cause of most of the chronic conditions we face today. Alzheimers, heart disease, depression, diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases, autism, allergies, and many others stem from systemic inflammation – which arises from poor gut health. Further more, with eighty percent of our immune system residing in our gut, the population of healthy microbes and an abundance of micronutrients are critical in protecting us from harmful viruses and genetic mutations that can wreak havoc on the body.

What Makes a Gut Healthy?

An overall healthy lifestyle with plenty of sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet all contribute to a healthy microbiome. The food that we eat either feeds the good bacteria or the bad bacteria. The prebiotics in our diet are a critical source of nourishment for the good bacteria in our gut and play a very important role in fueling the repopulation our microbiomes with healthy bacteria. Foods like garlic, onions, bananas, and asparagus are all rich in prebiotics fiber and should be consumed regularly to maintain gut balance.

Equally as important as prebiotics are probiotics. Probiotics are found in foods that are fermented or cultured and are all very rich in beneficial bacteria that, when consumed, will work to repopulate the gut with good bacteria. There are also many sources of probiotics that we can eat that contain live cultures like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, miso, and kombucha. Many of these can be made at home very easily!

The unhealthy bacteria is fed by excessive sugars, high animal protein, and high saturated fat. Some of the worst foods for our gut microbiome are excessive alcohol use, fried and fatty foods, food additives, artificial sweeteners, and sugars.

Symptoms of Poor Gut Health

If you are experiencing poor gut health, there will likely be some clues along the way. Symptoms will usually include:

-Skin irritation

-Sleep disturbances

-GI Upset (gas, bloating, indigestion, constipation, heartburn)

-Fatigue

-Food Intolerance

-Difficulty Sleeping

-Allergies and other Autoimmune conditions

-Anxiety and Depression

How to Develop a Healthier Gut

If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, poor gut health should be suspected. The great news is that we can change the health of our microbiome and begin reversing these conditions rather quickly.

Here are some steps to reducing inflammation and restoring health in your gut:

-Get more sleep

-Exercise regularly

-Drink a lot of water and reduce sugary beverages

-Eat foods rich in prebiotics and probiotics

-Limit inflammatory foods, like animal proteins and processed foods

-Limit alcohol consumption

-Uncover food intolerances and remove them from your diet

-Eat more fiber!

The bottom line here is that our gut health is absolutely critical to our health and vitality. There are many emerging studies that highlight the connection between the microbiome and chronic, systemic conditions and the importance of maintaining a healthy gut. For more information, check out this publication from NCBI here.

Enjoy reading this article? Learn more about your immune system and how to help prevent viral infections with herbs here.

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