26 May Is your probiotic supplement helping?
It has been awhile since we talked about my favorite topic.
You have been focusing a lot on your mind, body and soul connection, and that is at the core of unlocking the healthiest version of you. You cannot simply look at your gut, your IBS or your hormone imbalance as separate and individual parts of you that need healing. You have to look at your entire being as one. Every experience you have becomes a part of you. It isn’t just about what you put in your mouth or how you move.
Today I want to discuss re-populating your gut with probiotics, as they powerfully influence every part of your life – from your moods and energy to your immune function, stress responses and weight. Without their presence, you are unable to absorb and assimilate vitamins and minerals as they pass through your digestive system. As a result, you become malnourished, and can develop all different types of gut dysfunction and even autoimmunity.
Processed foods, antibiotics, prescription and over-the-counter medications, stress, emotional pressure and toxins destroy your internal gut ecosystem. Bad bacteria and other microorganisms take over, excreting toxic waste into your bloodstream (clue: this has a lot to do with why you are so tired – your liver is constantly filtering out these toxins in addition to its everyday functions).
But real repair does not come in capsules (especially if the bacteria is already dead once you take it). It comes when you target your gorgeous gut health; start looking at yourself as one seamless whole and restoring from the inside out.
My intention is to never to give you the band aid (aka the quick fix). And who wants to be on medication for the rest of their life anyway! So to begin rebuilding your gut ecology in the most effective way, incorporate fermented foods with your meals. You have heard me say this before, but it needs to be said again!
There is more out there than my beloved sauerkraut. But not all fermented foods are created equal. Some have no probiotics whatsoever and some can even make your unique health situation worse.
I aim to eat lacto-fermented foods every single day. They support my gorgeous gut, which feeds my immune system, energy levels, glowing skin, mental clarity, healthy cravings and stable weight. Lacto-fermented foods contain probiotics in their natural habitat. And these probiotics are much higher quality and significantly less expensive than what comes in capsules.
Even though these foods are amongst the best I know of to heal the body after life has wiped out the balance of beneficial bacteria inside your gut, they are not for everyone. This is why building the connection between your lifestyle and how you feel (physically, mentally and spiritually) is imperative.
Listen to what your body tells you.
Here are my favorite lacto-fermented foods, outside of sauerkraut:
- KIMCHI | Kimchi is one of the oldest lacto-fermented foods. This traditional Korean dish is made of cabbage, spices and plenty of antioxidants. Love this easy recipe from Summer Bock!
- MISO | Miso is a paste formed from fermenting soybeans, barley, or rice, and mold. I enjoy miso spread on toast (under a smear of avocado is best!) and in place of salt in dips, dressings and sauces. Miso is alkalizing on the body, has anti-aging properties, promotes healthy skin and a healthy nervous system.
- BEET KVASS | Kvass traditionally has been brewed by fermenting rye or barley. However, today you will find it made with beets predominantly. Kvass is loaded with Lactobacilli probiotics and is touted for its ability to cleanse blood and the liver.
- KEFIR | This fermented milk product is known for its anti-aging, immune-boosting, and healthy digestion benefits. It is high in amino acids, enzymes, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamins (largely K and B). Kefir tastes similar to yogurt, however it’s drinkable in consistency. It is also higher in probiotics than yogurt. Far superior to commercial kefir, homemade kefir is easy and fun to make. Also, Coconut Kefir is a fabulous dairy-free option that utilizes fermented juice of young coconuts in place of milk.
- NATTO | Natto is a popular Japanese dish, similar to tempeh. It is also made from fermented soybeans. Natto contains high levels of vitamin K2. This vitamin delivers calcium appropriately to the body and helps strengthen bones. Natto also supports cardiovascular health and blood clotting due to the enzyme activity of nattokinase.
- CULTURED NUT CHEESE | Nut cheeses can be made from almost any nut. With the addition of probiotics and fermentation, you create a delicious dish to enjoy while feeding your gut the good stuff. Nuts also provide high levels of protein, healthy fats and fiber.
It’s time to join the movement to bring this old tradition of using fermented foods with every meal back into your kitchen!
In gut health,