For the past couple of years, we have been hearing about the importance of our gut health and how the bacteria that live in our digestive system play such a crucial role in our overall health and well-being. Conditions such as anxiety, depression, cancer, diabetes, fatigue and some skin issues like eczema and rosacea have all shown to be somewhat linked to imbalances in our intestinal flora.
The sooner we recognize that the food we put in our mouths has much bigger implications than just happy taste buds and a full stomach, the better. Abnormalities like dull skin, chronic fatigue, and headaches can all be related to our food choices. Once we understand this, we can truly begin to take action and live a healthier life.
Now that we know that our gut could be the “root” of most of our health conditions, how do we restore it and maintain a healthy and happy gut? Before we start restoring our bacteria and start packing it with new, positive bacteria colonies, we should remove and avoid all factors that could damage the good bacteria.
According to Dr. Jose Axe, one our favorite experts and author of Eat Dirt, some of the factors that can destroy your gut flora include: antibiotics (of course, take if your doctor prescribes them, but make sure to restore gut flora after!), refined sugars, modified grains, artificial coloring, processed foods, some dairy, and pesticides or strong chemicals.
Now that we’ve covered what you should avoid, we can move on to the good part: what exactly should we eat? The answer: Fermented foods + Probiotics
As far as probiotics, there are so many types nowadays that is tough picking a right one, so we recommend you pick one with specific strains and from a trustworthy brand. Our personal favorite is Theralac because it has the five main strains and replenishes all that healthy intestinal flora we all need!
Here are our top three favorite foods to eat our way to a happy and healthy gut:
1. Kombucha: Do we need any more reasons to drink Kombucha besides its delicious and refreshing taste? Well, actually yes we do – it’s completely packed with probiotics! After a cold serving of Kombucha, the bacteria in your gut will be like Beyoncé’s army – ready to slay.
2. Raw Sauerkraut: Raw sauerkraut is super diverse and really easy to add foods. Just put it atop your favorite salad and soups for your daily dose of healthy bacteria. Do you feel like making your own? Try this recipe by LPN.
3. Kimchi: This Korean culture staple NEEDS to be in your diet. A study found that consumption of Kimchi helps boost your immune system! So, next time you have the flu and are looking for a speedy recovery, make sure to hit that kimchi jar. We work with Small World Food based out of Rochester, NY. They make the most amazing and natural Kimchi Jars and other delicious fermented products like sauerkraut and miso. Stop by our store and stock up on some fermented veggies!
If you want to learn more about the healthy gut movement, we recommend picking up a copy of the aforementioned Eat Dirt by Dr. Axe or Gut by Giulia Enders. They are both light reads and they will leave you striving for a healthier gut and most importantly, a healthier version of you.