When Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut,” he was onto something that many of us are only just starting to realize. Optimal gut health isn’t just important for digestion; it’s a vital component of our overall wellness.
Your gut is responsible for:
- Breaking down food
- Eliminating waste
- Absorbing nutrients
- Protecting against infection
- …and much more
When the gut isn’t operating efficiently, we’re vulnerable to all types of health issues, like leaky gut, candida overgrowth, chronic inflammation, and food sensitivities. These issues can cause even more serious illnesses if left untreated.
Gut Health & Fermented Foods
In order to heal the gut, dietary changes are non-negotiable. A healthy diet plan includes high-quality fats, clean proteins, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, and fermented foods.
Wait, fermented foods? Like hot dogs and sauerkraut?
Fermented foods are those that have undergone a lacto-fermentation process. Lacto-fermentation occurs when Lactobacillus converts sugars into lactic acid—a natural preservative. This method was commonly used before we had refrigeration and preservatives as a way to keep foods from spoiling.
In addition to preservation, lacto-fermentation increases the digestibility of foods, prohibits the growth of bad bacteria, and populates the gut with good bacteria.
How to Ferment
It’s easy to lacto-ferment foods at home and incorporate them into your meals to rebuild and restore gut health. Start by trying this simple recipe from The Kitchen. Once you get the hang of the method, you can ferment almost any vegetable.
Try sliced pork tenderloin with sauerkraut, tofu stir-fry with kimchi, and burgers with fermented pickles (which are not the same as cucumbers that are soaked in vinegar). You can also toss fermented foods into salads and rice bowls, or eat them as a snack.
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