A person’s gut health has become the hottest topic discussed in most recent studies. As a Burleigh Heads personal trainer, it is one of our main focuses to educate and direct our clients towards improving their gut health through clean eating strategies as we know it affects our physical and mental state of being.
Looking after your gut health can be challenging in a modern world. Particularly when it is considered normal to live off high inflammation foods like bread, pasta, cereal and highly preserved snacks and drinks. Then when a person is feeling poorly, there is more disruption to the gut by popping a quick fix pharmaceutical tablet.
If a person has a low immune system, feeling low or using antibiotics, the doctor or pharmacist may usually suggest a probiotic capsule. These good bacteria bombs can bring harmony to an unsettled gut tract by restoring the good bacteria. The capsules are also synthetic and expensive, with some not even making it past the stomach bile to do their job.
Fermented foods contain high levels of natural probiotics. If the vegetables have been grown organically they will be covered in Lactobacilli – lacto-fermenting bacteria. Once covered in water and salt they will then go through the process of lacto fermentation. This is when the natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. Lactobacilli are living bacteria that helps keep a healthy balance of good bacteria in the stomach.
‘Dr. Mercola’ sent his sauerkraut off for testing and found that 60 grams, approx. 2 tablespoons, of his Home-made Sauerkraut had more probiotic value then 100 probiotic capsules. So 1 serving of fermented food is equivalent to an entire bottle of high potency probiotics. Here at out our Gold Coast Personal Training Gym we often have to make an order once per week because the jars are flying out the door- our clients here love it.
Why should you eat fermented foods?
1. Cheap probiotic
Not everything healthy can be cost effective but fermented foods are. It’s super cheap if you make it at home but even buying it from a health food store for about $15 a bottle should last you around 2-3 weeks.
The same lactic acid that is found in the colon, intestines and saliva are naturally present in organic fermented vegetables. This allows them to all work together. This then encourages balance through its live enzymes in the digestive tract, helping you to absorb the nutrients out of food and discard the waste efficiently.
3. Brain function
The digestive system produces more neurotransmitters than your brain does. Therefore having a healthy gut will improve your mood by lowering stress hormones, as well as improving your brain function. The bacteria in our gut are also responsible for some of our body’s serotonin production, the happy hormone.
4. Immune system
70-80% of our immune system is in your gut. If you have poor digestion and gut flora you will be more likely to catch sicknesses easily, have allergies and develop inflammation.
5. Get rid of toxins
The fermentation process breaks down the nutrients in foods and creates natural chelators. This means it binds to the toxins and allows the body to flush them out.
6. Easy to make
It is easy and cheap to make too. You can go as simple as sauerkraut made with cabbage, sea salt and filtered water or use a starter culture and try making a preserved salsa.
Aside from all the amazing health benefits, having a serve of fermented veggies is a great way to add colour and extra vegetables to your plate. They are fantastic to have around if veggies are low in the house or you are eating on the run.
If you have never used fermented veggies, have poor stomach health or are aware that you have an overgrowth of bacteria, be kind to your body and introduce it slowly. There may be a whole lot of toxins to flush and a big introduction of good bacteria. Start off adding a teaspoon a day then if you find your body is adjusting well start increasing up to 2 tablespoons a meal.
At our Gold Coast based gym in Burleigh heads we provide a host of goodies to keep our clients healthy. Check out Activation Foods for great variety in flavours for all taste buds.