If you haven’t heard by now, I am all about that gut health. I believe it is the foundation of a healthy mind and body and is one of the most important things you can focus on when it comes to your overall health and wellness. Your digestive system (commonly referred to as the “gut”) is where all your food is digested and assimilated and if it’s not working properly, you wont be able to absorb the nutrients from the food you eat and you might experience other uncomfortable and unpleasant symptoms. We each have a “microbiome” in our digestive tract and its full of good and bad bacteria. It’s important to feed the good bacteria in our guts in order crowd out the bad bacteria. Fermented foods/drinks are one of the best ways to feed the good bacteria in order to promote your gut health.
Fermented (or cultured) foods contain probiotics, which are the healthy bacteria our guts need. This good/healthy bacteria helps to improve digestion, boost immunity, detoxify your body, reduce inflammation, improve cognitive function, and improve the overall microbiome of the gut. Often times, different fermented foods/drinks contain enzymes that are necessary to properly break down food in our digestive system in addition to the beneficial bacteria they provide. Some of my favorite fermented foods/drinks are sauerkraut, kombucha, beet kvass, and coconut water kefir.
Sauerkraut contains beneficial bacteria and enzymes to eliminate pathogens and help break down your food. It also contains Vitamins K and C which both help to support, create, and maintain healthy bones in the body. Sauerkraut contains antioxidants and reduces inflammation by crowding out harmful bacteria and pathogens. This is my favorite sauerkraut brand and I love to eat it with eggs, on salads, with stirfrys, or even just have a spoonful by itself sometimes.
I don’t particularly believe that kombucha is the #1 way to get probiotics into our system; the main reason is because in order for the “mother” of the kombucha to grow and thrive, it needs to be fed some type of sugar either from cane sugar or honey. Sometimes these beverages can have upwards of 20-25 grams of sugar for one 16oz bottle. With this being said, I still love the taste of kombucha and do believe that it provides beneficial probiotics and enzymes. I always try to find a flavor and brand that has a smaller sugar content like GT’s cranberry and gingerade flavors.
I have been drinking this on a regular basis for the past two months and absolutely LOVE IT. It has a fermented, but pleasant taste and is super easy to drink a couple ounces of daily. It’s amazing to help detox your liver, reduce sugar cravings, improve your digestion, supports mental clarity, and repopulates the microbiome with good bacteria. This is the brand of Beet Kvass I always buy and highly recommend it!
Coconut Water Kefir
Although I love the 3 options I mentioned above, this is by far MY FAVORITE. I love coconut water kefir so much. It tastes more like a mild kombucha and has a bit of a tangy yogurt taste as well, but I absolutely love it. Coconut Kefir is so beneficial for breaking down the food in our digestive systems, providing good bacteria to our microbiome, and supplying our bodies with many nutrients such as amino acids, enzymes, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins K and B. I used to make my own using this kefir starter, but I got a bit lazy and started to buy coconut water kefir from GT’s instead. Making your own is quite a bit cheaper, so if this is something you’re interested in, I recommend you going that route. Buy the kefir starter here and follow the simple instructions. It’s so easy and so good for your digestive system.
Overall, I think it is so beneficial to add in fermented foods to your daily routine. Your gut will thank you! You’ll notice less bloating, better digestion, clearer skin, and improved cognition. If you ever have extra questions regarding this topic or still don’t know how to get started, feel free to reach out to me! I would love to help. Xo