You Can’t Be Healthy Without This!
I know it may sound a bit extreme, but that’s how strongly I believe in this! The foundation of a healthy body is a healthy gut. Ya gotta have healthy guts to experience true health. Believe me on this one!
Essentially, the gut is your body’s gatekeeper, letting in helpful compounds and evicting harmful ones. It’s home to 70 to 80% of our immune cells. When the gut is in good shape, our systems run efficiently, but when it’s not, we may experience upset stomach, be at risk for weight gain or digestive problems like heartburn and constipation, or just feel vaguely out of sorts.
For many people, that run-down feeling has lasted so long that it’s mistaken for the norm, says New York cardiologist Alejandro Junger, author of “Clean Gut. “We could feel so much better — we just don’t know it.”
What is a healthy gut? A healthy gut has a healthy population of “friendly” micro-organisms in the gut. The gut is swarming with about 100 trillion bacteria, or flora, which outnumber human cells in our body 10 to 1. Bacteria are often considered “good” or “bad.” In an unhealthy gut where the less beneficial flora have taken over often caused by a diet high in sugar and carbs, unhealthy fast, and processed food — can cause gas, discomfort, bloating and inflammation.
Why do you need a healthy gut for optimal health?
- it improves your intestinal health and digestion
- enhances your immune system and protects against infection
- it helps synthesise and enhances the bioavailability of nutrients
- improves your bodies ability to break down toxins
- helps with weight loss
As cold and flu season is upon us, keeping your gut healthy can really help with keeping you healthy. I never get flu shots and I haven’t been sick since I really started making an effort to keep my gut flora healthy.
If you want to start feeling even better in your body, try improving your gut health. You first want to cut back on things that contribute to poor gut health.
Some things that contribute to poor gut health:
-Birth Control Pill
-High Sugar / Refined Carb Diet
-Wheat and Industrial Seed Oils
Ways to improve your gut health:
– Eat foods with naturally occurring probiotics. My favourite is organic sauerkraut. Sauerkraut has important cancer inhibiting agents as well. I eat a tablespoon or two with my lunch or dinner everyday. You can purchase this or it’s really easy and inexpensive to make yourself. Check out the recipe below. Please note that different brands of sauerkraut taste different, try a couple until you find one you like. I like the Biona and Raw brands that are available where I live. Other foods that are high in naturally occurring probiotics are miso paste (I love making salad dressings with this), kombucha and kimchi.
-Take a high quality probiotic supplement daily. I really like Garden of Life, Primal Defense for a probiotic. I order it on Amazon. Another one I like is Viridian’s Tri Blend Probiotic. However, if you are taking any medications, you should consult with you doctor before taking a probiotic. Also, you want to start slow when you are new to taking probiotics. Take 1 a day for a while to let your body adjust. The word probiotic has Greek origins, meaning “for life.” You can also get kid friendly probiotics so your whole family can be supported. I don’t normally talk much about supplements, but this one is a must have on my list.
-Manage stress levels. One way you can do this is by enjoying a relaxing retreat with me in Bali! Get the details here.
-Reduce sugars and refined carbohydrates in your diet
Try improving your gut health and watch your overall health improve!
- 2 quart sized, wide mouth glass jars, or 1 larger jar
- 1 whole cabbage, sliced thinly (remove the core, or chop it for a chunky contrast)
- 1 cup carrots, grated (optional)
- 2 TB sea salt
- optional: you can also add things like mustard seeds, dill, or chopped garlic
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl. With clean hands, massage the vegetables thoroughly to get them to release their juices for a 3-4 minutes. Cover the bowl and let sit for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, return to the bowl and repeat the massaging for another few minutes until a good quantity of juice has collected. Place the veggies in the glass jar(s), packing them down really well, ensuring that the liquid is several centimeters higher than the vegetable mixture. Loosely put the lid on. Leave on a plate on a countertop or shelf, away from direct sunlight, for as many days as required to achieve the texture and taste you desire.
- Eat a few tablespoons a day to get that gut feeling good! Enjoy!
- I like to leave them for at least a week, but have had jars fermenting for months and they were great too. The climate where you live and temperature at the time of year when you make it will affect the fermentation process. It will ferment much faster in warmer climates. If you live somewhere tropical you might leave your sauerkraut for only 24 hours. The longer it sits the more tender the cabbage becomes and the more tangy the taste. For your first time, maybe try it after 7 days. If you decide you want a stronger flavour and softer texture, let it sit for even longer next time. Once you open your sauerkraut, keep it in the refrigerator. It will last for ages in the fridge. It is still fermenting in the fridge, just at a much slower rate.