The importance of a healthy gut and how to achieve it…
Over the last decade there has been a shift in our understanding of the “gut”, it is more responsible for keeping our brains and bodies functioning than we realise. This densely packed nerve hub manages a whole range of complicated processes from digestion to stress and recovery.
The gut and brain constantly communicate and the former will let the latter know how it is feeling… weird right?
In order to get the most nutrition out of the food we eat, we must boost the “good and friendly” bacteria, aka probiotics. Boosting probiotics allows us to extract the maximum nutrition from our diet. You will have heard the phrase ” We are what we eat.” I would take it one step further and say “We are what we absorb!”
So, How can I boost my probiotics…?
Fermented foods like Kombucha, Kefir and Sauerkraut will aid digestion and boost probiotics. An unhappy gut can cause a whole host of both mental and physical problems from I.B.S to anxiety. A particular studyÂ by researchers at Oxford University indicated that test subjects who had taken the probiotic paid more attention to positive information and less to negative information, and it lowered levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. This could suggest the effects are very similar to that of an anti-depressant.
Diet, not drugs…
Many of our modern day drugs play havoc with our digestive system often stripping the gut of all bacteria including the good ones. Adding a probiotic to your diet could significantly improve your health and wellbeing and avoiding unnecessary medication could also go a long way to keeping your gut “happy”!
So, What’s Kombucha…?
Kombucha is a variety of fermented, fizzy sweetened black tea.Â Derived from ancient eastern medicine, Kombucha, aka the “Tea of Immortality” was used to treat gut health, boost the libido and stimulate the immune system. We have been successfully using fermented foods for thousands of years, however, since processed convenience food has dominated our supermarket shelves, we appear to have lost our way.
This is a step by step example of how to make your very own Kefir from the grains. Tread carefully, fermented foods are not for the faint hearted, they are an acquired taste! Kefir derives from the northern Caucasus mountains and has been used for hundreds of years to help aid digestion.
Buy some Kefir grains. These little guys are self perpetuating, so they constantly grow and multiply meaning you only have to buy them once.
Place your Kefir grains into a glass jar. DO NOT USE METAL UTENSILS.
Fill the glass with milk. It’s best to use pasteurised, not raw milk for this process. 20 parts milk to 1 part grains in volume. Cover the jar with cheese cloth and leave at room temperature for at least 24 hours.
Remove the kefir grains from the milk. Use a plastic spoon to remove the grains from the milks surface. Start the whole process again with the recycled grains.
Your milk is now Kefir and can be drunk right away or stored in the fridge.
Our holistic approach to health and wellness set us on the path to try fermented foods to boost gut health. Try introducing these foods into your diet for a month and feel the difference it makes to your mood and body.
Personal Trainer and Rehabilitation Expert,
17 Fore Street,