If we’re going to start trusting our gut more, we had better take care of it! Did you know that 85% of your immune system is in your gut, along with 90% of that feel-good hormone, serotonin? My buddy Hippocrates famously said, “All disease begins in the gut,” and many years later, it seems he was right on!
So how do we take care of our little powerhouses of health and happiness? One easy tool is popping a daily probiotic.
Let me back up — what are probiotics, and how do they work?
A probiotic is a supplement chock full of beneficial bacteria, that helps to keep our gut flora (complex community of bacteria in our gut) in check. Inflammation triggers like stress, sugar, alcohol, refined/processed foods, antibiotics, and chemicals, can cause the delicate balance to be thrown off over time showing a myriad of symptoms ranging from fatigue to constipation to achy joints. A good quality probiotic supplement, along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, can help to keep the peace in the gut community. A refrigerated supplement is a safe place to start – Renew Life Ultimate Flora, Mega Foods, Dr. Ohirra’s, and Health Force are all great brands.
Another great (and delicious) way to improve your gut flora, is to enjoy a diet rich in fermented foods – foods that naturally contain live beneficial bacteria. Before you run away thinking about sitting down to a petri dish for lunch, know that the practice of eating a diet rich in fermented foods has been around since the beginning of humankind! Ever pop some fresh pickles on your sandwich, or enjoy a big bowl of miso soup? Miso and pickled foods, along with sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, tempeh, yogurt and kefir are some of the more readily available fermented options and are helpful for improving gut health. Aim to enjoy unpasteurized versions (the yogurt should contain “active cultures”) to be sure the beneficial bacteria haven’t been killed off in the processing.
Keeping your digestive system humming is paramount to your health, and improving your overall happiness. Ready to save some money and learn how to brew kombucha yourself? Contact me to set up a workshop and get ready to ferment!