The health of our body is deeply influenced by the bacteria that call our body home. In fact, our bacteria outnumber our cells by a factor of ten to one! Good bacteria directly impacts our gut health. Healthy digestion is truly the foundation of great health and one of the easiest and quickest ways to boost the bacteria in your gut (and thereby improve gut health) is to eat fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and kombucha.
Your gut health and immune system are inextricably linked. Did you know that approximately seventy to eighty percent of your immune tissue is located within your digestive system? The gut is often the first entry point for exposure to pathogens (bad bacteria and virus’ that can cause disease); therefore your gut immune system needs to be thriving and healthy in order to avoid illness.
Fermented foods are essentially predigested because food components are already partially broken down by microorganisms during the fermentation process. Aside from making it easier for the stomach to digest food, fermentation also helps in making the stomach tolerant of foods that it does not normally accept. For example, lactose intolerant persons cannot digest milk but may tolerate yogurt because the lactose in it is already partially processed.
Absorb Food Better
Having the proper balance of gut bacteria and enough digestive enzymes helps you absorb more of the nutrients in the foods you eat. Pair this with your healthy real food diet, and you will absorb many more nutrients from the foods you eat.
Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
If you want to lose weight and feel better it’s essential that you balance the microbiome in your gut.
Multiple studies have shown that obese people have different intestinal bacteria than slim people, and regardless of weight most people do not have the optimal balance of good and bad bacteria in their intestines. This imbalance can wreak havoc on your health in many ways, and yes, it may even contribute to overweight and/or difficulty in shedding excess weight.
In the latest study, obese people were able to reduce their abdominal fat by nearly 5 percent, and their subcutaneous fat by over 3 percent, just be drinking a probiotic-rich fermented milk beverage for 12 weeks.
The journal Nutrition Research found that fermented kimchee had a significant impact on the weight and body fat of the overweight and obese patients who were being studied. Not only did the patients shed both weight and fat, they also showed improvements in blood sugar, blood pressure, and the waist-hip ratio — an important biomarker of metabolic health.
Fermented Foods Make Us Happier
Good bacteria in the gut can affect your mood, in a good way! 75-90% of the body’s serotonin, our mood-regulating hormone, is in the intestines, NOT in the brain? Canadian neuroscientist Jane Foster found the bacteria of the gut are directly connected with the central nervous system. In addition, adding fermented foods to your diet can actually alter the brain-cell receptors for GABA, an amino acid which helps us remain calm, in a positive manner, thereby reducing anxious behavior.
Want to know more about fermented foods? Visit yycferments.com and join us November 17 for Meghan Telpner, author of The Undiet Cookbook, for her talk on Simple Strategies to UnDiet Your Life, which includes an in-depth look at fermented foods.
By: Beth Potter – Brand Manager & Advertising Coordinator, Publicist, mom