Friday, 3 January 2014

Fermented foods for the gut

'All disease begins in the gut' - Hippocrates

Fermented and cultured foods are rich in probiotics, enzymes, vitamins and minerals.  
They were used to preserve and enhance the nutrient content of the foods. The fermentation process increases nutrients  such as vitamins B,C and K2 and promote healthy gut flora. 
Probiotics are essential for optimal digestion of food and absorption of nutrients, and they help your body produce vitamins, absorb minerals and aid in the elimination of toxins. 

Fermented foods include dairy, veg and beverages. 
Examples of dairy are yogurt, milk kefir, buttermilk and raw cheeses.
Examples of veg are sauerkraut, kimchi and fermented chutneys.
Examples of beverages include kombucha and water kefir. 

It is important to realise how vulnerable your gut bacteria are to lifestyle and environmental factors such stress, high carb/sugar diet and antibiotics. 
Most people do not realize that 80 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive system, making a healthy gut vital if you want to maintain good health.

The human gut contains 10 times more bacteria than all the cells in the human body, with over 400 known diverse bacterial species. 

The extent of the gut flora’s role in human health and disease is only recently began to be recognised and studied. Among other things, the gut flora promotes normal gastrointestinal function, provides protection from infection, regulates metabolism.

 An unhealthy gut contributes to a wide range of diseases including diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, autism spectrum disorder, allergies, depression and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Eating fermented foods is one of the best ways to fill your gut with good bacteria. Be sure to avoid added-sugar versions of these products. Instead, add your own fruit to plain yogurt and kefir, and avoid buying kombucha that has more than 12 grams of sugar in a serving. 
They are surprisingly easy and cheap to make at home although a little daunting at first to try.
There is a large amount of blogs and websites dedicated to fermented foods with wonderful 'how to' on You Tube. 
I encourage anyone interested to look up the GAPS Diet. Their website has an amazing wealth of information on gut health and is a wonderful resource. 

If anyone is looking for starter cultures such as kefir grains or kombucha scoby, I usually have some spare as they do multiple. Just email me if you are located reasonably nearby.


  1. Hi. Have just found your blog (I came via Our New Life in the Country / An English Homestead) and you have a cow! So do we! And she is expecting a calf next year, to go with the calf she had this year. Anyway, just to say hello, and that I shall be visiting you regularly from now on, although may not always leave a comment due to to time constraints. Vx

  2. Hi Vera, it is great to know of someone else that has a cow. Not many of us around ;-) Although I'm told there is a good reason for that. What breed do you milk? Hand or machine?


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