Do you come from a culture where vegetables (choose low oxalate vegetables) are preserved in brine and then eaten as part of the daily diet? Could it be that kimchi, for example, a fermented cabbage dish which contains natural probiotics, is a contributory factor to the good health of the Korean people.
Hippocrates said more than 2,000 years ago that ‘All disease begins in the gut’.
Why all the hype about the gut and probiotics?
Research over the past two decades seems to have confirmed Hippocrates’ statement. Studies have revealed that gut health is far more critical to overall health than modern medicine previously realised. It is believed that an unhealthy gut could contribute to a wide range of diseases and has been linked to diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, autism spectrum disorder, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome and autoimmune conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and type 1 diabetes. The mechanism behind this is that the gut flora promotes normal gastrointestinal
function, provides protection from infection, regulates metabolism and comprises more than 75% of our immune system.
The way to improve gut health is to eat healthier and include naturally occurring probiotics in our diet. The definition of a probiotic is live micro-organisms (specifically bacteria called lactobacilli), that when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. These are found in fermented foods.
Why do we need to add probiotics?
It is believed that our modern way of living has caused many of us to have unhealthy gut flora. Some of the causes could be:
- Antibiotics and other medications
- Diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods
- Diets low in fermentable fibers
- Dietary toxins like wheat and industrial seed oils that cause leaky gut
- Chronic stress
- Chronic infections
Where do we get these probiotic superfoods?
So what is a probiotic and how can we benefit from probiotics without spending a fortune? Where to find sources? The answer is simple:
- Ask your grandparents for their fermented veg recipes which are a natural form of probiotics.
- Make them yourself: https://www.organicauthority.com/10-fermented-foods-you-can-make-at-home .
- There are many recipes for ‘Raw’ or ‘Wild’ fermentation online with detailed instructions. Look for Kimchi recipes for a bit of added spice.
- Eat ‘live-culture’ or ‘naturally fermented’ products, such as Icelandic Skyr, Kefir and natural live yoghurts.
- If eating bread, try live sourdough bread.
Adding probiotics to your diet is a simple and effective way to optimal health. Worst case, you might discover a new love for pickled vegetables!