Let’s talk about gut health! Gut health is a term that a lot of people toss around casually without ever really knowing what a healthy gut actually entails. So, in today’s blog, we are going to uncover how to show your gut some love by incorporating certain foods into your weekly regimen, and how doing so can benefit your overall health.
When we refer to gut health, we are talking about our microbiome, which consists of millions of bacteria, fungi, and other pathogenic organisms. The status of our microbiomes is partially influenced by our genetic makeup and other environmental factors. Thankfully, our diets also play a major role in “making or breaking” our gut health. Our microbiota, or the specific types of organisms found within our microbiomes, are largely determined by the foods we consume. Why is this important? Well, a person’s specific microbiota can either increase or decrease their risk for contracting diseases. If you have never really worried about the amount of good bacteria in your gut and you are starting to slightly panic… do not fear! Now is the perfect time to start prioritizing your gut health.
How can we incorporate more good bacteria, or probiotics, in our diets? Naturally fermented foods are one of the best ways to boost our immunity and overall gut health. Natural fermentation is a process where bacteria feeds on sugars and starches in foods, promoting an environment where probiotics can thrive. When a fruit or vegetable is naturally fermented, not only does it prolong the shelf life of the food and kill any bad bacteria that could remain after washing the produce, but it can also enrich certain nutrients and increase the nutritional value of the food item. Fermented foods offer countless benefits, such as aiding in digestion, decreasing risk for heart disease, fighting off diseases by boosting immunity, and even curbing sugar cravings! Some research even suggests that fermented foods can play a role in improving one’s mental health and promoting weight loss.
There is no current standard as to how many or how often we should consume fermented foods, so let’s get creative and find some simple, delicious ways to incorporate them as much as possible! One of my personal favorite fermented items is kombucha. It offers the perfect amount of fizz and tanginess, while also loading my gut with tons of probiotics. Another favorite of mine is pickled onions as a topping for fish tacos… not only is it a great way to elevate your ‘Taco Tuesday,’ but it offers another easy way to incorporate pickled veggies. There is such a large variety of fermented food products on the market these days, from kefir to sauerkraut to kimchi… and countless more. The important thing to remember is that we should incorporate a variety of fermented foods into our diets to experience all of the benefits that a healthy gut has to offer.
On Nourish Foods Market, we offer refreshing Honeysuckle Kombucha by Better Kombucha and delicious Pickled Tomatillos from StoneHollow Farm. You can also get your hands on one of our Ultimate Bloody Mary Kits which includes StoneHollow Farm Pickled Spring Onions and Blackberry Farm Tomato-Brined Pickled Okra. We also incorporate pickled veggies into some of our Nourish Meals!