3 Tips on How to Heal your Gut
Did you ever feel like you have no energy, that what you ate for dinner didn't agree with you? Or are you trying to eat a healthy diet but those cravings are getting the best of you? What if I told you that something else is controlling those cravings?
Research shows that there is more bacteria cells in our body than there is of our own cells. And most of these bacteria are in your gut. We are just touching the surface on the importance of your microbiome. It sends messages to your brain about what to eat, so you want the good guys in there, not the bad guys. Your gut is also where 75% of your immune system works.
So if you ever took antibiotics in the past, which kills all bacteria in your body, you want to pay attention to what comes next.
Tip #1: Repopulate your gut with the good guys
Most of our food supply is ''dead'' food, which means it has no life in it. It has been cleaned, cooked or irradiated to make sure it has a long shelf life. So make sure you consume one of these fermented food and beverages on a regular basis.
- Kombucha is a fermented tea, you can buy it in the store or the cheaper way is to make your own thanks to a SCOBY -Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. Find a friend with one, they're easily divided.
- Kefir is the oldest way to keep dairy - and the best way to make cheese! Once you have the grains, you can use them to ferment other liquids like apple juice, grape juice, coconut milk, etc... but they need milk to grow.
- Kimchi or Sauerkraut, or any other fermented vegetables. Here is a simple recipe for making Sauerkraut:
- 1 Medium Head of Cabbage
- 1-3 Tbsp. sea salt
- Chop or shred cabbage. Sprinkle with salt.
- Knead the cabbage with clean hands, or pound with a potato masher about 10 minutes, until there is enough liquid to cover.
- Stuff the cabbage into a quart jar, pressing the cabbage underneath the liquid. If necessary, add a bit of water to completely cover cabbage.
- Cover the jar with a tight lid, airlock lid, or coffee filter secured with a rubber band.
- Culture at room temperature for at least 2 weeks until desired flavor and texture are achieved. If using a tight lid, burp daily to release excess pressure.
- Once the sauerkraut is finished, put a tight lid on the jar and move to cold storage. The sauerkraut's flavor will continue to develop as it ages.
Now that you got the Good Guys in there, you need to feed them with Tip #2.
Tip #2: Feed your body real food
No need to turn upside down your whole kitchen just yet... Taking baby steps for this one will save you some headaches. Incorporate more and more vegetables into your meals, snack on fruits, seeds and nuts, and use a clean source of protein: beans and other legumes, free range chicken and pastured pork, grass fed beef and eggs from your neighbors hens. Cut down on the amount of processed food, which feed the bad guys in your gut, and incorporate lots of fibers which feed the good guys (Chia seeds are the best when it comes to fiber).
Tip #3: Use Ginger
Ginger is one of these powerhouse spices that you can easily include into your routine. Not only it boosts your immune system and improve your circulation, it is also great for digestion.
- It is Anti-inflammatory which protects against many chronic diseases like Alzheimer and cancer
- It Helps with Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- It Relieves heartburn (one of the ways it works is that it kills off harmful bacteria, such as helicobacter pylori). For best results, it’s recommended you drink one cup of ginger tea 20 minutes before a meal.
There are several ways you can consume ginger – add ginger root in your cooked dishes, or brew ginger tea. The good news is they all seem to have a calming effect on the digestive system.
Ginger Tea Recipe:
- About 2 inches of fresh raw ginger (use more or less, depending on how strong you want it!)
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups water
- First, prepare the fresh ginger by slicing it thinly to maximize the surface area. This will help you make a very flavorful ginger tea.
- Boil the ginger in water for at least 10 minutes. For a stronger and tangier tea, allow to boil for 20 minutes or more, and use more slices of ginger.
- Remove from heat and add lemon juice and honey to taste.
Once you start with any of these tips, it only gets easier to make healthier choices.
To your health
PS: Hope to see you soon at the Cape Breton Farmers Market! And get your fresh ginger while you're there (Hint: you can store your yearly supply in the freezer so you always have it on hand!)