Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Happy Gut - Fermented Foods and Friendly Flora

 As my dietary journey continues onward with examinations of nutritional concepts involving such topics as optimum foods,antinutrients, intolerances/allergies and weight control it seems almost all of it boils down to our belly. I guess that old proverb "you are what you eat" rings clear and true,

 Modern diets with all the refined stuff(salts, sugars, additives, chemicals etc) simply do not support a healthy population of gut flora, those bacteria that help break down our foods and keep us in a state of "happy gut". Makes sense when you think about how much foriegn matter we ingest via our mouths. Guess it is like having a secure facility but with the front door left wide open. Our stomachs and digestive system become our first line of defense and help sort out who can stay and who must go and who gets access to the rest of the complex. I know this is very simplistic in approach but it gets to the point.

 One of my challenges being on paleo is ensuring I get lots of probiotics to get the belly flora working efficiently especially since dairy(yogourt) is generally off my food list.Many mass produced varieties are chock block of sugars so be wary....traditional yogourts are the best choices. Thankfully there are paleo friendly options that are cheap,available in markets, easy to make at home and supplies all the bacteria you need - fermented foods.

http://www.totalhealthbreakthroughs.com/2009/01/fermented-foods-and-gut-health/

Sauerkraut

  Shredded cabbage, spring water and some salt will result in a naturally occurring fermented food that is delicious, has a long refridgerated shelf life and makes an ideal condiment/side for any meal. I have discovered a regional product produced by Lewis Mountain. It is unpasturized and contains no additives nor preservatives unlike most store brands who pasturize their kraut and remove all the beneficial bacteria.

http://www.lewismountain.ca/health_benefits.html

  Keep yourself in a state of happy belly by getting your probiotics. Food sources are the best but if you don't like sauerkraut (or other natural fermented foods) and cannot eat dairy then there are some good supplements on the market. A happy belly makes for a healthy body.

1 comment:

Evolutionary Diet said...

Are yogurt, fermented foods, and probiotic supplements really paleo? How and why would our paleolithic ancestors have consumed them? Wouldn't they have just fed their gut bacteria with fresh, natural, real, unprocessed whole foods?