Gut health is something that is commonly overlooked in our efforts to improve our health and wellbeing. But gut health is one of the most important factors, as it is closely linked with many health issues.
Our gut (which includes the whole gastrointestinal tract, from the oesophagus to the large intestine), is home to approximately 100 trillion microorganisms, known as microbiome or gut flora. These bacteria account for over 70% of our immune system, and play a very large role in determining health and disease.
It’s therefore important to feed your gut bacteria with prebiotic and probiotic foods to keep them in healthy working order, and as a result, your whole body.
Common problems associated with gut imbalances include feeling tired, stressed, lacking energy or motivation, having skin problems or food intolerances. Long term, gut imbalances can set off autoimmune reactions leading to health problems such as hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases, mental illness such as depression and anxiety, diabetes, chronic fatigue, skin problems, and other chronic illnesses.
That being said, too much good bacteria, or overgrowth, in the gut can also cause problems. The key to a healthy gut is a balanced, wholefood diet, with plenty of prebiotic and probiotic foods.
Prebiotics are foods that help to stimulate the growth of ‘good’ gut bacteria. These are foods that pass through the body undigested until they reach the colon. They are then fermented in the colon, where they produce beneficial short-chain fatty acids, and become a fuel for healthy gut bacteria, leading to a healthier digestive system.
ProbioticsProbiotics are live ‘good’ bacteria found in foods that reduce harmful bacteria in the gut. Probiotics are needed to maintain a strong immune system, to assist nutrient absorption and to produce vitamin K.
We’ve listed some easy and readily available pre- and probiotic foods to help your gut health. If you are experiencing persistent gut health symptoms, we do of course recommend seeking advice from a medical professional. But in terms of everyday health, we’ve found that these foods can have a big impact on our overall wellness.
Sauerkraut is a powerful probiotic that has many beneficial effects on the health of your gut, and therefore your whole body. This fermented cabbage is anti inflammatory and full of nutrients, including calcium, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin C and more. It will also help to boost cognitive function and is full of antioxidants. You can find a good quality organic sauerkraut in most health food stores, like Peace Love & Vegetable’s Superkraut.
Gotta catch 'em all!! (throws pokemon ball at jars)...? Can't handle a large jar of kraut all at once? or want to taste a different flavour for each day of the week? Well then these little baby jars are the ones for you! They're the perfect size to hide in the back of the fridge, away from the preying hands of loved ones ? Also appropriate for slipping in and out of the handbag subtly when out to lunch at a non trendy cafe that doesn't serve kraut with all food. On another note, tell that non-trendy cafe to get on the PLV superkraut and cashew cheese bandwagon because we have food service jars at awesome prices ..which means they can plonk some probiotics on your without any hassles! #reuseyourjarsorelse..
Kefir is one of the most probiotic-rich foods to exist. A fermented milk product, kefir helps to boost immunity, build bone strength, supports digestion and helps to heal many gut-related issues.
Kombucha is produced by fermenting tea with a colony of bacteria and yeast. It’s live probiotic cultures can help repopulate good bacteria in the gut, and support healthy digestion. An antibacterial that helps to eliminate harmful bacteria, kombucha is also full of antioxidants and will help to boost overall wellness.
As a prebiotic, garlic helps probiotics thrive within the intestine. Garlic has many health benefits, including having a wonderful effect on immunity and ridding the stomach of harmful bacteria.
The freeze-dried greens powder, Bare Greens, is an organic broad-spectrum multivitamin which greatly assists gut health. The phyotnutrients in Bare Greens possess antibiotic and antioxidant properties, which act to facilitate toxin removal, improve brain function, enhance immune regulation and strengthen the blood vessels of the cardiovascular system, to name only a few benefits.
Chia seeds provide the body with soluble fibre, which is important for digestive health. Loaded with fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and other micronutrients, chia seeds help to slow digestion and sustain balanced sugar levels. They’re also extremely versatile and are a nutritious addition to any recipe. Try this this Lychee Chia Pudding for a healthy breakfast or snack.
Bone broth is full of beneficial healing compounds such as collagen, glutamine, and glycine, as well as being rich in minerals. Collagen helps to heal gut lining, and has an anti-inflammatory effect in the digestive tract and intestines. Gelatin is beneficial for restoring strength of the gut lining and fighting food sensitivities.
Kimchi is a fermented food that is full of bio-available nutrients. Kimchi is great for assisting digestion as it contains prebiotics, probiotics and digestive enzymes.
Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory food that helps heal the gut, support the microbiome, and promote good brain function.