In recent years, medical scientists have turned their attention to gut microbiota. New studies are beginning to confirm how critically important maintaining gut health is to our overall physical and mental health.
Hippocrates said over 2000 years ago that all disease begins in the gut.
Medical journals are now publishing peer-reviewed, triple-blind, placebo-controlled studies to explore just how correct his assertion was over two centuries ago.
Most diseases can be linked to chronic inflammation in the body that can be exacerbated by some of the bad things we eat: processed sugars, processed meats, food colorings, preservatives, dyes, etc.
So Hippocrates was right. It all starts in the gut and it can be fixed there too.
Another thing we should consider when thinking about digestive health is our gut flora.
Essentially, we are host to trillions of microscopic bacteria. We have 10 times the amount of microbes living in our digestive tract than our entire body has cells.
These microbes feed on what we eat.
If we eat junk food, the bad bacteria colonize and take over the good bacteria. If we eat healthy foods, the good bacteria colonize and take over the bad bacteria.
It is a never-ending battle in your gut. However, once you establish a powerful colony of good bacteria, they are much harder to disrupt with the occasional weekend bender or feast.
One way we can bolster and empower our good bacteria is through fermented foods.
On the top of the list are raw sauerkraut and kimchi, which are just salt, cabbage, water, and seasoning. The natural microbes that live on the cabbage all the time can ferment the vegetable and prime it to be an army of good bacteria for us.
While you do need to focus on a balanced diet of whole foods to get the maximum level of benefit for your gut health, if you're already doing so and not eating sauerkraut, here is why you should consider adding it to your diet.
Why is Sauerkraut So Good To Eat?
Sauerkraut is a probiotic and prebiotic simultaneously. All this means is that the probiotics in sauerkraut are naturally present. They are alive and continue to live once you consume them. They are also prebiotic, meaning that sauerkraut is among one of the foods your good bacteria need to survive on.
Since these good bacteria are already living on the sauerkraut, they will continue to feed off of it even after you've ingested it. They reproduce and colonize which threatens the population of bad bacteria that leads to cancer and other illnesses.
Contains Rare Vitamin U
Vitamin U is actually not a true vitamin but rather a derivative of the amino acid methionine. It is found in a few vegetables such as cabbage, kale, and brussels sprouts.
Vitamin U has been known to protect vital organs, such as the lungs, kidneys, and liver, from damage.
Vitamin U is also good for healing stomach ulcers and wounds 4-5 times faster than without. It may also help the body's melanin production which keeps your skin safe from the harmful UV rays of the sun.
Aids in Digestion
If you have routine problems with constipation, diarrhea, bloating, slow motility, etc, then you likely have an imbalanced gut microbiome. One way to aid this problem is to eat more naturally occurring fibers found in fruits, beans, and vegetables.
Because sauerkraut is both prebiotic and probiotic, it has been shown that it can maximize gut health, leading to better physical digestion.
After eating 1 tablespoon of raw, unpasteurized sauerkraut per day for 2 weeks, recipients reported that they had improved digestive health including relief from constipation.
Because sauerkraut is so good for digestion, it also gives us a boost in immunity and makes our bones stronger.
How do you eat Sauerkraut?
The best way to consume sauerkraut is raw and unpasteurized, this means that there are NO preservatives and it has not been cooked. If you cook the sauerkraut, you will kill off the beneficial microbes. Eat it raw, do not cook it.
Eat 1 - 2 tablespoons directly each morning. After a few weeks, you will notice amazing benefits.
Get your gut health in shape through a good diet! Think of your good gut bacteria as freedom fighters and bad bacteria as an oppressive regime. Junk food is the arsenal of the empire while good clean organic whole foods destroy them!
Always consult your healthcare provider before making changes to your diet.
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