I got my first in depth look at the microbiome from David Perlmutter, author of the book, Brain Maker. It’s a mind-blowing and exciting read about the connections between our microbiome and it’s impact on disease. The microbiome is the community of gut bugs and microorganisms that live in the body. It has been referred to as a 2nd brain, as it has the ability to have an effect on a number of processes within the body, on it’s own, without influence from the brain at all. It goes without saying that gut health is vital and directly tied to our overall health as human beings. Here are a couple ways we can support the health of our guts:
1. Consider taking a probiotic – In the gut bacteria world there are a number of different bacteria strains, each of which have a different job to do. Many people have an imbalanced microbiome, with too many of one type of strain and too little of another. If you experience symptoms of a compromised gut, consider taking a probiotic supplement. Probiotic supplements come in a variety of options, many of which include a blend of bacterial strains. Some strains are responsible for food absorption, others are responsible for keeping the balance of good and bad bacteria in check, another type helps knock out food-born pathogens, and another supports immune function. The list goes on.
2. Incorporate Prebiotics into your diet. Prebiotics are foods that our gut bugs love to eat. We should incorporate prebiotics with every meal, if possible, or at least daily. Here are a few options to consider:
Sauerkraut: Pigeon Cove Ferments makes some really freakin’ delicious flavors. Add it to salads, sandwiches or just eat it straight from the MF jar. I’m serious. I always thought sauerkraut was a nasty, nasty thing until I tried PCF’s stuff. I literally stand at the refrigerator and fork it into my mouth. https://www.pigeoncoveferments.com/
Kimchi: Again, Pigeon Cove Ferments – check them out. Tasty.
Jerusalem Artichoke: NOTE: This doesn’t look like a standard artichoke, it’s more like a ginger root. Shred a mix of Jerusalem Artichoke, carrots, beets and apple and add it to a salad or wrap. Yum-town.
Raw Dandelion Greens Spicy and bitter, a great addition to any salad, sandwich or even juice/smoothie – not really yum-town, more like healthy-town.
Raw Onion: Nothing like the scent of an armpit wafting into your nose as you take a bite of something, but hey, gut bugs don’t have noses, soooo (<- don’t quote me on that). Raw Asparagus To be honest, I don’t know if I’ve ever had raw asparagus, but if none of the above appeals to you, there’s always this option. So that’s it. Consider taking a look at probiotics and incorporating prebiotics into your daily routine. Your gut will thank you for it, which means the rest of your body will thank you for it, too.