Current Experimentations – Part 3

28 Feb

Current Experimentations – Part 3

GUT HEALTH

“Heal the gut and you heal yourself.” – Gerard E. Mullin, MD

WHY: The gut…it’s kind of a big deal.

Quoting Precision Nutrition’s article All About Nutrition & Gut Health:

“The hard-working gut allows nutrients and water to enter the body while preventing the entry of toxins/antigens. It’s a selective barrier between “us” and the outside world. But a distressed gut can’t act in our defense. Instead, it allows dangerous compounds to enter the body. That’s where nutrition can come in. The right diet strengthens the gut in its guardian role, improving overall health and well-being.”

PN also states that a healthy gut depends on three things:

  1. Balanced intestinal bacteria (there are more bacteria in your gut than cells in your body)
  2. Intact mucosa (you’ll never guess what can be detrimental to your intestinal mucosa…SOY!)
  3. Healthy immune system (almost 70% of your immune system cells reside in the gut)

For this blog, I’m just going to focus on the first one: balanced intestinal bacteria. While you can supplement with a probiotic, I firmly believe that real food should always be the top priority. Don’t get me wrong, I use supplements because they can be helpful. But whenever possible, just eat real food #jerf.

HOW: In the case of intestinal bacteria, examples of real food would be anything that has been fermented. This includes foods like sauerkraut and kimchi. Yogurt? Not so much. Since virtually all dairy in the U.S. is pasteurized, the bacteria that are created during the initial fermentation process have been killed off. Food companies simply add in supplemental probiotics later.

I have been using the brand “Farmhouse Culture” for some time now, and their products are delicious! (I do NOT have any affiliation, I just like the brand)

Adding these to your diet is pretty easy. Here are a couple of ways that I enjoy:

  • In a salad (this works for sauerkraut and the fermented vegetables above)
  • With eggs…but what isn’t better with eggs? Don’t try to answer that because it’s a trick question. Everything is better with eggs.
  • With meat. There’s a reason Germans eat sauerkraut and sausage…because the combination is incredible! It also works with pork chops, chicken breast, etc.
  • FULL DISCLOSURE: I have not tried the “Gut Shots” pictured above. But I will.

broccoli, lentils, eggs, and of course a lot sauerkraut. picture taken before Cholula

WARNING: if you try a different brand, make sure that it has actually been fermented and not just pickled. Pickling is faster and cheaper than fermenting, but it lacks ALL of the benefits. Pickling just involves the preservation of the food in some sort of acidic medium (such as vinegar). You can read more HERE. Luckily there’s a simple way to tell…if the product is in the refrigerated section of the grocery store and must be refrigerated at your house, you’re probably good to go.

More reading about the gut from Precision Nutrition:

All About Nutrition & Gut Health

Fix Your Gut, Fix Your Health

All About Probiotics

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2 Comments

  1. Heather Rapp

    Have you tried the Gut Shot yet? Does Farmhouse have kimchi? Where do you find the Farmhouse Brand in Corvallis?

    • Drew Skaggs

      Yes I have tried the gut shot. It’s an acquired taste. I would much rather eat the sauerkraut.
      Farmhouse Culture is at Market of Choice, Natural Grocers, and the Co-Op. And yes they do have kimchi!

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