Digestive health and the immune system

Digestive health and the immune system

Did you know that up to 80% of your immune system is found in your gut, and that the health of your digestive system effects your mood, motivation, will power, energy and even your intuition?

The bacteria that live in our gut are essential. They help with digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients. Plus, they play a role in the function of our immune system. 

Fermented foods are rich in probiotic bacteria so by consuming fermented foods you are adding beneficial bacteria and enzymes to your overall intestinal flora, increasing the health of your gut microbiome and digestive system and greatly enhancing your immune system.

This is HUGE!!!!!!!!!! Who would have thought your gut health was so closely linked to your immune health? 

I am totally in love with fermented foods... and our bodies totally love to receive them (although please start in moderation- as always tune in to your body to see what IT needs!!) 

Below are of the fermented essentials I now use daily to support my digestive and immune health:

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Kefir

A probiotic cultured drink, kefir contains multiple strains of bacteria and yeast. Kefir is rich in minerals and vitamins, particularly the B vitamins and vitamin K

Sauerkraut - 

Easy to make at home, this fermented cabbage dish has been around for centuries. It's high in fibre, as well as vitamins A, C, K and various B vitamins. It's also a good source of iron, manganese, copper, sodium, magnesium and calcium

Miso -

This traditional Japanese paste is made from fermented soybeans and grains consisting of millions of beneficial bacteria. It's rich in essential minerals and a good source of various B vitamins, vitamins E, K and folic acid 

Kimchi

 Spicier than sauerkraut, kimchi is also a form of fermented cabbage and other vegetables. It contains vitamins A, B1, B2 and C and minerals such as iron, calcium and selenium

Kombucha – 

A fizzy, fermented black tea. Yeast turns sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide, and bacteria called acetobacter convert the alcohol into acetic acid, giving it a sour taste. Watch out for sugar in shop-bought kombucha, you’re better off making it at home

Tempeh

Another version of fermented soy beans tempeh, is a rich protein source so a good choice for vegetarians

Bread – 

Some breads, such as sourdough are made from dough that is fermented- although you want to eat bread n moderation- sourdough bread can be a great way to get your bread fix!!! 

Natural Yogurt

Lactobacilli bacteria convert lactose sugar in milk into glucose and galactose, which break down further into lactic acid, giving yogurt its sour taste. Live bacteria remain in the yogurt and provide a valuable contribution to gut microflora

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I now try to eat a fermented food with every meal, but if fermented foods are new to you, perhaps consult your health practitioner and start off slowly. You could aim to try 1 new type at a time, and just eat 1 portion per day to start off with. If fermented foods are not new to you, why not try finding new ways to eat one that you usually have less often? 

I would love to hear your stories!!!! Please let me know what your favourite fermented foods are, and how they have improved your gut, immune and mental health.. and if you enjoy making your own fermented foods!!!!! 

My good friend and bestselling auditor Robyn Youkilis is the queen of Gut health and fellow fermented food lover... check out her and my other beautiful friend and mentor Laura Hames Franklin's video on how to make sauerkraut by clicking here and also her FREE 21 day coaching programme 'The Chewing Challenge' click here to find out more!  

This is definitely a topic worth reading up on!!!!! 

Here are my top gut book recommendations:

Gut- the inside story of the body's most underrated organ- but Guilia Enders

Go with your gut- by my good friend Robyn Youkilis 

The good gut guide- by Liz Earle

Here is to getting fit, strong and fabulous this winter!!

Lots of love, Rachael x

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