The top 4 probiotic-rich foods to improve gut health
(NaturalHealth365) “All disease begins in the gut,” was wisdom given by Hippocrates nearly 2,500 years ago. While the medical community has denied it for decades, researchers are now proving substance in that statement.
Did you know that your intestines are home to approximately 100 trillion bacteria? That’s about three pounds worth! Some bacteria are good but others can be detrimental to your health.
Why is Western medicine ignoring good science?
Over the last year, researchers have determined the more good bacteria you have in your gut, the better you are. According to a report published in BMC Immunology,
“The gut microbiota makes up the majority of the human bacterial population, and although the gut microbiota resides in the intestines, it is able to exert systemic effects. Therefore, many diseases and conditions could be impacted by the gut microbiota when its composition is imbalanced, otherwise known as dysbiosis.”
Evidence based science is finally catching up with ageless wisdom as disease of all kinds – not just gastrointestinal disorders – are being healed by treating the gut naturally with probiotic supplements and foods.
Simply put, if your doctor is not telling you about the value of probiotics – he/she is NOT reading the science. (time to get another doctor)
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What exactly are probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your gut health. While they are naturally found within your body, they are destroyed on a daily basis with poor diet, antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), stress, and more.
They can be replaced through probiotic supplementation. However, a nutrient-dense diet filled with non-genetically modified vegetables, fruits, and beans can help flourish your gut with healthy microbes. Even more, there are a few foods that are trillions of times more potent than any probiotic supplement you can buy on the market which are discussed further in this article.
Recent studies show many positive benefits of probiotics
Probiotics are essential in assisting your body with nutrient absorption, and the overall result provides you with a healthier gut which leads to health and overall vitality. Following are a few positive benefits of probiotics proven by new research in 2015 and 2016:
- Enhances immune system
- Prevents severe infections following abdominal surgery
- Suppresses malignant cancer cells (breast, colon, prostate, and more)
- Acts as a co-treatment with radiation therapy for cancer
- Counters and improves digestive diseases (acute and chronic diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and colorectal cancer)
- Demonstrates cholesterol-reducing potential
- Halts and treats obesity-related metabolic diseases (type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers)
- Curbs autoimmune response (Celiac disease, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroiditis, and more)
- Inhibits and improves allergies (food, dermatitis)
- Halts aging (restores acidic skin pH, alleviates oxidative stress, attenuates photo aging, improves skin barrier function, and enhances hair quality)
- Boosts brain health (cognition, memory, mood, and more)
Discover the top 4 probiotic foods
While it may not sound as nice as sipping down a delightful glass of wine, certain fermented foods can provide you with probiotics. By eating them, you naturally detoxify your body and optimize your overall health. Below are a few probiotic foods that are trillions of times more potent than any probiotic supplement on the market:
1. Kimchi: A popular Korean side dish, kimchi is a very spicy pickled cabbage. Aged kimchi has a plethora of probiotics as well as vitamins and calcium. In 2014, the Journal of Medicinal Food reports kimchi’s many research-proven health benefits. They include “anticancer, anti-obesity, anti-constipation, colorectal health promotion, probiotic properties, cholesterol reduction, fibrolytic effect, antioxidative and antiaging properties, brain health promotion, immune promotion, and skin health promotion.”
2. Sauerkraut: Traced back to the fourth century BC, sauerkraut is one of the most common and oldest forms of preserving cabbage. Made from fermented cabbage and sometimes other vegetables, sauerkraut is extremely rich in probiotics and vitamins.
3. Kombucha: Used for centuries, Kombucha is a sweetened black tea that has been fermented for the high amount of healthy gut probiotics it produces. A 2015 study showed that Kombucha enhances biological function by enhancing antioxidant and antibacterial activities. Kombucha tea may also contribute healing agents to gastric ulcers. Try it hot or cold.
4. Pickles: While homemade pickles are a better source than commercial brands, most have some microbial value. Just be careful on your consumption of them as pickles can have a high sodium content that can lead to high blood pressure.
Take care of your gut health to maintain optimal health.
With more and more research proving that your microbiome (gut health) is as important (if not more) than your DNA for wellness, try to include a diet rich in alkaline and probiotic foods. It has been proven to be more effective than antibiotics and other conventional medicines, and it may just be more economical than conventional medicine.
Plus, let’s not forget the most important thing, you’ll feel great!
About the author: Abby Campbell is a medical, health, and nutrition research writer. She’s dedicated to helping people live a healthy lifestyle in all aspects – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Abby practices, writes, and coaches on natural preventive care, nutritional medicine, and complementary and alternative therapy.
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