Authentic Wellness March Newsletter
Probiotics and Gut Bacteria
Taking care of your gut bacteria is one of the most valuable things you can do to improve your digestion and help support your immune system. What some people may not know is that your gut is often referred to as your "second brain" and its state of health can be directly affect your mood and emotions. When your digestion is not working optimally you are more susceptible to fatigue, feeling low or just downright icky. When you are taking good care of your gut health your energy levels increase, your digestion ailments are cleared and you can definitely feel the difference in your overall wellbeing. This can be achieved by consuming a diet that is rich in probiotic foods. Probiotic foods not only help with digestion and absorption of nutrients, but they also support brain health, detoxify the body, and help control inflammation. While most people are accustomed to just taking a probiotic supplement, there are several other ways you can get healthy bacteria from food sources. Below are a few examples of some of my favorite probiotic foods to get your gut functioning at its best.
Keifer is slightly tart and bubbly cultured yogurt drink which contains a beneficial yeast and probiotic bacteria that is found in yogurt. It is packed with vitamins and minerals and also contains easily digestible complete proteins. It can be consumed on its own, mixed into your smoothies, or topped with fruit for a yummy snack.
Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage that is loaded with healthy bacteria. The type of fermentation that makes foods like sauerkraut probiotic is called lactic acid fermentation. Believe it or not, sauerkraut is probably my favorite way to get my healthy gut bacteria. I usually enjoy it just on its own as a side dish, but it also goes well as a condiment on a sandwich or tossed in a salad.
Kombucha is a fermented beverage made with black tea. After being fermented, kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, enzymes, b-vitamins and you guess it....probiotics! It comes in many delicious flavors and is a very easy on-the-go way to get your daily dose of good bacteria.
Gut shot is another probiotic beverage that I found at Whole Foods from a great company called Farmhouse Culture. Gut shot is taken in small 1oz "hence the word shot" portions that are easy to sneak into your everyday routine. This might be a great product for those of you who want to get more probiotics in your diet but don't love the taste of fermented foods. My favorite flavor and the one I think is most approachable is ginger beet gut shot. You can read more about Farmhouse Culture probiotic products here.
I personally prefer to get my probiotics through my food sources because I believe they are more absorbable that way, however I realize that is not a realistic option for everyone. An alternative would be to take a high quality probiotic supplement daily. My best advice would be to talk to someone who works in the supplement department at your nearest health food store and they can help you choose one that works for you!
Beyond taking a probiotic supplement or eating probiotic rich foods there are several other ways you can cultivate good bacteria in your gut. Cutting out sugar and processed foods, eating more plant foods, and limiting the use of antibiotics unless absolutely necessary are just a few additional ways to improve your gut bacteria.
Client Spotlight of the Month
Congratulations to Diana for being this months client spotlight. March is a special month for Diana as it marks the 3 year anniversary of her leaving the hospital after being in a coma fighting for her life. Her doctors didn't give her much hope to walk again, let alone be lifting weights and working out on a regular basis. Instead of accepting defeat, Diana stayed positive and persistent and worked very hard to be where she is today. We've been training together for the past 2.5 years and she's made tremendous strides in her strength, stability and stamina. Dianas perseverance is not only an inspiration to me but also an inspiration to everyone she crosses paths with. Keep it up Diana!
Recipe of the Month
In the spirit of talking probiotics this month and the fact that the weather is finally starting to warm up, I created a probiotic packed spring smoothie bowl recipe. Smoothie bowls are great for breakfast, as a post-workout snack or even an option as a healthy desert. The base of this smoothie bowl is Kefir, one of the probiotic rich foods I discussed above.
1 cup plain kefir (I used Wallaby Organic plain kefir)
1 cup frozen mango
1 small banana
1tbs coconut butter
1/3 cup cashews
Add all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. You can top your smoothie bowl with whatever you like (granola, chia seeds, hemp seeds, coconut flakes, nuts, ect). Get creative and enjoy!