I had no idea how good fermented foods are for gut health till I started looking into fixing my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Pickling has been in my family ever since I can remember. In fact it was somewhat of an event at my grandmother’s home. All the women in the family would gather and help. We would form an assembly line and each of us had a job. There was the rubbing gently of the vegetables to remove the moisture, my grandmother would be in charge of mixing the spices since she was an expert. There was the meticulous cleaning and sanitizing of the canning jars before everything was brought together and bottled up.
Then there was the waiting patiently for the Achaar or pickle to marinate. This is important because if you want to get the maximum flavor and, as I now know, the health benefits, you must wait.
- 1 3oz. bag baby carrots, sliced in half
- 24 Thai chili peppers
- 1 1/2 tsp Salt
- 11/2 tsp red pepper, crushed
- 1/4 tsp mustard seeds, crushed
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
- White Vinegar
- Wash and dry the vegetables, making sure all the moisture has been dried off.
- Cut the carrots in half.
- Put all the veggies in a bowl and add the spices.
- Toss everything together and add to a clean and dry canning jar or any 8-12 oz. glass jar.
- Pour the vinegar and top off the jar making sure all the vegetables are immersed in the vinegar.
- Cap and shake the jar.
- Let sit on the kitchen counter and ferment for about a week.
So why is fermented food so good for your health, you might ask. Fermented foods such as yogurt, cheeses, kefir, kimchi and pickles are probiotics. Probiotics help populate our gut with good bacteria which is essential for maintaining gut health. Our gut is housed by tiny little organisms. Billions of them. This is the gut microbiome. There are 35,000 different strains of bacteria that colonize our large intestine, particularly our colon and also our esophagus, stomach and small intestine. By eating probiotics we are populating our gut with strains of bi do bacterium and lactobacillus bacteria.
The gut is the place where food is broken down and digested and absorbed into our cells from which we get energy. A healthy gut is essential to healthy digestion but that is not all, studies have shown that gut health also has influence on our mood (through release of Serotonin) as well as immune response and our predisposition to weight gain.
The gut lining, if compromised can lead to chronic low- level inflammation which is a major cause of autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases and even depression.
BENEFITS OF EATING PROBIOTICS:
- Reduced risk of depression, increased feelings of happiness
- Reduced circulating cortisol (the stress hormone)
- Reduced feelings of anxiety
- Supports healthy aging
The “Western Diet” is associated with gut dysbiosis where the bad bacteria out numbers the good. By including probiotics as part of a whole foods diet we help maintain the balance and reduce inflammation.
It’s super easy to include foods in your diet that boost your health, make this and eat your way to great gut health!