I get by with a little help from my (invisible) friends – in fact, the microbes in our gut outnumber the cells in our body 10 – 1! Because they are so tiny, all together they only weigh a total of about 3 – 5 lbs, but they are mighty. These friendly microorganisms help our digestion, mood, and many chronic conditions that Western Medicine is unable to treat very well. It’s easy to include fermented foods in our daily diet and fun to try our hand at making our own – Yogurt with live cultures (and no added sugar), Kefir (the champagne of yogurt with even more live cultures), Kombucha (fermented tea and sugar that is my current favorite), Beet Kvass and other fermented vegetables, Bragg’s organic apple cider with the ‘Mother’ (that has fermented the sugars in the apple juice) – have some every day!
And while the healthy gut microbes are helping us, we can help them by eating some of the foods they love known as Prebiotics – the indigestible fiber in fruits and vegetables including apples, artichokes, asparagus, bananas, barley, beans, berries, bran, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, burdock root, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chard, chickory root, collard greens, dandelion greens, garlic, honey, jicama, kale, leeks, legumes, onions, radishes, rutabaga, rye, squash and sweet potatoes.
We can also avoid things that microbes don’t like – including foods developed in labs, industrial fats in non-organic processed and fast food, high-fructose corn syrup, carrageenan (added as a thickening agent in ice cream, yogurt, dressings), NSAIDs like Advil, aspirin & motrin, alcohol, antibiotics, stress, and sleepless nights.