Kombucha and lots of other “living” foods and whole foods can actually prevent many health conditions. In the wellness world there is a lot of research happening which suggests chronic and inflammatory diseases are rooted in gut health. The “gut” refers to your GI tract where where food is digested, metabolized and absorbed to be delivered into your cells. When your gut bacteria are out of balance, it can lead to inflammation, malnutrition and a myriad of conditions. Billions of live bacteria that live inside our GI Tract which are referred to as the “microbiome” which also being heavily studied in the wellness world (Source ~ IIN Institute for Integrative Nutrition).
A healthy gut helps us to:
- Digest food in a healthy way and absorb nutrients,
- Regulate our mood (90% of the feel good hormone serotonin is produced in our gut),
- Mediate our immune response,
- Maintain healthy weight,
- Cool inflammation,
- Prevent neoplastic changes (the big “C” here).
When our gut is out of whack we can of course experience GI symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating and heartburn. But also conditions such as skin rashes, joint pain, food allergies, gluten related illness, IBS (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis), cardiovascular and liver disease are indicators that your gut is inflamed according to Harvard Health.
So, now we know all the bad things that can happen to our health if we don’t nourish our bodies. How can you support GI tract health?
FOOD is the best medicine!!! Whole, clean foods are key. A rainbow of vegetables and fruit, legumes, nuts, seeds and healthy oils (use olive oil, avocado, coconut and walnut oil), fish, eggs, organic poultry, grass fed meat, dairy and whole grains can nourish the lining of your intestines and allow proper motility and absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Avoid foods that cause inflammation such as sugar, refined grains, feedlot meats, unsafe fish, high sodium foods, oils high in omega-6s (soybean, corn, cottonseed, sunflower and peanut oil), foods with colorings and flavorings, high fructose corn syrup and foods containing GMOs.
According to Dr. Mark Hyman, supplementing your diet with probiotic rich foods can “reinoculate your gut”. Foods such as kefir and yogurt, kombucha, kimchi and sauerkraut, pickles (no preservatives), sourdough bread and apple cider vinegar are all “live” probiotics. If those foods don’t do it for you, a probiotic supplement is always a good idea. Prebiotics are also “good bacteria” found in artichokes, garlic, leeks, onion, chicory, tofu, and other soy products that can help balance things. Grains such as barley, flax, oats, and wheat are also good sources of prebiotics. Check out your local health food store for some recommendations. Also, try sipping or cooking with bone broth, rich in collagen and protein to keep your gut soothed and boost your immune system.
I hope this gives you insight as to our food choices supporting our health to be the best version of ourselves.