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Love Your Gut

by Cin Ancajas

Numerous medical studies have shown that most of the serious diseases stem from an unhealthy gut. Not only does it include stomach and digestive problems, but also diabetes, autoimmune disorders, arthritis, and mental illnesses like depression. 70% of the body's immune system is carried by our gut and what we consume greatly affects our gut health. To make sure our gut can properly function, drink lots of water for hydration and to aid your digestion. Another one is to opt for diets rich in probiotics and fermented foods.

Here are foods that will definitely show your gut some love:

Yoghurt is a popular choice for those who are amping the good bacteria in their gut. Full-fat and plain yoghurt (with no added sugar) is rich in probiotics, with a single gram containing 100 million probiotic cultures. Those who are lactose-intolerant can enjoy yoghurt because the probiotics help in digesting the lactose from the milk.

Evidently present in every Korean meal, kimchi is a side dish of fermented vegetables such as cabbage. The fermentation process creates the probiotics which can help those suffering from stomach pain and other digestive issues.

Sauerkraut is another fermented food containing the Lactobacillus bacteria or the good bacteria. Fermented foods are usually sour. The sour taste is actually the organic acid helping probiotics to do their thing.

Kefir is the popular and the more liquid-y counterpart to yoghurt in Eastern Europe. It contains at least 10 active strains of bacteria. When kefir grains ferment the sugars found in milk, it produces a thicker consistency.

Miso is a fermented paste made from soybeans, barley or rice. Like the other fermented foods, it contains a high amount of good bacteria that can treat stomach problems. Miso is high in sodium so it's best to be consumed in moderation.

Kombucha is a fizzy drink made by fermenting sugar and bacteria in tea. This drink contains alcohol but getting a sip or two is a good way to introduce the good bacteria in your gut.

Bread lovers, this is for you! Sourdough breads are the healthier form of bread because they are beneficial for gut health. Using a wide variety of bacteria and fungi naturally present in the air and ingredients, Sourdough breads are fermented slowly.

An ingredient often seen on skincare products, studies show that collagen works better if consumed in good amounts. It contains large amounts of glycine, glutamine, and proline, these amino acids are beneficial to the stomach. Consuming collagen does not only help to heal an inflamed gut but also slows down the ageing process. Collagen protein can be added to soups or smoothies.

Olive Oil
Extra-virgin olive oil contains a higher amount of polyphenols compared to other oils. A study found out that polyphenols enhance the growth of the good bacteria in our gut. This kind of oil is beneficial in easing indigestion problems and can also benefit our pancreas bylowering its requirement to produce digestive enzymes.

Salmon is known as an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which help prevent heart disease and stroke. These acids are anti-inflammatory also, which is essential in healing an inflamed gut, a common thing found in people who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease and other digestive disorders.

These are one of the many that can help our gut heal and become healthy, but we should note that altering our diet instantly may have a bad effect on the body, mindfulness is needed in introducing this lifestyle to ourselves.