Have you heard about the connection between probiotics, the microbiome (gut bacteria) and optimal health? We have a second brain in our gut. The microbiota/the microbiome is an important part of our bodies. Without our gut bacteria, we would die. These microscopic organisms that line mucous membranes especially in our gut, help make up our immune system.
Good & Bad Bacteria
Without this “Good Bacteria” in our digestive system, we would get very ill. We’d also have trouble fully recovering from illness.
It’s crazy to think, but 90% of the cells in our body are made up of these organisms. We are more bacteria than human.
Our environment, our diet, our lifestyles all impact our gut health. The balance of good and bad bacteria in our gut influences not only our overall health but our moods and energy levels. A gut overrun with bad bacteria can leave the owner tired, bloated, and susceptible to colds and flu.
Digestive complaints and conditions such as IBS are also common with increases in “bad” gut bacteria. Not only can it have an effect on our physical body but it directly affects our mood & concentration too.
The gut and brain have a steady ability to communicate via the nervous system, hormones, and the immune system. Some of the microbiome can release neurotransmitters, just like our own neurons do, speaking to the brain in its own language via the vagus nerve ~ Emily Deans M.D
For more scientific information read The Gut-brain Connection.
Preserving And Fermenting Foods
Our microbiome has been passed on to us from generation to generation through our family lines. The diet of generations before us naturally took care of this delicate environment. It was a diet richer in natural foods. Our natural ways of preserving food, for example, supplied our ancestors with a plentiful diet of good bacteria. Vegetable fermentation (sauerkraut, kimchi etc) was particularly important.
Nowadays, thanks to the depletion of nutrients from the soil, our fast-paced lives, and limited access to fermented foods, people rely on probiotic supplements. And supplementation with probiotics is often limited to the period following a bout of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill good & bad bacteria, leaving you even more susceptible to illness.
But there are many easy ways to enhance our microbiome naturally in our everyday diet. Homemade Kimchi or Sourkraut, Miso soup, Kombucha, Milk Kefir, and Water Kefir are great examples of foods that benefit the gut.
Water Kefir – Microbiome Booster
I have recently started to make my own homemade water kefir, a fermented product I find amazingly easy to make and great to drink. Also great for a gut detox. Here’s a recipe for kefir that you can make at home.
- Water Kefir grains
- ¼ cup of organic cane sugar
- 1 spoonful of organic blackstrap molasses per 1L water
- In a large mason jar add all your ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon/utensil
- Leave to ferment out of direct sunlight and not in the fridge for 5 days
- After 5 days – use a non-metal sieve and drain off your water into a jug to then pour into a container with a lid – like a lemonade glass bottle or any kind of bottle you have – and store it in the fridge so it stops fermenting
- Then start the process all over again!
- Try to avoid using metal utensils
- Each time you make kefir the grains will multiply. Pass excess kefir grains to friends and family or increase your production!
- The recipe includes sugar but the kefir grains feed on it to produce probiotic bacteria. Don’t worry. You won’t be consuming sugar with real homemade kefir water. You will get lots of minerals and vitamins along with your probiotics!
- Natural Homemade Probiotics! Easy Peasy & Cheerfully Cheap!
- Order your kefir grains from Kefir.ie