Burping, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, nutrient deficiencies … do any of these sound familiar? Thousands of blogs and news shows tout adding a probiotic to the diet, but can you just take a probiotic and solve these challenges?
Probiotics? You’ve likely heard of them and/or perhaps you’re even taking one because you read one of those articles that said they were good for your gut. But are they really enough?
I’m going to to cut to the chase and tell you that a probiotic alone is likely not enough. That isn’t to say taking a probiotic alone won’t help, it usually does. But probiotics can’t rebuild the system on their own. The system needs minerals, an ecosystem, low ph and it needs to be fertilized with the organic acids.
Let’s back up a step. What is this ‘system’ and how is it ‘rebuilt’?
We have trillions of various bacteria in the body and these are collectively referred to as the microbiome. The gut microbiome refers to all of the microbes in your intestines, it acts as organ that’s crucial for your health. This can affect key bodily functions including your gut health, your weight, your heart health, your blood sugar and even your brain health.
Fermented foods are loaded with the ‘good’ bacteria that actually help to repair our gut lining. Simply adding fermented foods into your diet can actually help to resolve the most common gut complaints, like constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, nutrient deficiency and they strengthen the immune system.
We are all dealing with intestinal permeability to some degree every day, at every meal. The food we eat and the stress we are under impact this. Fermented foods feeds the lining of the gut. Whenever we have digestive issues or impairments, we tend to break down protein poorly. This means we miss out on critical amino acids that feed the lining of the gut. That’s where fermented foods come in.
You don’t have to stuff your face with them. Just add in a small, condiment size of ferments with each meal. This actually helps to digest food as well. And you can make them at home quite easily- try my easy recipe for fermented cherry tomatoes.
Of course, there’s never just one answer for everyone. If you are dealing with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) or if you have histamine issues (especially if you are dealing with candida), you might experience that fermented foods don’t agree with you. My recommendation then is to start with even tiny amounts of fermented food rather than to skip it. You may need to do some gut pre-work first with a low microbe-diet (a plant based diet) to help prepare your base.
Eating is a major part of health, but isn’t everything (shocking to hear from me?) You have to believe you can heal. And you have to learn to manage STRESS. These two mindsets are of the utmost importance. Without these, you’ll continue to struggle with the same issues over and over again. Is it worth it?
So bottom line is that you’ll get more healing from the fermented foods versus a probiotic pill. You can continue taking your probiotic but ALSO add in a bite or two of fermented foods every day. Your gut will thank you for it.