For those that may have missed it, we’ve been discussing ways to incorporate parts of the GAPS Diet into your daily routine to begin repairing the gut and healing the body. Recall, last week we discussed my first recommendation, which is Bone Broth. You can check out the recent post here as well as read a little background on the GAPS Diet.
The second way that you can start implementing the GAPS Diet is by incorporating ferments into your diet.
What are fermented foods exactly? Well, Sandor Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation, describes fermentation as “The flavorful space between fresh and rotten.” I love this quote because fermentation is such a delicate balance between the two, creating this amazing space for wonderful bacteria that can be very healing to the body. That delicate balance between fresh and rotten is where the probiotics and live enzymes flourish, essentially good bacteria that is crucial for optimal gut health.
Due to factors like stress and diets high in processed foods, bacteria in our guts can become compromised, allowing an overgrowth of bad bacteria causing health issues like leaky gut, candida, and H.pylori to name a few. While probiotic supplements can be helpful in replenishing the good bacteria, often times supplements will not travel far enough down the intestinal tract where the bacteria is thriving. That is why consuming ferments can be especially important as they travel throughout the entire body, populating the gut with healthy bacteria.
Sauerkraut is an excellent source for probiotics. It is also helpful in stimulating gastric juices that aid in proper digestion. In fact, I mention kraut is a great alternative to digestive support in my Series to Better Health: Digestion. Kraut can also be extremely potent, especially if you make your own as it usually ferments for a longer period of time compared to store bought kraut, which is why I recommend starting with a very small amount (1 teaspoon full) and then gradually increasing as your body begins to tolerate it better. Often times kraut can cause a die off reaction in the form of digestive complications so be easy on your body and only incorporate small amounts to begin.
If you’re into making your own kraut, I suggest Sandor Katz recipe. If you’re interested in some recommendations for options to purchase, I absolutely love Bubbies for a crunchy, simple kraut. Oregon Brineworks has an amazing line of fermented products. Their Beet Apple Kraut is so delicious!! Plus, I love their Beet Kvass for a gentle liver support. Lastly, Farmhouse Culture is my go-to for incredible flavors. Their Garlic Dill Pickle kraut is a game changer!
I’ve also created this delicious Apple-Kraut Slaw that is great served with burgers or brats and even is delicious served with fish and steak.
Sauerkraut is such a tasty, easy way to incorporate ferments into your daily diet so that you can start repopulating the gut with healthy bacteria for optimal health! Tell me, how do you incorporate ferments into your diet? Would love to hear!! Especially if you have some awesome recipes!! ;)