On my journey to live and eat organically, I have learnt so much about how a healthy gut and digestive system is the foundation for our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. I would love to share my knowledge with Natural Health readers this month!

Organic living makes you very aware of the many ways to be healthier. But I know that digestive health is the key when it comes to optimising your health, having a super strong immune system, reversing disease and feeling amazing.

A healthy gut depends on the balance of good and bad bacteria that live in our gut. This balance regulates a huge part of our overall health. And I have learnt that by far the best way to have the right bacterial balance, is to eat fermented foods! Here’s why:

Fermented foods are packed with natural probiotics

Probiotics are good bacteria, the type we need plenty of. These good bacteria are absolutely essential for our overall health but specifically for our digestion and our immunity. So we take probiotics because they stimulate the growth of healthy flora/bacteria in our digestive systems.

That is why there are so many probiotic supplements in health shops and pharmacies. Although most of these can be effective none are as amazing as eating fermented foods.

Probiotic supplements usually show an active bacteria range on the label but we now know that a serving of homemade raw sauerkraut (one of the best fermented foods) has up to10 trillion good bacteria, which is 100 times more than the average probiotic supplement!

Fermented foods are immunity warriors

Improved digestion hugely strengthens our immune system. Our immunity affects how well we feel and also whether we can keep disease and nasty invaders away! Regularly eating fermented foods provides us with “good bacteria warriors” in our gut that find and destroy nasty, unwanted, illness-causing microbes. Find and destroy!

Of course, raw, organic fermented foods are the ones to eat. Think sauerkraut, kimchi, yoghurt, kefir, miso and apple cider vinegar.

Fermented foods are full of live enzymes

nstead of taking a digestive enzyme supplement or probiotic (or in addition to), you should rather eat enzyme rich fermented foods as this is so much more effective in ensuring that your gut is healthy. When we eat a fermented food, we immediately get a multitude of living enzymes into our body. These act like little warriors that immediately get to work on breaking down carbs, proteins and fats that we have eaten. The little fermented warriors can do this immediately because – remember – fermented food is pre-digested. So eating these, eases the work your pancreas and other digestive organs need to do thereby giving one immediate nutrients, without any hard digestive work!

Fermented foods make nutrients available right away

Think of a fermented food as already being digested. In other words, the food has already started to break down before we eat it, so it puts much less strain on your digestive system to unlock the nutrients we need from the food. Nutrients are available right away without the hard work of digestion! An example of this is what happens in the gut when we eat sauerkraut – one of the best fermented foods there is. Because the sauerkraut is pre-digested, our digestive organs need to do very little work to give us a fast boost of life-giving nutrients like vitamins B1, B6, B9 and K, manganese, potassium, magnesium and iron, to name just a few. Clever!

Fermented foods are budget friendly and preserve well

Incorporating organic health into your diet can sometimes be expensive. Not so with the fermented variety! Items like sauerkraut, whey, kefir, yoghurt, fermented vegetables and many others can easily be made at home with a few ingredients. And, because of the fermentation process, these foods generally last really long in the fridge.

So, I hope that you will consider including fermented food (organic of course) in your lifestyle right away!