We’re used to experiencing side effects with everything we eat. For example, we expect to feel very full after ingesting an overload of carbs, or amped up after downing a sugar filled energy drink.
Unfortunately, many times, eating a plethora of carbs will leave us feeling bogged down, and we experience a crash immediately after a sugar high.
For this reason, it is important to choose foods that give you sustained energy without causing inflammation and bloat. Among the top choices – fermented foods.
Why We Love Them
Fermented foods encourage the growth of good bacteria, such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. This good bacteria works to break down lactose, sugars and starches in food allowing our bodies to digest them more easily.
Additionally, they help to ward off bad bacteria like E. coli and C. difficile. This makes foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi extremely gut-friendly.
Other types of fermented foods include:
- Raw pickles
The ‘Pro’ in Probiotics
A probiotic is good bacteria that help transport food through your system, preventing digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and diarrhea. We have hundreds of different types of bacteria that live in our digestive tracts, which help us to break down food and absorb nutrients.
Unfortunately, often times the good bacteria in our intestines are destroyed through the ingestion of antibiotics, thus resulting in the necessary intake of good bacteria to balance the loss. This is where the introduction of probiotics is extremely important.
In addition to treating digestive issues, probiotics have also been found to be effective in treating skin conditions (e.g. eczema), oral health, vaginal health and the allergy prevention.
What’s more, consuming probiotic-rich foods can help a person maintain a healthy immune system and aid with weight loss.
One simple way to begin adding probiotics to your diet is with this sauerkraut recipe.
Two-Ingredient Sauerkraut Recipe
This super simple recipe requires two ingredients, 20 minutes of prep time, and four weeks total.
What you need:
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 5 pounds shredded cabbage
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- In a large bowl, mix cabbage with salt and caraway seeds.
- Let stand for 10 minutes.
- Pack cabbage mixture into a large glass food container. Top with a quartered onion to fit inside the container, weighing it down.
- Cover container with a paper towel and secure with a rubber band.
- Place in a cool spot overnight. Check to make sure the sauerkraut is completely submerged in liquid.
- Check cabbage every other day for 2 weeks, skimming off of any scum that may form on the surface.
- Let stand for at least 4 weeks total.
- Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
ENJOY! Use the concoction on the food of your choice for up to 6 months.
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Don Patrick is an amateur writer and sports enthusiast. He loves reading books, listening to the Huberman Lab Podcast, and spending time with his family and friends. Don is also a personal trainer and youth hockey coach.