Nope, that’s not a typo. I don’t mean SOURpuss (geez, this is The Happiness Cocktail after all), I mean SAUERpuss, as in SAUERKRAUT – that little German-born treat that does absolute wonders for your insides.
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and pickles are an amazing way to get probiotics into your system, Happies. Easily added to salads, sandwiches and other everyday meals these nutritionally dense add-ons help your health in numerous ways. Here, five reasons to get them in your life.
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1. They Help Balance Your Good Bacteria
Everyday life tends to throw off the balance of good bacteria in your gut. The simplest way to replenish these handy little helpers is with probiotics. Fermented foods are packed with probiotics, which in turn pump up your levels of good bacteria and help ward off nasty illness (see point 2) and even help manage symptoms of IBS, candida and other gut problems.
2. They Ward Off Illness
Crazy human body fact: 80% of your immune system is housed in your gut. Nuts, right? So, by getting your intestinal flora all sorted you are essentially boosting your immune system as well. Studies conducted by the Journal of Nutrition show that probiotics could protect against colon cancer, while it’s common sense to say that if 80% of your immune system is in good health, your chances of getting sick are greatly reduced.
3. They Can Help Ease Allergies
It’s not just sickness that probiotics fight, it’s allergies too. If you suffer from certain allergies perhaps incorporating more fermented foods into your diet can help. It makes sense, by balancing out your intestinal flora and providing your body with immune-boosting power, you’re going to be more balanced and less susceptible to outbreaks. Worth a try, right?
4. They Calm Your Nervous System
You have the same amount of neurotransmitters in your gut as you do your brain. So, when you think about it your gut is technically your body’s second ‘thinker’. What’s affected by these transmitters? Your nervous system. So, by flooding the area with good bacteria to counteract stress, poor diet, antibiotics and other known bad bacteria promoters, you’re essentially promoting good health in all areas of your body.
5. They Help You Lose Weight
There are two sides of the fence here: On one side you have a gut that’s flourishing in bad bacteria, which promotes inflammation and ultimately weight gain. Not to mention bloating, flatulence and other fun bad-belly signs. On the other side, you have a healthy gut that’s loaded with good bacteria, far less (if any) inflammation and thus, little to no fat at all. I know which one I’d prefer. Studies have shown a 5 per cent reduction in belly fat on subjects who drank probiotic-rich milk for 12 weeks. So, there must be something in it.
We add sauerkraut to most of our meals these days. Mix it through salads, throw it on top of sandwiches, stir it through cauliflower mash, or add it on top of scrambled eggs. The possibilities are endless. Look for non-pasterised sauerkraut if you can, as it hasn’t been exposed to high heat and still has its enzymes intact. This can be found in the refrigerator section of your health food store. Alternatively, make your own at home. It’s super easy.
Tell me Happies…
Do you eat fermented foods?
Do you want to start?