The very last thing that most people want to talk about is digestive health. Everyone loves to talk about, eat, photograph and blog yummy foods, but what happens to it after the tasty enjoyment is usually a hushed conversation amongst only the closest of friends. In a modern world where most people are eating on the run, not always able to have healthy choices, and maybe not even having enough time to chew their food properly, gut health has become an issue for many.
For anyone suffering from IBS-C or IBS-D, the very first advice you will find on the internet will be to try a vegan diet, but many vegans also suffer digestive problems and need help with poor gut health. The first advice from most physicians is to take medication, but what if food could be your medicine?
February's box had a probiotic bar by WELO which was a great treat, but also made us think about all the vegan sources of probiotics that can be easily found.
Sauerkraut - "It is a source of vitamins B, C, and K; the fermentation process increases the bioavailability of nutrients rendering sauerkraut even more nutritious than the original cabbage. It is also low in calories and high in calcium and magnesium, and it is a very good source of dietary fiber, folate, iron, potassium
, copper and manganese."
Kimchi - a traditional Korean dish consisting of pickled vegetables, which is mainly served as a side dish with every meal, but also can be served as a main dish. Kimchi is mainly recognized as a spicy fermented cabbage dish globally, but there are currently more than 200 variations, and continues to grow
Miso - "is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji (the fungus Aspergillus oryzae) and sometimes rice, barley, or other ingredients."
Pickles/Olives - Sour and Dill pickles are great choices since you can find them in a brine of salt rather than vinegar. Pickling in salt is the process of lactic acid fermentation, which is used in making Sauerkraut and Kimchi, and could be used on nearly anything from the garden. My personal favourite is the pickled beets from Wildbrine.
These are just a few mentions that you can easily find at most grocery stores or even make yourselves. Of course there is tempeh, kombucha - which is having a major time in the spotlight right now, sourdough bread and fermented soy products. As someone who prepares most of their food from scratch, but has yet to become a brine queen, it seems to me that a "back to basics" in food preparation and consumption is what is best for the modern intestines.