“Oh you’re just full of it!”
Many of us in this day and age don’t realise just what an important and crucial role our gut-health plays on the way we think and behave. Many of us are quite familiar with the phrase, “Oh you’re just full of it!” And “that’s why you are in such a mood”. What we don’t realise is that those phrases are in fact quite accurate and true. Recent research has shown that our gut has more neurotransmitters in it than there are in our entire brain; therefore when our gut is unhealthy our thinking and mood is greatly affected by it.
Millions of people suffer every day from digestive disorders. Disorders including irritable bowel syndrome and chronic constipation, but comparatively few realise that good overall health begins in the gut. So all of this suffering can be avoided if we would just take better care of our already existing healthy gut flora.
Our “Gut Protection System”, or GPS is populated by a delicate balance of friendly bacteria that help us digest and synthesize nutrients, defend us from toxins, fortify and enable our immunity to stave off depression, harmful diseases, disease syndromes, and even seasonal allergies.
What to do?
In order to heal and maintain our already existing healthy gut flora, experts suggest a probiotic rich diet. Probiotic rich foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, cultured yogurt, kefir, and kombucha. In addition to eating probiotic foods it is important to remain well hydrated.
How to start
Drinking water first thing in the morning is very important in the process of restoring and maintaining healthy gut flora. For adults it is recommended to drink 2 to 4 cups of water in the morning with a few drops of fresh lemon juice added. The lemon in the water will help stimulate the liver to detox, thus aiding the intestinal tract in its detox and discarding of waste.
The next step would be to incorporate as much probiotic food into our diet as possible. There are numerous benefits that come from eating probiotic food. The most noticeable benefits will be regular bowel movements, a happier lighter feeling and increased energy levels.
Anti-aging properties: Another valuable benefit provided by kimchi is its anti-aging qualities which attributes to the presence of antioxidants and vitamin C.
Anti-Cancer properties: Cabbage present in kimchi contains healthful flavonoids which are known to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Another powerful cancer fighters present in cruciferous such as cabbage are glucosinolates. Glucosinolates break down to form isothiocyanates which are well known for their effectiveness against the cancer growth.
Anti-Obesity: Lactobacillus which is present in kimchi assists in weightloss by controlling the appetite and reducing the blood sugar levels. The fiber content present in kimchi keeps your body full and hunger satisfied for a longer duration preventing you from frequent and over eating.
Diabetes: Kimchi is beneficial in diabetes. A study conducted on high-fat diet-fed type-2 diabetic subjects who were given kimchi revealed the anti-diabetic properties of the Korean delicacy. The study showed better glucose tolerance and lower levels of fasting glucose after eating kimchi- containing diet in the diabetic subjects. The same study also suggested that kimchi can prove more useful in diabetes if it is eaten with normal or low-fat diet instead of high-fat food.
Gastric ulcers: Kimchi exerts therapeutic effects in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease caused by helicobacter pylori bacteria. A study conducted in this regard has shown that the antagonistic activity of kimchi attributes to the abundance of Lactobacillus bacteria which inhibits the harmful pathogens from connecting to the human gastric cancer cells.
Cholesterol: Regular consumption of kimchi has a beneficial effect on the levels of cholesterol. Garlic which is used to prepare kimchi is rich in selenium and allicin. Allicin is an eminent component which helps in lowering the cholesterol levels thereby, reducing the risk of developing cardiac disorders such as strokes and heart attacks. Selenium also exerts protective effect on the artery walls by preventing the build-up of plaque and decreasing the threat of disorders like atherosclerosis.
Atopic dermatitis: The presence of lactobacillus bacteria in kimchi makes it a multi-talented condiment. It extends its therapeutic effects on various skin ailments such as atopic dermatitis which is characterized by increased levels of immunoglobulin E and skin lesion such as edema and hemorrhage.