One of the most under-diagnosed conditions in the United States is leaky gut.
Leaky gut, otherwise known as intestinal permeability, occurs when food and medicines ingested over the course of time begin to degrade the lining of the walls of the intestine.
What happens then is undigested food proteins are allowed to transfer into the bloodstream which results in both inflammatory responses as well as autoimmune responses. Leaky gut can ultimately result in the formation of autoimmune conditions and chronic disease which can severely reduce your quality of life.
Not to mention leaky gut is one of the main causes of upset stomach that millions of Americans deal with on a daily basis.
So how do you cure leaky gut.
Well, aside from eliminating the consumption of foods in the Standard American Diet (SAD), you can also include fermented foods in your diet.
So what is fermented food?
According to Katie of WellnessMama.com
Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics.
Natural fermentation of foods has also been shown to preserve nutrients in food and break the food down to a more digestible form. This, along with the bevy of probiotics created during the fermentation process, could explain the link between consumption of fermented foods and improved digestion.
Cultures around the world have been eating fermented foods for years, from Sauerkraut in Germany to Kimchi in Korea and everywhere in between. Studies have even shown the link between probiotic rich foods and overall health (PDF). Sadly, with the advances in technology and food preparation, these time-honored traditional foods have been largely lost in our society.
As you noticed, Katie mentioned that fermented foods contain probiotics.
Probiotics are bacteria that help in the digestive process.
They also help to keep harmful bacteria in check.
As long as you there are more helpful bacteria in your gut than harmful ones, your health won’t be affected negatively.
As soon as the balance shifts in the direction of harmful bacteria that’s when leaky gut can set in.
And fermented foods contain billions upon billions of these probiotics.
That’s why if you manage to eliminate foods from the SAD diet (corn, soy, wheat, dairy, beans, GMOs) and add fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, pickles, kefir) you’ll find upset stomachs are soon a thing of the past.
The only thing you need to keep in mind is that while fermented foods contain a number of healthy bacteria, there are a few much needed strains they don’t have.