Gut Healing Kimchi Recipe

Inspired by our recent travels, this Kimchi recipe is a great variation on the typical fermented cabbage.

kimchi

Makes 1 extra large jar

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Why Healthy Gut Bacteria is Important

Gut bacteria impacts everything from our metabolism to digestion, mental function and immune system. It’s estimated that our gut actually contains 100 trillion bacteria – 10 times as many bacteria as cells in the human body! These bacteria help to extract energy from the food we eat to build the strength of our immune system to protect against infection and disease.

As Hippocrates, the founding father of modern medicine, said “all disease begins in the gut”. This post covers three key things our gut health can impact.

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  1. Weight Loss

A change in our gut bacteria can actually cause us to overeat. Studies have shown that the bacterial makeup of obese and lean people is different. When studying the gut health of mice (because, believe it or not, mice and humans have a very similar gut make up) the gut bacteria of lean mice was swapped with the gut bacteria of obese mice. The results showed that the obese mice, with the lean mice’s gut bacteria, lost weight and the lean mice gained weight. It turned out that this was because the bacteria of the gut in obese individuals actually increases the amount of energy (aka calories) extracted from food.

  1. Immunity

Our gut bacteria make up 84% of our immune system. When our exposure to toxins (such as antibiotics, xenoestrogens and probiotic-poor foods) increases, the balance between the good and bad bacteria in our gets out of wack. As the good bacteria are depleted and the bad bacteria take over, inflammation occurs in our gut and cause damage. This is significant because our gut is the first line of defence between us and toxins. Healthy gut bacteria improves our immunity through a number of ways:

  • They strengthen the “netting” of our gut wall (read more about the make up of our guts here) and help to physical protect us from potential toxins.
  • They compete for both space and food with the bad bacteria in our gut. As we mentioned earlier, our gut is home to a sensitive balance of good and bad bacteria. If our healthy gut bacteria is already consuming all the resources (aka space and food) available, there’s nothing left to feed the bad bacteria.
  • They regulate our body’s inflammatory immune response. As you are probably already aware, inflammation is complicated! Good gut bacteria help to regulate our inflammatory response without over-reacting.
  1. Brain Function

The health of our gut plays a role in how well our brain functions. Studies have shown that when more probiotic-rich foods (such as ferments, you can make your own here) are consumed, the cognitive development and sensory processing functions of our brains exhibit positive responses.

You can read more about gut health and how to heal a leaky gut here.

Paleo Raspberry and Coconut Gelatin Gummies

Paleo Raspberry and Coconut Gelatin Gummies Recipe

These gummies are a perfect for killing two birds with one stone – satisfying your cravings for a sweet paleo snack and healing your gut.

Ingredients raspberry-gummies

  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 8 tbsp grass-fed gelatin
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Method

    1. Depending on what you feel like, you can either blend the raspberries with the coconut milk or mix them in whole. Add the lime zest to the coconut and raspberry mix.
    2. Over a medium heat, combine the gelatin – one tablespoon at a time – and coconut and raspberry mix in a saucepan. Make sure the mix doesn’t boil.
    3. While the gelatin is dissolving, grease a glass pan (this will be used to set the gummies in).
    4. Once the gelatin is completely combined (make sure there are no lumps), let the mix cool to room temperature. Once cooled, pour the mixture into the greased glass pan, cover and place in the fridge.
    5. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Cut into squares and enjoy!

 

 

 

Why I Love…Fermented Foods

Besides fermented foods being delicious (…bar fermented fish…), they also provide us with a number of health benefits. Here are our top 5 reasons you should start fermenting.

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1. It builds gut health

Unfortunately our Western diet of processed, sugary foods has wreaked havoc on our gut health. These foods feed the bad bacteria in our gut and suppress the growth of healthy flora in our intestines. Fermented foods contain probiotics and acids that balance the pH levels in our gut and support the good bacteria – helping to heal our digestive system and build its health.

2. It activates nutrients  

The lactic acid in fermented vegetables activates enzymes that aid in the digestive process. These acids also help to unlock vitamins in the vegetables, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin K2.

3. It reduces food wastage

Ok so this one isn’t necessarily a health benefit, but it is still a benefit!! Fermenting foods that are based on lacto-fermentation (using salt – and sometimes whey, not sugar to ferment) is a great way to preserve vegetables. The lacto-fermentation process encourages the natural and ‘good’ bacteria (lactobacillus if you want to be technical) in the vegetables to flourish. This then produces lactic acid that starves the ‘bad’ bacteria that would otherwise cause the veggies to go rotten.

4. It reduces the sugar content

Like the same process that causes grapes to turn into red wine; fermenting eats up the sugar in the vegetables, with the end result being fructose-free.

5. It reduces sugar cravings

The bacteria in our gut actually secrete proteins that act in a similar way to our hunger-regulating hormones. When you eat sugar, these bacteria gobble it up and then send the signal to our brain that we need more – feeding the sugar craving cycle. Fermented foods combat this craving cycle by growing and feeding the ‘good’ bacteria. As the good bacteria grow, they overpower the bad bacteria and diminish the craving cycle.

 

If these 5 reasons haven’t convinced you to ferment your own veg, why not try our favourite fermented recipes (and hopefully the tastiness of them will convince you)!

 

Pickles

Pickles Recipe

Pickles, who doesn’t love them? Crunchy, salty, vinegary, sometimes spicy…the perfect combo. Plus, don’t forget the benefits from pickling for our gut health!

Fermented pickles encourage the growth of probiotic bacteria, which helps to replenish our digestive system and restore our gut health…and we all know how important our that is!

Here at Healed by Bacon, we make a batch of these pickles each week to eat with our lunches, dinners or just as a snack.

Pickles

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