Think about the last time you were deciding what to eat. What were the factors in your decision-making? My guess is that you were probably not concerned with how that food would affect your gut. Although most people see beignets as beignets, when I look at a beignet, I see a cesspool of bacteria and chemicals that could alter my body all the way to my brain. That is not to say that you shouldn’t have beignets, but it never hurt to understand how food affects your mind and body. As time progresses, scientists are seeing a huge connection between the gut and mental health. What this means is that every substance you put into your body is affecting you on a physical and even emotional level.
This week, we are focusing on your guts and how you can love them!
The number of microbes living inside our body outnumbers the number of cells in our body. The gut microbiome weighs a little over 4 pounds, more than the 3-pound human brain, and may have just as much influence on our body and mind. These bacteria are negatively affected by antibiotics, stress, the food we eat, and more, eventually leading to dysbiosis, an imbalance of bacteria that can cause other harmful bacteria to grow in its place.
Living in the culinary capital of the country, I understand the struggle. It would be totally fair to not want to do a complete 180 on your diet. So here are five foods (and some lagniappe because we’re in New Orleans) you can incorporate into your diet, to help your microbiome not just survive but thrive. First up, we’re talking fermented foods!
Fermenting is a method of preserving foods with bacteria and yeast. When you eat fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut, you inject the live bacteria in them.