How to Maintain Gut Health

Maintaining gut health might be a confusing phrase to some. When referring to “gut health”, the healthy bacteria and other organisms that exist in our digestive tract is the focus of the meaning: keeping up healthy numbers of these helpful organisms is key to “gut health”.

The Importance of Gut Health

When we refer to “gut health”, the majority of helpful organisms in the gut exist in the large colon (also commonly referred to as the ‘gut’).

In the large colon, gut flora works, using various metabolic processes, in aiding the immune system to keep us healthy, in building up the intestinal walls, in manufacturing some of the vitamins that our bodies need every day, and in helping the body fend off disease and illness.

The importance of gut health can’t be emphasized enough in its importance. The intestine is not just a vessel for the end stages of digestion, it is a key part of keeping us healthy. As scientists study the role of gut flora and the role the large colon plays in immunity and disease, there is increasing evidence to show that we underestimate just how important this part of the body might be in keeping us healthy and feeling good.

Foods & Drinks High In Probiotics

Fermented foods are traditionally the foods that provide the most probiotics. Foods that provide an abundance of probiotics include:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Natto
  • Kvass
  • Cider Vinegar
  • Tempeh
  • Brine Cured Olives
  • Miso
  • Kimchi
  • Tepache

What is Tepache? It is a fermented beverage from Mexico, made traditionally with whole, raw sugar, pineapple, and various spices or peppers. It is lightly fermented, so there is no heavy vinegar flavor that sometimes comes in Kombucha. It contains prebiotics and probiotics, so it is a great beverage for those looking to improve their gut health through diet. It comes in delicious flavors like pineapple, mango, tamarind, and orange with hints of chili, cinnamon, and ginger to pique your tastebuds. Even the most discerning palates will love Tepache as an aperitif, an after-work tipple, or an anytime, refreshing drink that happens to be great for colon health.

Incorporating Probiotics Into Your Diet

It’s easy to put probiotics into your diet if you do just a little bit of research. Everyone knows that yogurt and kefir are rich in probiotics, and that’s great if you like yogurt. If you are looking to add yogurt to your diet without eating shovels full every morning, it’s easy to add into many Indian dishes, that use yogurt heavily in a wide array of entrees and cooling side dishes.

Adding kefir to a morning smoothie is also an easy way to add probiotics, instantly. Tempeh is an interesting food to work with if you’ve never tried it. It is very healthy and takes on the flavor of almost anything you want it to. It’s a wonderful meat substitute for those looking to add more plant-based foods to their diet.

Miso is an amazing ingredient that the Japanese have blessed us with. Simply bursting with umami, once you start using miso in your sauces and marinades, you will never go back again. The depth of flavor it provides is astronomical. It comes in several different varieties, from savory to salty to sweet.

A throwback item that we used to cook with generations back and got away from is buttermilk. Choose buttermilk that is labeled as having live cultures. Any soul food enthusiast can tell you how great buttermilk is for adding moistness to baked goods, and a tart sourness to dishes that makes recipes unique and delicious.

Try adding delicious tepache to your diet as a new, fizzy alternative to other drinks like beer or soda. It comes preloaded with prebiotics and probiotics and is street food from Latin America whose time in the spotlight is well overdue.