Let me cut straight to the chase. Fermented foods are fabulous for your guts and happy guts help curb sugar cravings. A veritable virtuous circle.
In my TEDx talk I cover WHY our guts are so amazing (spoiler alert: immunity + serotonin + neurotransmitters + the list goes on) and HOW we need to trust what our uber intelligent guts tell us (that gut feeling you have about something is real).
Gut health is getting a lot of air time right now. And rightly so.
ALL DISEASE BEGINS IN THE GUT [Hippocrates]
More and more people are suffering from inflammatory diseases including allergies, arthritis, high cholesterol and obesity stemming from poor gut bacteria in the large intestine.
The simplest and cheapest way I've found to boost good gut bacteria is to eat fermented foods : like sauerkraut. Wait. Don't leave me yet. Give me a second.
Lacto-fermentation uses salt to encourage 'good' natural bacteria on the cabbage, producing lactic acid to halt 'bad' bacteria = an ancient form of preserving.
AND the lactic acid activates enzymes in the veg that help digestion and to build healthy gut flora.
WHICH (my fave nerdy part) overpower unhealthy gut flora that thrive on and crave sugar. Net result: cravings for sugar decrease.
I've been experimenting with a fuss-free way to make a tasty, tangy sauerkraut. It takes 10 minutes prep, tops. I eat a serving of this most days with salad, on a sandwich or with dinner.
- 1 small organic green cabbage - I'm currently liking pointed green cabbage for my 'kraut
- 1 tbsp sea salt or pink Himalayan sea salt (not bog standard table salt as the iodine kills the ferment)
- 1 tsp caraway seeds (a natural mould inhibitor)
- a medium sized jar, sterilised with boiling water
- a small clean stone or small jar filled with water to weigh things down
HOW TO MAKE IT:
- Finely shred the cabbage
- Put it into a bowl, mix with the sea salt and let it sit for 30 minutes (or more) until liquid starts to form in the bottom of the bowl from the salt extracting moisture from the cabbage
- Then stir in the caraway seeds
- Pack the whole lot down tightly into the sterilised jar, pushing down the cabbage until liquid covers it by about a centimetre (I use the handle of a wooden spoon to press it all down)
- Weigh down the cabbage with the clean stone or small jar - you need to keep the cabbage submerged or it will rot
- There needs to be a couple of centimetres gap between the liquid and the top of the jar
- Close the lid loosely and let it sit on the kitchen counter for 3-5 days or so until little bubbles appear at the top - this means the ferment is working nicely and the good bacteria are doing their thing
- Then close the lid tightly and keep it in the fridge ready to be added to any and all meals.
Hurrah for the humble cabbage.
Let me know how you get on.