How Fermented Foods Can Help You Recover From the Holidays
1. Fermented foods support the immune system!
Everyone around you has been falling prey to the sniffles - don't be next! 80% of the immune system is located in the gut, where the appropriate balance of good and bad bacteria is crucial for optimal health. An imbalance there likely means your immune system is off kilter. Eating fermented foods is a great way to support immune function because they are rich sources of beneficial bacteria that add to the microbiome and help your immune system fight off invaders that can make you sick.
2. Get your sugar cravings under control.
Santa wasn't the only one eating plates of cookies. A few bites of something sweet can swiftly snowball... and suddenly those sugar cravings are back in full force. Wondering how to get that monkey off your back? Fermented foods to the rescue! When the urge to hit the coffee shop bakery case hits, try some fermented foods (or beverages) instead. That sour taste should kick the sweet craving to the curb.
Plus, if your cravings are back due to bacterial overgrowth (certain fungi like Candida absolutely love to feed on sugar, so when we over-consume it, those yeasty beasties can get out of control), consuming more probiotic-rich goodness should help things get back to normal.
And while research is still growing in this area, there appear to be links between the gut microbiome and weight in that a more robust, healthy inner ecosystem is associated with slimmer waist lines and may help people lose weight and/or maintain a healthy weight.
3. Fermented foods support digestion.
Do you feel stuffed as a Christmas goose? The holidays bring endless opportunities and temptations to eat, well, crap. You're bloated and probably feeling a little "off." Digestive issues abound, and everyone's reaching for remedies. Skip the drugstore and reach for nature's pharmacy instead. Again, the beneficial bacteria in fermented foods can help ease digestive issues and digestion in general. Have a serving at each meal for a few days and notice how much better you feel!
4. A healthy microbiome supports positive mood and brain health.
If the dark winter days have darkened your mood, fermented foods may be able to help! Do you know why we use the phrase "gut feelings"? You may have heard about the "second brain" we have in our guts. The enteric nervous system actually influences how we think and feel -- which doesn't just happen between our ears! Messages are actually sent up from the gut to the brain, and an out-of-whack gut can negatively influence mood (even depression). Regularly consuming fermented foods encourages a robust microbiome, which in turn supports brain health and optimal mood.
5. Brighten up that winter complexion!
Winter temperatures (and holiday foods) have done a number on your skin. Beautiful skin begins inside the body, and healthy bacteria in the GI tract can help! Plus our complexions are very closely tied with our diets and gut health, so even if you live in a temperate climate without freezing temperatures, eating poorly over the last month or so could still have messed with your skin. Brighten up that complexion by eating the fermented foods you love -- win, win!
And with the FARMcurious Fermenting Sets
, it's easy and economical to make your own ferments to not only help you recover from the holidays but keep you healthy and vibrant, year round!