Habit #5: You Can Sleep When You’re Dead (which will happen a lot faster if you don’t get enough sleep while you’re alive).
“Heal the gut and you heal yourself.” - Gerard E. Mullin, MD
WHY: The gut...it’s kind of a big deal.
Quoting Precision Nutrition’s article All About Nutrition & Gut Health:
“The hard-working gut allows nutrients and water to enter the body while preventing the entry of toxins/antigens. It’s a selective barrier between “us” and the outside world. But a distressed gut can’t act in our defense. Instead, it allows dangerous compounds to enter the body. That’s where nutrition can come in. The right diet strengthens the gut in its guardian role, improving overall health and well-being.”
PN also states that a healthy gut depends on three things:
For this blog, I’m just going to focus on the first one: balanced intestinal bacteria. While you can supplement with a probiotic, I firmly believe that real food should always be the top priority. Don’t get me wrong, I use supplements because they can be helpful. But whenever possible, just eat real food #jerf.HOW: In the case of intestinal bacteria, examples of real food would be anything that has been fermented. This includes foods like sauerkraut and kimchi. Yogurt? Not so much. Since virtually all dairy in the U.S. is pasteurized, the bacteria that are created during the initial fermentation process have been killed off. Food companies simply add in supplemental probiotics later.I have been using the brand “Farmhouse Culture” for some time now, and their products are delicious! (I do NOT have any affiliation, I just like the brand)
Adding these to your diet is pretty easy. Here are a couple of ways that I enjoy:
broccoli, lentils, eggs, and of course a lot sauerkraut. picture taken before Cholula
WARNING: if you try a different brand, make sure that it has actually been fermented and not just pickled. Pickling is faster and cheaper than fermenting, but it lacks ALL of the benefits. Pickling just involves the preservation of the food in some sort of acidic medium (such as vinegar). You can read more HERE. Luckily there’s a simple way to tell...if the product is in the refrigerated section of the grocery store and must be refrigerated at your house, you’re probably good to go.More reading about the gut from Precision Nutrition: