Our gut is the core of our health. It is where digestion takes place. But it is also home to millions of microscopic organisms called bacteria. Like all binaries, there are good and bad bacteria. They are mostly balanced. But when they go out of whack, they can cause havoc in the gut. You really gotta be brave to face all that bloating, flatulence, acidity and indigestion. Your skin begins looking aged and tired and fatigue is your constant companion. The negative is that all this activity hampers the absorption of nutrients that keeps our gut ticking and healthy.
Calling SuperGut-heros to the rescue
The best thing is that these SuperGut-heros live in our kitchens and have been living there since our childhood and beyond. Yes, these are the fermented foods our mothers stocked up with during winter months. Some of them, like idlis, formed a daily food staple.
But why are these called Superheros of gut health? We asked this question to Thriive-verified Nutritionist and Wellness Coach Maadhuri R Sharma and this is what she said:
“Fermented foods have been around for a while and smell weird but are packed with nutrients and probiotics. They are rightly called Superheros of gut health because they:
– make the food vitamin-rich
-make the nutrients easily available to the body
-strengthen the immune system
-help us maintain a healthy weight
-improve digestibility of the food and even that of the cooked foods they are consumed with.”
So, who are the enemies of your gut, do you wonder?
White refined sugar is Enemy No.1, followed by alcohol and antibiotics. Another antagonist of gut health is stress.
SuperGut-heros in the kitchen
Preparation of these fermented superfoods begins at home, rather, in the kitchen. These traditional foods are present in every Indian home and have been saving our gut since olden times. Let’s bring them back and give them their due:
1) Kanji (from North India): A drink made with carrots and water to which rock salt and crushed mustard seeds has been added. It is kept in the sun for a few days and when it turns sour it’s ready to drink.
2) Buttermilk (from Western India): A small quantity of sour yoghurt is churned and requisite amount of water is added along with rock salt and cumin powder.
3) Poita Bhat (from North-East India): Leftover rice is soaked in water and rested overnight. This fermented rice is then seasoned with mustard oil and green chillies.
4) Koozhu (from South India): A gruel made with ragi flour (finger millet) and buttermilk is often had instead of tea or coffee.
Some other favourite fermented foods from around the world include kombucha, green tea, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, kefir.
Being guts-y takes on a whole new meaning now!
Sonia Rao is Editor in Chief at Thriive Art & Soul