The Benefits Of Your Fermented Foods For Your Gut + Caraway Pear Sauerkraut Salad Recipe & A Giveaway!

Caraway Pear Salad
Serves 4-5 Time 15 min

Ingredients
1/2 small head red cabbage, thinly sliced
2 cups kale chopped
1/2 cup sliced radishes
2-3 green onions chopped
1/2 pear for garnish
3/4 cup Grimm's Fine Foods Caraway Sauerkraut

Dijon Mayo Dressing
1/2 cup homemade mayo
3 heaping tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 clove of garlic minced
pinch or salt and pepper

Instructions
1.  Chop all vegetables and toss together, Add Grimm's Caraway Sauerkraut
2. Make dressing by whisking the homemade mayo, dijon mustard, garlic and salt and pepper together.

Fermented foods, Gut Health and Your Immune System

Gut bacteria, which number more than 100 trillion, have more of an impact on our health than medical experts previously realized. Not all bacteria are created equal, some are good and essential for health, others are bad and create digestive distress, skin conditions and can even cause mental health issues. Good bacteria have lots of important jobs like helping us digest our food, synthesizing vitamins, neutralizing cancer causing compounds and strengthening the gut wall. Any imbalance in these gut bacteria (like to many or to few) puts you at an increased risk for various diseases(1). The health of your gut is directly linked to the strength of your immune system because 60-80% of your immune system is actually in your gut!

You've probably heard of probiotics, maybe from yogurt commercials or in the supplement store. Probiotics are live bacteria that are similar to the beneficial bacteria naturally found in the human gut. After eating probiotics these good guys take up residency inside your gut wall. Some bacteria from probiotics are permanent residents in the gut and others come and go but are still important for anti inflammatory benefits.

Probiotics can be taken as a supplement or in the form of fermented foods. Fermented foods have been around for thousands of years and were used to preserve food naturally. Examples of fermented foods you've probably heard of are sauerkraut, pickles and yogurt. There is another benefit to fermenting foods besides preserving them, they are packed with live probiotics. Fermented foods have been through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. Lactic acid is a natural preservative that inhibits harmful bacteria growth.

Benefits Of Fermented Foods:

1. Better Digestion
2. Improves Immune Function
3. Controls Inflammation
4. Supports a Healthy Gut
5. Stabilizing blood sugar

Examples of fermented foods are:

  • Kimchi
    Kimchi is a Korean food made from cabbage and other veggies, salt and spices. Kimchi has vitamins A and C and minerals such as magnesium, calcium and selenium. 
     
  • Sauerkraut
    Sauerkraut is a form of fermented cabbage and salt. It's super healthy because you get the benefits of the probiotics and the fiber from the cabbage. Make sure when you're looking for sauerkraut make sure it says raw, unpasteurized with live cultures so you know that it contains probiotics. Many are heated and you can purchase them in the dry goods section but, those won't contain the probiotic benefits because they are pasteurized (heated). Grimm's Fine Foods Fermented foods are all unpasteurized with live cultures and packed with probiotics! 
     
  • Yogurt
    Yogurt has many benefits, mostly due to its rich probiotic content. Brands of yogurt that contain billions of live active cultures support digestion. Be sure you’re choosing yogurt that contains live active cultures, and try to choose plain versions in order to avoid sugar.
     
  • Kombucha
    Kombucha is made from tea, clean water, sugar, yeast, and bacteria, and has become popular recently for its probiotic qualities.
     
  • Pickles
    Raw pickles are delicious and make for a great introduction to fermented foods.
     
  • Kefir
    Kefir is a drinkable form of yogurt, it has more probiotics than yogurt. It also contains B vitamins, magnesium, calcium and protein. Careful when buying, because it can often contain large amounts of sugar.

Fermented Foods, Gut Health and Autoimmunity

Autoimmune disease happens when the immune system targets itself instead of harmful pathogens, like a cold virus. Usually the immune system responds to a specific pathogen then once it's cleared the immune system can settle down to its normal state. With autoimmune disease it stays on high alert, resulting in chronic inflammation.

The health of your gut is being linked to the development and severity of autoimmune conditions (2). It has become clear that the health of your gut and the bacteria then live there profoundly affect our immune system. Re-seeding our gut with good bacteria through fermented foods is an important piece of the puzzle to improving our gut health. Other things you can do to support your gut and immune health is reduce stress, get vitamin D, eat plenty of fiber and eat a healthy whole foods diet.

Giveaway:

Grimm’s produces naturally fermented foods and has offered a giveaway! Win a Grimm's Fine Foods Gift Pack. Enter below! You can find Grimm's Fermented Foods in the refrigerator section of your grocery store.
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Enter to win a Grimm's Fine Foods Cooler filled with all of their different fermented foods below!