Heal Your Body With Fermented Foods

As a health coach, I am often asked, “What are some simple ways to improve my overall health?” One of my favorite answers is fermented foods! Fermented foods are nutrient dense, healing to the gut, fairly easy to make and can really make a difference in giving your health a boost.

You may be wondering “what the heck are fermented foods?” Fermented foods are foods that have been through the lactofermentation process in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food, which creates lactic acid. This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics. Not only does it preserve the nutrients and contain naturally occurring probiotics but it also makes the food more easily digestible, which is great for your gut health.

While fermented foods used to be very commonplace in many societies, our modern convenience diet is often very lacking in fermented foods. In fact, many people would consider them “gross” because they taste and smell very differently than the packaged, processed fast foods that many Americans are accustomed to eating.

So what are some of the benefits of eating fermented foods, you may ask. Let me break it down.

  1. Easily digestible: Due to overall unhealthy diets, many people have compromised digestive systems. When your body is being forced to break down foreign chemicals, preservatives and difficult to digest foods on a regular basis, your gut pays the price. Fermented foods are already in the process of being broken down by beneficial bacteria, making them much easier to digest, and therefore much friendlier for your gut.
  2. Budget friendly: Fermented foods can be stored for long periods of time in jars, meaning less waste for those veggies that are usually left to rot in your refrigerator drawer. You can buy your veggies in bulk, ferment them and use as needed. This will help cut down on wasted food, and allows you the advantage of bulk pricing. It also helps cut down on the need to buy supplements like probiotics and digestive enzymes.
  3. Naturally occurring probiotics and digestive enzymes: The fermentation process introduces beneficial bacteria into your system naturally. Incorporating probiotics and digestive enzymes can do wonders for your gut health by healing the gut and allowing for more complete absorption of nutrients.

Some of my favorite fermented foods include kombucha, kefir, authentic sourdough bread, sauerkraut, Bubbies brand pickles and pickled carrots. You can find many of these items at your local health food store, or you can make them yourself.

DISCLAIMER:  THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THIS SITE IS NOT PROVIDED BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS AND IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.  THE INFORMATION ON THIS SITE IS NOT MEANT TO SUBSTITUTE CONSULTING WITH YOUR PODIATRIST, DOCTOR OR OTHER HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL. THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON OR THROUGH THIS SITE IS IN NO WAY INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, INFLUENCE TREATMENT OR CURE ANY FOOT OR OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS NOR IS IT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE SERVICES OR ADVICE OF A PODIATRIST, PHYSICIAN, OR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.  YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT A PHYSICIAN LICENSED IN YOUR STATE IN ALL MATTERS RELATING TO YOUR HEALTH.

Simple Tips To Reduce Belly Fat

Visceral fat , that unwanted, dangerous fat in your midsection is a major health risk. Picture this…your organs are designed to work together to keep your body running in efficiently and effectively. When your midsection is filled with visceral fat, those organs are essentially being squeezed and making it harder for your body to function properly. So you see, it’s not just about how belly fat looks from the outside (although we all know bathing suit season is almost here). It truly poses one of the most dangerous risks to your overall health. I’ve put together some simple, proven tips that you can use to help get started in reducing your belly fat today.

protein

Increase Your Protein Intake

Eating protein has been shown to reduce cravings, boost metabolism and help you eat less by feeling more satisfied for longer. It assists in building lean muscle, and is essential to reducing your overall fat.

However, not all protein is created equal. When choosing your protein source, you want to avoid processed foods. Your best options are eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, beans and legumes. If you struggle with eating enough protein because of a hectic and busy lifestyle, protein shakes can be a great option for when food prep time is limited. However, you have to be very careful when selecting a brand. You want to avoid any artificial colors, artificial sweeteners (like splenda, aspartame, sucralose etc) or artificial flavors. Look for organic, undenatured whey protein from pastured cows if possible. If you are vegan or prefer dairy free protein, be sure to choose an option that isn’t filled with sweeteners to improve the taste.

fiber

Increase Your Fiber Intake

We all know we should be eating as many fruits and vegetables as we can, but we don’t always know why. Fruits & veggies are one of the best natural sources of fiber. Fiber is important because it can help to slow down the digestion process and increase the absorption of nutrients and provides a prolonged feeling of satiety.

sweeteners

Avoid Sugars & Sweeteners

Sugar is metabolized in the liver, and is only capable of processing a certain amount at a time. Anything in excess is converted to fat, which is often stored in the abdominal area. Aside from putting you at risk for diabetes, sugar is also one of the biggest culprits in creating excess body fat.

One of the most effective ways to reduce your sugar consumption is by completely eliminating sugary beverages from your diet. Soda, juice and energy drinks are LOADED with sugar, which is one of the main contributing factors to our nation’s childhood obesity epidemic. I have had clients see DRASTIC changes in their belly fat and lose significant amounts of weight fairly quickly simply by eliminating sugary beverages from their diet. Please note, this does NOT mean you should be replacing your sodas with diet sodas. Introducing artificial sweeteners into your diet actually causes weight gain and introduces you to a whole new set of health issues caused by toxic artificial sweeteners.

Eating a whole foods diet is a great way to avoid sugars and sweeteners. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, avoiding the aisles that contain packaged, processed foods. Lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables are the best foods to help you reduce belly fat.

carbs

Monitor Your Carbohydrate Intake

A lot of people think completely eliminating carbs from your diet is necessary to lose weight and decrease belly fat. However, I find that most people do better when they still incorporate carbohydrates into their diet, but in moderate amounts. I usually suggest 1-2 servings a day at most, ideally 1. I consider a serving to be about a handful. Healthy carbs you can incorporate into your diet include brown rice (including brown rice pasta), quinoa and sweet potato. Just be sure to stick to the one handful a day, and you will notice your waistline start to shrink.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.