MAILBAG: Master Your Microbiome
Dear Living Well Daily Reader,
Is kefir actually good for your gut health? Are there other options to improve my gut?
–Tammy from Franklin, TN
Not long ago, you’d only find kefir in the health food store. And that’s if you were lucky. These days you can find it almost anywhere. (I’ve even seen it being sold in gas stations!)
Kefir is very similar to yogurt. But it’s fermented with a combination of bacteria and yeast, while yogurt is fermented with bacteria alone.
When yogurt is fermented, the proteins stick together, making it semi-solid. Kefir, on the other hand, is drinkable. People mix kefir into smoothies, drink it straight, or pour it onto everything from salad to ice cream.
Kefir has the same general nutritional value as similar dairy products. But it also contains much-needed probiotics to keep your microbiome (gut bacteria) happy.
With the increased interest in kefir, it’s become the subject of a many studies. The conclusion? Kefir helps boost the immune system and can help improve the whole digestive tract.
In other words, kefir is absolutely good for your gut health.
And I encourage you to add it to your diet. After all, very few of us get enough good bacteria, or probiotics, in our typical diet.
If you lived in a preindustrial society, you’d naturally be introducing new bacteria into your gut all the time.
Imagine pulling a carrot out of the ground and eating it without scrubbing it clean, for example. You’d be swallowing all sorts of probiotics, and since many of the bacteria in the soil are the same ones that live in our guts, they’d feel right at home.
That’s why I suggest people eat yogurt, kefir, and other fermented foods (like sauerkraut) as much as possible to improve their gut health.
But, don’t stop there. You can do plenty of other things to support your gut health and build up your microbiome.
Dr. Scott’s Road to Microbiome Mastery:
- Avoid antibiotics unless you absolutely need them.
- Eat plenty of fermented foods, including sauerkraut, pickles, yogurt, and kefir. And if you’re more adventurous, consider miso, natto, and kimchi.
- Take a good probiotic: I like to rotate probiotics to expose my gut to a wide variety of bacteria.
- Eat plenty of fiber prebiotics. Probiotics need food, and fiber is one of the best ways to feed them. Fresh raw vegetables are your best source of prebiotic fiber.
- Prioritize sleep, reduce your stress levels, and exercise regularly.
Follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier gut… and mastering your microbiome… in no time.
P.S. There’s one more step you can take for healthier gut bacteria. And I promise you that you’re going to LOVE this one. Click here for all the delicious details.
Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND
Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.
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