In the last few years the importance of good gut health for overall wellbeing has become more and more apparent. The trillions of bacteria that make up our gut microbiome are what digests our food and allows our body to absorb the vitamins we eat. So when our gut is not healthy, it can not complete these crucial roles properly, often leading to eczema, food allergies & sensitivities, digestive issues and sugar cravings. To be able to help our little foodies take in as much of these nutrients as possible, we need to focus on getting healthy bacteria into their 'second brain'!
Fermenting foods has become increasingly popular recently thanks to all the beneficial enzymes created during the process. While fermenting, bacteria feeds on sugar and breaks down food to make it more digestible, resulting in a high probiotic, vitamin B and omega 3 fatty acid source.
The process is really simple and can be a great budget friendly activity to do with your little foodies. Simply combine salt and water to create a brine, cover your chosen veggie in the liquid and store in a closed jar to let ferment for a few days. Experiment with different coloured veggies to create a rainbow collections of jars!
- Sauerkraut - fermented shredded cabbage, a great source of vitamin C and rich in protein. Delicious added to organic meat to add a slightly sour taste.
- Miso - fermented soybeans that is particular popular with veggie families! High in protein, use the paste to add flavour to salmon or chicken, or enjoy the Japanese classic, miso soup.
Kombucha - the health world's latest obsession! Full of healthy bacteria, the drink is now sold across the UK in many delicious flavours. The fizzy fermented tea drink is a great alternative to sugar laden fizzy drinks.
Whilst probiotics are gut friendly bacteria, prebiotics are a plant fiber that nourishes the good bacteria already present in the gut. Helping healthy bacteria grow to out number the bad variety, getting more prebiotics in to our diet is crucial. Similar to probiotics, your intake can be increased with a daily supplement or by incorporating prebiotic rich foods in to your little foodie's diet.
- Raw garlic - a strong flavour that can be difficult to get little foodies not to eat cooked. Try adding to hummus, salsa or guacamole to soften the sharpness.
- Cooked onions - an absolutely delicious and easy way of getting more prebiotics into your diet whilst adding a ton of flavour.
- Banana - Full of potassium making it not only gut friendly but the perfect energy supply post workout.