How can fermented foods help with constipation symptoms?
Constipation happens in your large intestine. This long muscular tube heads up your gut’s mission to absorb water and flush out waste. But if this movement doesn’t happen and faeces sits there for too long, stools become hard and difficult to pass. Fermented foods can help create an environment in your gut that prevents this from happening. The gut contains a diverse collection of trillions of bacteria. 95% of these microbes are in your colon. It’s called a microbiome, and it helps to break down food and regulate bowel function. When you’re constipated, it may be a sign there could be an imbalance between friendly bacteria and the bad species in your large intestine. Fermented foods help by topping up the level of good bacteria in the gut, which reduces the impact of the less friendly varieties. However, there are causes of constipation other than an imbalance in gut bacteria. So, some trial and error may be required.
Are you ready to add fermented foods to your diet? What better way to make sure all the live, friendly bacteria goodness is preserved than by fermenting your own foods. There are some great recipes for kimchi and sauerkraut, but kefir is an easy place to start your fermenting journey. Kefir contains around 20 different types of bacteria and yeast3. It’s a rich source of probiotics with a wealth of research backing its effectiveness on aiding digestion. Simply buy the kefir grain, add milk and then leave it out to ferment for around 12 hours. Then it’s ready to drink.
Summary: Are you ready to try fermented foods?
As well as being a rich probiotic source, fermented foods are also a great way to add some healthy diversity to your diet. So, while adding live yoghurt to your meals may be the easiest option, there is so much more to experiment with. Try pickled vegetables as a side or as a topping for your salads. And why not add a little sauerkraut to your sandwich to give your lunch some extra excitement.