You may have heard our gut being referred to as our “second brain.” There are numerous studies linking what we eat to how we feel. The lining of our gut, if laid out one cell thick would cover a tennis court! It is no wonder that with all that surface area exposed to the food we eat that it has both physical and mental influence on our bodies.
More importantly, our guts are home to our microbiome, the collection of bacteria that assists us in digesting our food and can affect our mood and physical well-being.
Probiotics are the bacteria themselves, while prebiotics are the food that feeds them. Your doctor may recommend you take a probiotic while on certain medications or if you are having digestive issues. But it is always a good idea to keep your colony of gut bacteria happy and well populated by eating probiotic foods such as sauerkraut. Just a couple of spoonfuls a day is enough to keep those little guys humming along.
Here is a great website singing the praises of sauerkraut and a resource for all kinds of kraut recipes, including desserts!
And if you would like to learn more about the connection with the gut and mental health, watch this informative video from Dr. Michael Greger at www.nutritionfacts.org.