Wondering which are the most powerful fermented foods to use for Candida, weight loss, allergies, diabetes, cancer, and other conditions?
Whether you’re looking to increase your energy or heal a specific condition such as high blood pressure or IBS, certain fermented foods can get you results quickly and naturally.
You’ll want to use specific fermented foods depending on your desired results. And not all fermented foods are used medicinally, such as beer or chocolate.
(Even though you could make an argument for chocolate being medically necessary…It definitely is for me sometimes!)
Below is an overview of functional, powerful fermented foods used for their nutritional and healing properties.
First mentioned in a Chinese poem nearly 3,000 years ago, kimchi is one of the world’s first lacto-fermented foods. This traditional Korean dish, made of cabbage and spices, improves the function of the cardiovascular and digestive systems. Its antioxidants help lessen the risk of serious health conditions, such as cancer and diabetes. Here’s my step-by-step video on how to make an easy and delicious Kimchi at home.
Of all fermented products, yogurt is the most commonly consumed. Yogurt directly impacts diet quality, metabolism, and blood pressure. There is a new study that shows a major correlation between reduction in diabetes and intake of sugar-free yogurt. NOTE: When buying yogurt, check that the milk source is either grass-fed goat or sheep, and that it’s certified organic. You can also learn to make your own in my Fermented Foods 101 course!
This fermented milk product is high in calcium, magnesium, and vitamins, with a similar taste and texture to that of drinkable yogurt. This sour-flavored fluid is made by adding kefir grains to milk, boosting immunity, alleviating bowel-related issues, improving digestion, and building bone density. It’s even linked to killing Candida, a yeast-like parasitic fungus. Although it’s less popular than yogurt, it is actually higher in probiotics. (Coconut Kefir is a great dairy-free option that utilizes fermented juice of young coconuts to replace the milk.)
Kombucha is a fermented beverage, composed of black tea and sugar that originated in China about 2,000 years ago. The sugar can come from various sources, i.e. cane or pasteurized honey. When the SCOBY (aka Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) is added, the fermentation process begins. Once fermented, the sugary tea transforms into a carbonated, fizzy drink, high in enzymes, probiotics, advantageous acids, small amounts of alcohol, and vinegar. Studies show that kombucha improves digestion, increases energy, supports immunity, aids weight loss, and serves as a full-body detox. If you’d like to learn more about the pros and cons of Kombucha, click here.
There are two different kinds of pickles. When you preserve cucumbers in vinegar, you get pickles. But when you soak cucumbers in a salt-water brine, you get probiotic pickles…Yes! One pickle can contain up to 20 percent of your daily Vitamin K value, a vitamin essential to bone and heart health. NOTE: Because pickles are commonly processed and come in many forms (i.e. relish, dill pickle, sweet pickle, etc.), it’s important to look for organic or locally produced pickles to ensure quality. You also want to make sure that they say ‘cultured,’ ‘unpasteurized,’ or ‘lacto-fermented.’ Pickles are one of the most common ferments, and super easy to learn to make yourself!
Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage made with salt and often herbs, which enhance the flavor and nutritional content. High in fiber, vitamins, iron, copper, calcium, and magnesium, consuming sauerkraut strengthens bones, supports your natural, healthy inflammation response, reduces cholesterol, regulates digestion, fills the gut with much-needed Lactobacillus plantarum (a great probiotic), and assists circulation. It’s also dairy-free and you can make it ‘wild’ which means you won’t need a starter culture! Watch this video where I teach how to start your own probiotic factory right on your kitchen counter!
Idli is a steamed, naturally leavened cake, made from ground rice, urad dal (white lentil) and beans. This gluten-free food is light and digestible, with high levels of calcium, potassium, and iron. Because idli requires steaming, it doesn’t have probiotics; however, its high iron content is crucial to oxygenating the blood.
Unpasteurized vinegar is an extraordinary stimulant. While the majority of vinegar in American grocery stores is a cheap, mass-produced product with absolutely no health benefit, traditional vinegars made with quality alcohols and live cultures possess various health benefits.
Vinegar is one of the world’s earliest preservatives, and apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a a few thousand year old home remedy. Raw vinegars made from the unpasteurized juice of fruits contain all the nutrients and enzymes of the fruit itself. For example, ACV contains all the nutrients of apples: pectin, acetic and malic acids, B vitamins, to name a few.
All in all, vinegar is a tonic that aids digestion, lowers blood pressure, and relieves stress and fatigue. Additionally, consuming vinegar makes it more difficult for your body to absorb sugars and starches.
Miso is the broth from fermenting soybeans, barley, or rice, and mold. This popular Asian dish has anti-aging properties, strengthens bones, promotes healthy skin, helps lower the risk of cancer, and aids the function of the nervous system. It is alkalizing and delicious, especially when homemade. For a quick lesson on how to make the best miso you’ve ever tasted, click here.
Traditionally people make this Indonesian cake-like dish from fermenting soybeans with live molds. Because it possesses the same protein qualities as meat, it’s a great option for vegetarians! It’s high in vitamins, reduces cholesterol, and quickens muscle recovery. Fresh tempeh is more delicious than the stuff you get out of the freezer, however, this is one of the more time-consumptive and difficult ferments to make at home.
This popular Japanese side dish is similar to tempeh, also made from fermented soybeans. The power of natto lies is in its high levels of vitamin K2, a vitamin that delivers calcium appropriately to the body.
It’s common that those who take calcium supplements experience absorption problems. When the bones don’t receive K2 properly, calcium deposits in the cardiovascular system which can cause osteoporosis. But with the help of K2, the calcium distributes properly to strengthen bones. Why not choose natto to help?
Natto also contains nattokinase an enzyme used to support cardiovascular health and blood clotting.
Raw Cheese and Nut Cheese
Raw milk has not undergone the pasteurization process that kills many of the beneficial bacteria. Goat, sheep, and A2 cows’ cheeses are particularly high in probiotics and healing digestive tissues. Studies show it relieves depressive symptoms and lifts neurological problems. Only raw and unpasteurized cheeses possess probiotics.
Nut cheeses come from a variety of nuts including almonds, cashews, macadamia, and walnuts. A great substitute for cheese made from animal milk, nut cheese is ideal for those with vegan diets, as well as those who are lactose intolerant.
Though the nutritional value isn’t quite the same as raw cheese, nuts provide high levels of protein and healthy fats. By adding probiotics and fermenting them you get a delicious vehicle for probiotic delivery to the gut.
Sourdough starter is a leaven for making bread, comprised of fermented wild yeasts and bacteria. With lower sugar levels than most breads, sourdough helps reduce damaged starches. Because the bacteria and yeasts in sourdough pre-digest the starches, eating it supports gut health and strengthens the bacterial ecosystem, making one less prone to infection.
Eastern Europeans have brewed Kvass for several thousands of years, traditionally by fermenting rye or barley. These days people usually make it with fruits and various root vegetables. Loaded with Lactobacilli probiotics, kvass is known for its ability to cleanse blood and the liver.
You can make this traditional Ethiopian flatbread from a variety of grains, but generally you make it with teff. Packed with proteins, calcium and iron, injera serves to build strength and aid in recovery after illness.
Please keep in mind that you can also ferment many foods not listed here for nutritional value if done appropriately. Some of these include pumpkin, hot sauces, salsas, daikon, dilly beans, olives and mushrooms. Head over here, and I’ll show you how to make many of these ferments yourself.
Want to Make Your Own Batches of Powerful Fermented Foods?
Get started with my free guide on how to make a delicious batch of fermented okra. This colorful guide will have you on your way to a delicious and potent ferment in 30 minutes or less. Best of all, they’re way better than any store-bought pickles for probiotic benefit. Get your guide here.
You don’t have to look far to see the importance of gut health these days. The gut health movement is the new buzz, and it’s here to stay. I’m absolutely thrilled! With about 40 trillion microorganisms living in your gut, we’ve begun to unravel just how important they are to our digestion, nutrient absorption, immune system, and even our mental health.
That’s right – your gut microbes play a significant role in how you feel on a day-to-day basis, even emotionally. Anxiety, depression, and other neuropsychological disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia are associated not only to digestive health but to specific strains of bacteria living in the gut.1
Research is beginning to identify which species of bacteria have control and influence over hundreds of conditions. We are only at the beginning of these revolutionary discoveries.
All of this is incredibly important for you because it means what you consume directly feeds particular microbes while starving others. The implications are that your diet is the cornerstone of your health. While many of us know the importance of our diets, the degree to which your gut microbiome impacts every aspect of your health is information that everyone needs to hear.
Did you realize scientists can look at a stool sample gut profile, and with 90% accuracy know whether the individual is obese or lean? In fact, your gut microbe makeup is so indicative of your overall health it’s earned the nicknames, “second brain” and “second genome.” 2
You have a lot of control over your gut microbiome, which is why if you’re having chronic digestive issues (or any health problems for that matter) I always recommend you clean up your diet first and foremost. However, if you’ve tried a bunch of healing protocols and you’re still sick, the next step is to get a stool test.
Having stool testing done can give you a better understanding of what’s exactly happening. For many of my clients, it ends up being the most important step we take in gaining back their health.
Should you get a stool test?
While you may decide to get stool testing ordered without having any serious condition or symptoms, there are some cases where I absolutely recommend this test. You should test if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Gas and bloating
- Weak immune system
- Extreme fatigue
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Brain fog
- Sugar cravings
- Joint pain
- Food intolerances – especially developing new sensitivities
- Skin conditions – such as psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema
For the most part, if these symptoms are short-lived you might be able to skip a stool test and focus on your diet. However, if these are persistent, lasting a few months or more, you should get tested. These tests tell us so much about what’s happening in your gut that they can be a shortcut to better health.
My top recommended gut tests
Each of these tests have their own pros and cons, and no test is perfect. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with these so you can decide which is best for you.
1. Genova GI Effects – This is one of my favorite tests because it is easy to interpret. It’s designed to explain the analysis of your microbes and how they relate to your health. There are clinical association charts that tell you if you have biomarker patterns for certain diseases such as type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and more.3 Plus, it includes a three-day collection as well as parasitology.
Genova Diagnostics also has a great guide to interpreting your results, which you can find here. This is a great option if you decide to do this testing with or without a doctor. The test provides your doctor with diagnostics and the interpretation guide offers you additional information so you can take research into your own hands.
2. Dr.’s Data Comprehensive Stool Analysis/Parasitology x3 – I like this test because it’s an easy test to read and understand for most people. This test evaluates aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, parasites, and yeast. The fact that it has yeast analysis is a bonus because candida overgrowth is surprisingly common.
3. Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory GI-Map Test – This test reports on opportunistic organisms, normal flora, parasites, viruses, and fungi.4 Additionally, you’ll get a report on any antibiotic resistant genes present and virulence factors, which are molecules created by microbes that tell us how effective they are within the gut.
4. The Viome Test – Unlike the others, this is not a diagnostic test but rather a user-friendly at home test. This means you won’t need a doctor to order it and you’ll receive helpful tips about what you should eat and how to take better care of your health. Your doctor can’t use this test to make a diagnosis.
That being said, this is considered the most comprehensive gut test on the market. Viome has access to proprietary species sequencing they got exclusive permission to utilize from the U.S. government. Viome’s test is different from the rest because most labs only identify gut microbes on the genus level, which limits interpretable results. Additionally, Viome can test for microbial metabolites, revealing information about how your microbes live and reproduce.
Viome testing is incredibly accurate and advanced. You’ll get data on species, metabolites, viruses, and other pathogens that aren’t available with any other lab test. One downside is they don’t release all the information of their test to you, most likely for proprietary reasons. Instead, you get a personalized report of recommendations. As a bonus, you don’t need to order this test through a lab or a doctor.
How often should you get a stool test?
When you are trying to get your health in tip-top shape, whether you’re ill or not, I recommend getting a stool test every 12-24 months. However, if you’re dealing with a chronic illness, you should get tested every six months, if possible.
Also, if you are trying a new protocol or are working hard to manipulate your microbiome for your best health, you can test upon completion of your regimen or after sufficient time has passed. This may mean you get a stool test as a baseline and then again three to six months later to see if your microorganisms have shifted as you intended.
Mold testing and questionnaire
Mold testing comes up for some of my clients because exposure can wreak havoc on the composition of the gut, which is where most of your immune system exists. Mold exposure can slow and prevent healing but can also cause its own damage.
For clients that simply aren’t responding to our protocols, I recommend a mold test kit.
Testing for mycotoxins through Real Time Labs can sometimes be the missing piece of the puzzle. If you’ve looked into other options and you are still at a loss for what’s impacting your health, consider mycotoxin testing. Also, there’s a great, free fungal questionnaire you can use to help with diagnostics. It’s short and simple, and you can complete it here.
When your health remains a mystery – look to your gut
The gut is the “heart” of your immune system and your overall health. If you are struggling to get on track or to identify underlying causes of any health conditions at all, I always recommend checking the gut.
Unfortunately, our food system supplies us with gut damaging foods that are wreaking havoc nationwide. Collectively we’re frustrated, which was clear to me after witnessing the resounding reaction to my post Food in America is Poison.
I hope you’ll consider taking some of these gut and stool tests to help you find the answers you are seeking. In my opinion, these tests can all be a step in the right direction when it comes to recapturing your best health.
Some of the links I share in this post are affiliate links. If you use these links to complete a purchase I will earn a small commission. I use these companies and their products myself because of their quality. I definitely would not recommend the use of any products or services that I wouldn’t pay for myself or that I wouldn’t recommend to my closest friends and family. As always, the choice is yours on whether to buy using my special link.
As a country we take far too many antibiotics – an estimated 4 out of 5 of us will be prescribed antibiotics this year.1 This is a staggering number and it’s not just wrecking our guts, it’s changing microbes themselves. Antibiotic-resistant strains are on the rise and complicating treatments.
In 2015, 50,000 people died from antibiotic-resistant pathogens in Europe and the US and this number is projected to reach 10 million per year in 2050.2 Eventually, we are going to be forced to face the damage created by the astronomical use of antibiotics.
But for now, we can focus on minimizing our personal use. Through a better understanding of gut health, good nutrition, and fermented foods, we can avoid antibiotics most of the time.
What Antibiotics Do To Your Gut
Much like an ecosystem, our gut is made up of hundreds of thousands of bacteria. We’ve evolved as a species alongside these gut dwellers. Meaning our health is intricately entangled with the health of our gut microbiome.
People often ask me, “How long does it take for good bacteria to restore after antibiotics?”
There is what’s called “functional redundancy” of the gut, meaning it’s able to largely bounce back from antibiotic use. This same study found that within 4 weeks the participant’s guts closely resembled their pretreatment state. However, that same study found certain species failed to recover even after six months.
While it’s best to avoid antibiotics whenever possible, there are times when it just can’t be avoided.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of needing antibiotics, there are steps you can take before, during, and after to support your gut and minimize the impact. It’s a common misconception that you should wait to implement these steps until after you’ve finished your antibiotics – don’t wait! Start each of these six steps before you take that first pill.
How to Prevent Antibiotic Damage Before, During, and After Antibiotics in 6 Steps:
1. Eat prebiotic foods
We talk a lot about probiotics, but prebiotics are just as important. Prebiotics are a non-digestible fiber (oligosaccharides) that supply the beneficial bacteria with the nutrients they need to thrive, especially bacteria in the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillaceae families.5
You can think of prebiotics as “food” for the good guys.
- Jerusalem artichokes
- Chicory root
- Dandelion greens
Does this list sound somewhat foreign to you? Just start with one of the foods you know how to cook and eat that every couple days. Other easy options include nice starchy foods that bacteria love such as sweet potato, winter squash, and wild rice!
2. Eat probiotic-rich fermented foods
Make a plan to heal your gut through incorporating probiotic foods before, during, and after antibiotics. Some of the best fermented foods for your gut and overall health include:
- Coconut kefir
- Greek yogurt (not the sugary stuff!)
- Raw cheese
- Apple cider vinegar
3. Take probiotics
The best probiotics to take after antibiotics should include the following species:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus casei
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
- Lactobacillus reuteri
- Bifidobacterium bifidum
- Bifidobacterium breve
- Bifidobacterium longum
4. Take supportive herbs
Adaptogenic herbs make your body more resilient to stressors and restore your energy reserves antibiotics are known to zap. You can take these before, during, and after antibiotics. They will help your body deal with the impacts of the antibiotics better and help you bounce back faster.
You can also take a berberine supplement for a few weeks. This will help balance your gut flora and prevent reinfection. Herbs that will support you during your round of antibiotics include:
- Holy basil
5. Implement the Gut Rebuilding Program
For a comprehensive gut rebuilding program, you can sign up for my eight-week course which is perfect for anyone who is about to take or has taken antibiotics. It’s complete with eight trainings, four video coaching calls, a gut rebuilding handbook, private Facebook group, and delicious, energizing recipes.
If you just want to know what you should be eating in general, I recommend:
- 4-6 ounces of protein
- 6-12 ounces of non-starchy vegetable
- 2-4 ounces starchy veg like winter squash, sweet potato, or wild rice
Be sure your diet is a balance of protein, vegetables, and a starch to feed the beneficial bacteria.
6. Reduce unnecessary stressors
When you’re taking antibiotics, your body needs all the help it can get to heal itself. This is why reducing your exposure to toxins is very important. If you’re exposing yourself to unnecessary toxins, your body has to work to clear those out and can’t spend as much energy healing.
You can reduce your toxic burden but implementing the following:
- Drink filtered or spring water
- Clean up your personal care products. Check out my favorite clean products in this post.
- Use natural household cleaners. Watch this interview with toxins expert to find out how.
- Replace air filters regularly
- Avoid cooking on aluminum or non-stick pans
- Eliminate BPA containing plastics
- Take Epsom salt baths
Reduce the impact of antibiotics in your life
If you’ve had to take a round of antibiotics it’s important to consider how you got to that point in the first place. Ask yourself, why did you have to take antibiotics? Is there anything you could do to prevent this from happening again in the future? And what could you do to make yourself generally healthier and stronger, so your chances of needing harmful medications are reduced?
There are times when it’s completely out of your control, so don’t beat yourself up about it. View this as an opportunity for improvement and try not to get too anxious or stressed out. In fact, when you heal your gut, you’ll experience a whole host of positive cognitive benefits. The gut-brain connection is powerful and even influences your mood.
If you get control of your gut health before you get sick, you might eliminate your need for antibiotics altogether.
Share this article with a family member or friend who’s about to start antibiotics or already took them. You can help them significantly reduce the consequences of antibiotics by following these six steps and your gut will thank you!
I’m looking for a Content Technician to help us with rounding up daily data and executing editorial tasks for my online practice, programs, summit, educational products, and herbal apothecary. I currently have a wonderful team, but the business is growing and needs a person who can help us complete the critical tasks related to tracking and organizing data, content, launches, and programs.
This is a paid contract position you can do from home and will be a 40 hour per week role. You will work directly with of our simplification and systemization specialist, aka, our Operations Manager.
I’m looking for someone who:
1. Is highly organized, detail-oriented, and serious about organization and processes. You probably have done event planning or bookkeeping because you’re good at logistics and details, and you like to write lists and work from a checklist at all times.
2. Enjoys working alone most of the time. The work you’ll be doing is typically alone. If you’re the type of person who likes to chit-chat with people and interact with friends a lot, this probably isn’t right for you.
3. Has the flexibility to work 8 hours each day of the week (excluding most weekend days and holidays) – preferably split between the morning and late afternoon/evening.
4. Is “tech-savvy” with things like Office, Google Docs/Sheets/Drive, Infusionsoft, Shopify, Zoom, scheduling, email, etc.
5. Is extremely dependable… not the “This usually doesn’t happen, but it happened again” type.
6. Doesn’t take things personally, have feelings hurt easily or get offended. Stays objective and likes to always use logic to make decisions. Like an engineer 🙂
7. Has some experience with internet marketing, launching, podcasting, email marketing, list management, social media, and sticking to a budget.
If you’re the type of person who thrives on “creative” work, where you work and interact with a lot of people… and deal with a lot of different types of complex challenges… then this probably is NOT right for you. This is more of what we would call “data wrangling”, and will require you to keep checklists and work through specific, somewhat technical processes with minimal direction once you’re let loose without the training wheels, so to speak. I promise you will be trained until you “get it” (which we anticipate with your analytical brain will be quick) by someone who can tell you very clearly what you need to do and how it needs to be done.
On the other hand… if you’re the type of person who loves organizing things, operating efficiently and using checklists, and basically becoming better and better at running through a pre-planned process, then this might be PERFECT for you! And hey, if you’re always looking for ways to dial up your efficiency, that’s definitely the special “creative” skill set that makes you “just right” to throw your hat in the ring.
As the Content Technician, you’ll work directly with the Operations Manager while interacting with other team members, our tech team, copywriters, affiliates, freelancers and other influencers’ support staff to help us manifest the vision for our company. This role does not specifically require much interaction with our clients or customers, however, it requires excellent communication and professional relationships with affiliates and influencers in the health space.
No questions or exceptions, please. To apply, click below and respond to the questions by TUESDAY, MARCH 20. Due to overwhelming response rates, I’m sorry to say late applications will not be considered. CLICK HERE TO APPLY NOW!
Gut health is an indicator of your overall well-being. Because your gut is the home to over 80% of your immune system it is the master influencer of your happiness and well being.1 Your happiness and energy levels are important to me, and the reason I want to introduce to you the ultimate method to rebuild a healthy gut. Based on scientific-research and honed through work with personal clients, the Gut Rebuilding Formula contains all the steps necessary to complete a total gut health overhaul.
My Gut Rebuilding Formula isn’t a harsh detox or cleanse. Instead, it’s a process to reboot your gut microbiome, which ultimately strengthens your immune system, boosts energy, and in many cases, increases the quality of life overall.
These may seem like extravagant claims, but after 11 years of witnessing patients come to life once they implemented this Gut Rebuilding Formula, I can assure you this has the potential to take you to the next level no matter where you are currently in your health journey.
The three steps of the Gut Rebuilding Formula are simple, yet powerful:
- Feed – First, your body benefits from healthy and nutrient dense foods designed to correct microbiome and bioterrain imbalances. Sometimes supplements are used to help correct imbalances more quickly.
- Strengthen – Next, the focus is all about strengthening your body through healing the gut, proper rest, emotional detox, and hormone balancing.
- Release – Finally, the body needs support to release the burden of chemicals and pathogens that are bringing you down. This includes eliminating what I call ‘kryptonite foods,’ environmental and biological toxins, food allergies, and negative patterns.
Unlike other protocols, we work on each of these simultaneously, which allows maximum healing in record time.
What Are The Benefits of Gut Rebuilding?
I love to lead with the benefits of any solution I propose because it’s why you’re here in the first place, isn’t it? Rebuilding your gut boasts numerous benefits you’re sure to notice quickly.
After completing the Gut Rebuilding Program I’ve had clients experience:
- Steady, natural energy
- Reducing frequency of viral or bacterial infections
- Calmer digestion and reduction in indigestion, gas, burping, constipation, and bloating
- Remission of chronic health conditions
- No more gut-based illness
- Improvement in neurotransmitter balance
- Greater physical strength and endurance
- Better hormonal balance
- A stronger desire to help others
- Emotional stability
- Ability to fast/cleanse without getting ‘hangry’
- Improvement in reproductive capability
- A more diverse and healthier bioterrain
- Clearer skin, eyes, and mental focus
- Greater desire for foods that are both healthy and deeply satisfying
- A more definitive sense of purpose and motivation
Your body needs proper nutrition, a boost in strengthening components, and a reduction of toxic and infectious loads to see a full gut reboot, and this takes time. I recommend you give your body at least two months to take in all the benefits of this process.
After about a month, you may find that your body actually craves each step, much like my previous participants have. This desire is foundational to the success of the Gut Rebuilding Formula. Because once you desire these healing elements, the Gut Rebuilding Formula shifts from a reboot into a way of life, and that is the ultimate goal.
So without further ado, let’s dive more deeply into the three steps so you can begin healing your gut today and reap all the amazing benefits listed above.
1. Feed – Your Body and Bacteria
When it comes to healing your gut and body, I’m going to recommend you focus on eating in a manner that promotes a balanced gut microbiome and bioterrain, while also nourishing your body. Generally, eating this way includes:
- Nutrient dense foods
- A predominantly plant-based diet
- Healthy fat
- Organic protein
- Alkaline foods
Before we jump into specific foods, I’d like to touch on the science behind the gut microbiome and the bioterrain because there are fundamental principles that, once understood, can be applied across the board to any nutritional plan.
Feeding your gut microbiome
The health of your gut microbiome is dependant on diet diversity.2 Similar to ecosystems, a richness in species encourages specialization and healthy competition. We evolved alongside the development of the gut microbiome, which includes trillions of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa. In essence, the more diverse your diet is, the more diverse your microbiome, a critical aspect of good health.
As a country, we’ve significantly lost dietary diversity over the past 50 years. You might think there are mountains of selection in the grocery store today but once you compare the ingredients of the processed foods, you’ll notice they are s1urprisingly similar.
Food scientists create processed foods with the primary goal of creating something you’ll repeatedly buy for the lowest cost possible. Because of this, the ingredients they are using are not diverse at all. In fact, I often tell clients to stay away from the middle of the grocery store (which is where most processed food live), as much as possible.
Your gut microbiome thrives on diversity. Diversity is what makes the gut microbiome resilient to disease.3 Because of this, science has found that the gut microbiome is primarily responsible for regulating the risk of numerous chronic conditions, including 4
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes
- Multiple sclerosis
Your gut microbiome outnumbers your genes by 100 times and plays a role in your body like the incredibly influential organ that it is.5
Feeding your bioterrain
The term bioterrain refers to your body’s vitals, fluids, and nutrients.
Your bioterrain includes the following elements:
- pH balance
- ATP pathways
- Cellular membrane integrity
- Anabolic/catabolic metabolism
Nutrient-dense plant-based foods have the greatest impact on your bioterrain. Depending on your imbalances you should place a greater emphasis on eating certain nutrient-dense foods. Sometimes supplements are also required to correct imbalances more quickly.
Feeding your body
It’s time to focus on the actual foods you should incorporate into your diet to nourish your body, keeping in mind your gut microbiome and bioterrain. Key factors to observe include diversity for the gut microbiome and nutrient-density for the bioterrain.
With this in mind, here are some of the best foods you can eat:
A predominantly plant-based, organic diet:
- Fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi
- Dark leafy greens – parsley, cilantro, spinach
- Vegetable fruits – cucumber, avocado
- High alkaline – celery, fennel bulb
- Cruciferous veggies – broccoli, Brussel sprouts, bok choy, kale
- Root vegetables – beets, carrots, celery root
- Spices – often overlooked, use spices liberally, as they are packed with healing properties – my favs are: turmeric, oregano, thyme, coriander
- Grass-fed butter
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Flax seeds
- Chia seed
- Wild caught salmon
- Grass-fed beef and organ meats
- The further you can get from the conventional food system the better when it comes to meat. Your local farmer is far better than any factory farm, including organic labeled products.
- Fish low on the food chain (low heavy metals) – herring, sardines, anchovies
- Wild caught salmon
- Grass-fed beef
- Pasture raised chickens
- Organ meats
Alkaline forming foods:
Acidic foods cause inflammation and illness in the body. When you eat a high alkaline diet, you reduce your risk of disease or death from many chronic conditions.6 Some of the best include:
- Alkaline water
Again, sometimes supplementation is necessary to help correct imbalances quickly. During the Gut Rebuilding Formula, I recommend participants invest in nutrient testing to check for any deficiencies. Supplementation can then be personalized based on test results.
2. Strengthen – Your Gut and Energy
To strengthen your body most effectively you should focus on healing the gut, proper rest, emotional detox, and hormone balance.
The power of fermented foods
After getting more plants in your diet, I recommend consuming fermented foods, which exposes your body to probiotics and helps your gut extract nutrients more efficiently.
Fermented foods and probiotics also add bacteriocins to your gut’s ecosystem, which enhances human health.7 Bacteriocins are proteins produced by certain bacteria that inhibit the growth of another. In a sense they are antimicrobial but in a specific and advantageous manner.
Use herbs and supplements to support the microbiome
Incorporate gut healing herbs and other supplements, specifically those that support the gut microbiome. Some of my favorites include:
- Aloe vera
- Slippery elm
- Collagen or bone broth powder
- Alkaline protein powder
Increase rest to induce healing
In the US, we don’t take rest seriously. We seem to hold on to the idea that it’s something to be proud of if we can get through the day on little sleep. Research indicates that sleep is far more critical than we ever realized, especially since without enough, it negatively manipulates the gut microbiome.8
In addition to sleep, you need to get enough rest between exercise sessions. For those of you that are exercise junkies, you might find that increasing your rest days not only helps your gut health but also improves your results in the gym. Sure, exercise has been shown to improve the diversity of the gut microbiome, but too much can also be bad for your gut. 9, 10
Reduce emotional burden and improve gut health
It’s not enough to solely focus on what’s going into your body through your mouth. You need to also consider how your nervous system impacts your gut because the two undeniably interweave.11 Specifically, your enteric nervous system, or the nervous system of your gastrointestinal tract, is largely responsible for your emotions and vice versa.
Through communication via the vagus nerve, your gut and brain symbiotically impact your emotional well-being. You may think the brain does most of the talking, but we are discovering it’s actually the gut that’s primarily involved in influencing your everyday emotional well-being.12
Sympathetic dominance is when the portion of your nervous system most responsible for fight-or-flight responses is firmly in charge. This dominance can lead to anxiety, depression, insomnia, and adrenal fatigue. When you implement the Gut Rebuilding Formula, you should simultaneously work on your emotional well-being. Fortunately, due to this intricate link between the gut and your emotions, you should find improvement in your emotional health when you heal your gut.
Increase insulin sensitivity
Many of the steps mentioned help improve insulin sensitivity, but working to enhance this factor is worth talking about on its own. How sensitive your body is to the hormone insulin is a good indicator of overall health. When your body constantly needs more insulin to get the same effect (usually due to poor diet), it leads to prediabetes and ultimately results in a diabetes diagnosis.
When your body is sensitive to insulin you reap numerous benefits including improved hormone balance, restored neurotransmitter equilibrium, and accelerated weight loss. Some of the best things you can do to increase your insulin sensitivity include:
- Eliminate sugar and refined carbs
- Strength train
- Eat more healthy fats
- Eat low glycemic foods
- Ensure you have enough magnesium (essential for proper insulin signaling) 13
- Eat certain foods – vinegar, sauerkraut, soluble fiber, nuts, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, garlic, and green tea
- Utilize the power of herbal medicine for a natural blood sugar response – holy basil tea and extract is wonderful
- Lower cortisol – this stress hormone interferes with the breakdown of insulin, which means lowering your stress levels can make a drastic difference in your insulin sensitivity
These steps improve insulin sensitivity, which is critical to restoring neurotransmitter and hormone imbalance.
3. Release – The Toxins and Inflammation
The final part of the Gut Rebuilding Formula is to eliminate toxins, support your body’s detox pathways, and reduce inflammation. There are several ways this can be done, including:
1. Reducing your toxic burden – The best ways to do this include:
- Use only natural cosmetics and personal care products
- Opt for safe and natural home cleaning products
- Eliminate heavy metal sources such as aluminum pans, fish high in heavy metals, and mercury fillings
- Eliminate all BPA plastics
- Check mattresses and furniture for unsafe off-gassing chemicals
- Forgo the use air freshening spray
- Test for mold growth in your home
- Consider purchasing air and water filters for your home
2. Eliminating ‘Kryptonite’ foods – The biggest culprits here are:
- Anything fried – especially in trans fats (avoid hydrogenated everything)
- Vegetable oils high in omega-6 such as canola oil
- Refined carbs
- Artificial flavors, preservatives, colors, fats, or sweeteners
- Anything you’re sensitive to or that causes you allergic reactions
3. Testing for and eliminating foods to which you are allergic or sensitive – The most common are:
- Tree nuts
- High histamine foods 14
4. Treating existing infections – Work with your health practitioner to test for and ensure you are free of any viral, bacterial, or fungal infections. If you struggle with chronic health problems, a few worth checking for include:
5. Reducing emotional burden – Remember the enteric nervous system and sympathetic dominance? When you practice emotional release, you reinforce the cycle of improved gut health and improved emotional well-being.
6. Balancing the gut microbiome – When you balance the gut microbiome, it helps reduce the amount of damaging endotoxins released by harmful bacteria, which in turn reduces the toxic burden on your body overall. 17
7. Restoring hormone and neurotransmitter balance – The best way to do this is through entering a state of rest and restoration while getting the proper nutrition.
You’ve probably noticed that some of the better ways you can release toxins and reduce inflammation are similar to other steps in the Gut Rebuilding Formula. Specifically, numbers five, six, and seven on the above list are also techniques that contribute to the Feed and Strength stages. The steps in this process reinforce one another, which gives you the power of compounding benefits.
For example, when you take the steps to heal the gut microbiome through diet, you reduce stress and sympathetic dominance, which in turn accelerates the gut microbiome rebalance. Additionally, these two reinforcing factors then reduce inflammation and alleviate pressure on the detox pathways of your body, which supports every step of this process.
This Gut Rebuilding Formula is everything you need to completely reboot your health and begin the journey towards your best, most fulfilling life today. Using the three simple steps of feed, strengthen and release, you too can be on the path to your happiest, healthiest and most energetic self possible. If you’d like more information about following the formula, click below to join our free Gut Rebuilding webinar.
This blew up on my Facebook page yesterday, so I decided to share it here on the blog. To read, share, and comment visit the original post: https://www.facebook.com/Fermentationist/posts/10154968004795840
I had a fascinating conversation this weekend. A friend of mine was living in Italy for 2 months this year. He was able to eat pizza, drink alcohol, eat pastries and sweets and not really even think about what he was eating each day. He was going to the bathroom like clockwork. He felt great, stayed slim, and everyone commented on how much younger he looked upon returning to the US. He said stress was lower and that was a factor, but that there is more to why he felt so great.
As soon as he got home his digestion got wonky. He wasn’t eating grains. He had to be strict Paleo and organic to get his digestion functioning well again. It took him 3 weeks to get it closer to what it was in Italy.
I asked him what he thought causes this.
He said hands down the food in the US is so polluted, poisonous, and contaminated. Glyphosate (Google it), pesticides, hormones, molds, chemicals, etc. We also talked about all the EMF’s that are polluting homes in the US.
While in Italy, they ate everything local. It was so local that they didn’t even use that word. Boar and rabbit that were freshly killed. Vegetables that were grown in the yard. There is no such thing as organic because nobody uses chemicals, pesticides, or GMO seeds. They wouldn’t even agree to use these chemicals.
His wish was that everyone in the US could visit Italy (and many other European countries for that matter) for just a few weeks they would realize how easy it is and how good it feels. They wouldn’t want to continue living the way they do at home and would be shocked when they returned to our broken food system.
Our country (the US) is filled with the crappiest healthiest food. Even the healthy, organic food is polluted. And we put up with it.
We allowed GMO’s to be fed to us without having to be labeled. We allow meat to be contaminated with hormones and antibiotics – even the organic ones.
We allow Monsanto to sue small farms when pollen from nearby farms drifts naturally through the wind and pollinates their crops crossing it with the GMO strains – they call it stealing.
You can’t even buy non-GMO corn anywhere in the US anymore because the pollen has contaminated all the organic original strains. Organic corn no longer exists.
We sterilize bacteria from the dirt we grow in which destroys the essential soil microbiome. Our foods are grown in stripped and depleted soil.
After the grain is sprayed with pesticides (that subsequently destroy the gut microbiome) it is stored in silos where fungi infiltrate the seeds. These microscopic fungi excrete toxins that irritate the human digestive system when eaten.
We allow the weight loss fads to sell us on the idea that whole, simple food isn’t enough.
We don’t realize that all those chemicals are actually disrupting our glands and causing weight gain.
In this country, we settle for lifeless food. We are getting sick from it. It’s time to change. Grow a garden. Learn how to nurture the soil and create good food that can nourish us and our families.
Our food system is broken and we are stuck in the mud. Changing it isn’t easy if we aren’t informed.
Know that buying organic is absolutely not enough. We must strive for vital food that gives us the energy and life force we deserve. Sickness is a choice.
For more real talk, come to my next live class: www.probioticpowercleanse.com
Watch this video to get my Top 3 Power Moves:
- Flood the body with nutrients
- Eliminate toxins
- Support your organs
Sign up to attend my new live training on October 7th!
FREEBIE FROM THE VIDEO: Clearing the 7 Channels of Elimination Freebie
What happens when microscopic yeast start running the show?
If you don’t get some candy in you NOW, someone might get hurt. So you go for the strong stuff (caramel, ice cream, cupcakes), blaming yourself for caving. Again.
But it’s not your faulty willpower keeping you in these saccharine shackles. It’s Candida…and it’s at the root of some of the nastiest health issues out there.
- Vaginal yeast infections or jock itch—complete with insane itching in your you-know-what
- UTIs—the not-so-fun feeling of searing pain when you pee
- Athlete’s foot or toenail fungus (sorry, no flip flops for you)
- Severe seasonal allergies that have you begging for mercy
- Eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes…not so sexy
- Brain fog: the opposite of fun
- Bloating and issues maintaining a stable weight
- Digestive issues—with or without rectal itching
And as if any of these symptoms didn’t cause irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and depression on their own…Candida makes them worse.
If you’ve ever taken antibiotics and are experiencing two or more of these symptoms, there’s a good chance you have Candida.
What is Candida and why can’t I stop itching?
Candida is a parasitic yeast that requires sugar and carbs to multiply rapidly. There is a direct correlation to gut health and getting rid of Candida. When antibiotics swoop in to wipe out harmful bacteria, unless you actively re-introduce probiotics, the first things to grow back are opportunistic organisms.
Enter Candida, the beasties that thrive in the digestive tract and cause a white film on your tongue.
This doesn’t just ruin your digestion. Candida knocks your whole body out of whack and, if left unchecked, is linked to autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma and Multiple sclerosis.
Candida will feed off your body for years until you learn how to clear it out.
Candida is a major cause of leaky gut. It is a microscopic yeast that lives in the body naturally. But after antibiotics, stress, trauma, and processed foods you mess up the balance of the gut microbiome and give up the prime waterfront real estate of your intestines to this parasitic dimorphic fungus. Dimorphic means that it has two states.
1. It is in a cellular free-floating yeast form, which floats around in the digestive tract of humans.
2. It morphs into its mold form where it becomes a biofilm. This cluster of Candida grows filamentous ‘roots’ that pierce the lining of the intestinal tract. Once it reaches turns into a biofilm, it becomes resistant to herbal antimicrobials. Candida biofilms are notoriously resistant to conventional antifungal therapeutics.
“In individuals with healthy immune systems, C. albicans is often harmless, kept in balance with other members of the local microbiota. However, alterations in the host microbiota (e.g., due to antibiotics), changes in the host immune response (e.g., during stress, infection by another microbe, or immunosuppressant therapy), or variations in the local environment (e.g., shifts in pH or nutritional content) can enable C. albicans to overgrow and cause infection.” – Nobile et al. Annu Rev Microbiol. 2015; 69: 71–92.
When you crush Candida, you:
- Remember what it’s like to be able to concentrate
- Can throw out all those icky over-the-counter creams
- Don’t have to worry about bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
- Crave fresh vegetables instead of entire loaves of bread
- Get to eat fruit again—without waking up with itchy ears the next day
There are dozens of Candida cleanses and blander-than-bland diets you can try. But until you take the right steps at the right time, Candida will be back. Fortunately, you don’t need toxic treatments or an endless diet of kale.
My background as a gut health specialist and microbiologist has given me a unique take on Candida. I, myself, had to heal from it.
I tried all the different diets and they didn’t work.
It wasn’t until I realized that Candida is not just the overgrowth of one organism. It is complete dysbiosis in the system.
Candida grows roots and works its way into the digestive tract. It causes leaky gut, cramping, diarrhea, and impairs digestion.
It also weakens the immune system. Those with Candida get sick more often than people who don’t have it.
The toxins get absorbed into the bloodstream and mess with your nervous system, moods, and detoxification systems.
Being at War With Candida Won’t Work
The allopathic medical model is to kill things off. You may even feel completely compelled to kill off the Candida in your body. Anything to stop the discomfort…
But by attacking Candida, you can actually make it stronger while your immune system gets weaker because you aren’t addressing the underlying issues that caused Candida to be there in the first place.
You can’t just starve Candida to get rid of it. You have to balance the gut microbiome so the healthy critters (probiotics) can manage this for you. You also have to remove the factors that promote the growth of Candida, such as mercury and other heavy metals. Removing dental amalgams is a necessary step in getting rid of Candida, but it must be done properly and safely or you could end up getting much worse.
To learn step-by-step how to test, treat, and tackle Candida check out my newest course. You will join me live on September 20th to get the freshest take and updated information on crushing this annoying critter.
Candida Crash Course – The all-natural way to rid your body of Candida.
The Candida Crash Course teaches you how to:
- Test yourself for Candida
- Use herbs to combat Candida—instead of harsh prescriptions
- Know if you’re ready to fight off Candida
- Use different dietary strategies for your unique body
- Heal with the right fermented foods, herbs, and supplements
- Pick the right cleanse to clear Candida once and for all
- Get to the root of leaky gut, food allergies, and dysbiosis
Learn How to Quit Letting Chronic Fatigue, Itchiness, Digestive Drama, and Sugar Cravings Keep You Back
Many doctors will give you a prescription for an antifungal expecting it to correct the problem with one little pill. Functional medicine docs and nutritionists will tell you how stubborn Candida is and how hard it is to treat.
The truth is that clearing Candida isn’t as hard as most people think…if you learn the approach that’s right for you.
My Candida Crash Course is designed to keep it simple using strategies that have worked for me and hundreds of my clients.
Right now you can get instant access to the Candida Crash Course and start healing today.
What you get in the Candida Crash Course (everything is downloadable):
- In-depth audio training on Candida causes, cleanses, and solutions (value $497)
- Step-by-step instructions that cut out the Candida confusion (value $47)
- PDF handouts to keep you on track (value $47)
- Transcripts so you can skim and find the info you need quickly (value $125)
- Additional resources to help you get relief as quickly as possible (value $297)
TOTAL VALUE: $1013
“I love love loved the Candida intensive; this has been the pinnacle for me so far. I’ve studied chemistry and loved the scientific references, you were so talking my language. Thanks for the great comparison of Gaps, Body Ecology, Gabriel Cousins, and Gut Rebuilding, very valuable. I’m one of those clean eaters still struggling with gut issues. The big ah-ha was the emotional stuff still holding us there, I’m thinking that might be a biggie for me. This stuff is so awesome.
I’ve experienced the coffee jitters whilst having glandular fever after my 2nd baby was born; I had to pull the car off the road as I could not concentrate enough to drive! All starting to make sense now!
I scored 10 on the candida questionnaire. Maybe this is why Gaps never completely worked for me and I always just felt awful on it.” – Alana Maxwell
I’m looking for a Virtual Office/Affiliate Manager to help manage the day-to-day details of my online practice, programs, summit, educational products, and herbal apothecary. I currently have a wonderful team, but the business is growing and needs a person who can manage the overall flow and organization of content, launches, and programs.
This is a paid contract position you can do from home and would probably start out as a 30-or-so hour per week role, with room for growth as we grow 🙂
I’m looking for someone who:
1. Understands my community. Maybe you, or someone you know, has dealt with health challenges. You have empathy for the sick and a passion for helping others.
2. Has sweet organizational skills! You probably have a background or some experience with spreadsheets, excel, internet marketing, and seeing projects from start to finish. Project management is a definite bonus. This role will primarily be communicating with the CEO (me) and team, so this is an important one…
3. Follows me or has a good understanding of real food diets such as SCD, Paleo, GAPS, Weston A Price, Autoimmune Paleo, etc. giving you the ability to help address customer’s inquiries on more complex issues. Any formal education in this area would be a plus.
4. Has the ability to manage time and workload efficiently, strong organizational skills, and the ability to prioritize and modify priorities accordingly. This role allows you the flexibility to work from home, but you’ll need to be able to manage yourself well.
5. Has excellent communication skills and the ability to develop and maintain relationships with influencers in the health space.
6. Has the ability to confirm and identify business needs, challenges, and opportunities in order to develop viable solutions.
7. Is available to work 30-40 hours a week.
8. Lives in the United States.
9. Is “tech savvy” with things like Office, Google Docs, Dropbox, Facebook Groups, email, etc.
10. Is extremely dependable… not the “This usually doesn’t happen, but it happened again” type.
11. Doesn’t take things personally, have feelings hurt easily or get offended. Stays objective and likes to always use logic to make decisions – like an engineer.
If you’re the type of person who likes working alone and does not like communicating and If you’re the type of person who likes “creative” work, where you work with and interact with a lot of people… and deal with a lot of different types of complex challenges… then this probably is NOT right for you. This is more of what we would call “organizer” work and will require you to keep checklists and work through specific processes.
On the other hand… if you’re the type of person who loves organizing things, operating efficiently and using checklists, and basically becoming better and better at running through a pre-planned process, then this might be perfect for you!
As the Virtual Office/Affiliate Manager, you’ll be supporting the CEO to manifest the vision of the company, coordinating with team members, tech team, copywriters, etc., interacting with affiliates, communicating with influencers’ support staff, setting and reaching deadlines for projects, creating SOPs for tasks completed, organizing files in Google Drive, etc. This role does not specifically require much interaction with our clients or customers, however, it requires excellent communication and professional relationships with affiliates/influencers in the health space.
I anticipate hundreds of applicants, and I’m looking for the best. If you feel this is for you, please apply using the link below by MON 8/21.
To apply, click below and respond to the questions by MON 8/21:
I will be reviewing applications after the 8/21 deadline and if you’re selected for an interview, you will be contacted shortly after that.
P.S. – I’d love to have you join my team if it’s a good fit. Please apply for the Virtual Office/Affiliate Manager position by 8/21 here.
Lately, we are focusing on the mouth microbiome. You might not be aware of this, but you have bacteria that live in your mouth that determine your overall digestion and the health of your teeth, and they’re very important.
We don’t look at this very often so I want to talk about one very important tool that you can use to help balance your mouth microbiome and end your cravings at the same time.
This also gives you fresher breath and actually makes kissing better!
Introducing…the tongue scraper. This practice originates with Ayurvedic medicine.
“I have been using a tongue scraper every day for at least 10 years now. And I love it.” – Summer Bock
I don’t think about it because it’s such a daily habit. I don’t have to even try to do it, I do it because I like it. I do it because I notice a big difference.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tongue Scraping
You can use a spoon or you can buy a tongue scraper. There are plastic ones, but I the one I like best is the copper tongue scraper. I like the shape and I like the fact that it’s copper, which is antimicrobial.
Here’s how you do it: First, stick out your tongue. You put it near the back of your tongue and you scrape towards the tip with light force. Not super hard—you’re not trying to rip the taste buds off of your tongue, but you want to use enough force to pull off the layer of bacteria and film. You can do it one or two times and then just wash it off and put it in your toothbrush holder.
I recommend doing this after you brush your teeth in the morning and after you brush your teeth at night. What I noticed when I started using this in the mornings is that it cleansed my palate and made it easier to eat healthier food in the morning. This helped me when I was transitioning away from the standard American diet and I wanted to have donuts and cinnamon rolls and pancakes every morning because that’s just what sounded good.
When I started using the tongue scraper that helped get all those funky little bacteria out of my tongue, so my mouth would taste really fresh and clean. At that point, I felt like it was so much easier to make a good decision about what I was eating because I was now eating food that was going to nourish my body instead of food that was going to mask the weird taste in my mouth.
All these bacteria living on the surface of your tongue grow overnight while you’re sleeping just grow and multiply, literally eating any leftovers in your mouth. This is partially why good dental hygiene is so important but I really think the tongue scraper is one of the most important parts of dental hygiene.
So try it out. If you don’t have a tongue scraper, just use a spoon for a couple days and see what you think. After you use it for a while, you’re probably going to want to get your kissing buddy to get one too because it just makes such a drastic difference.
But just a word of caution—it’s weird. If you weren’t raised doing this or people around you didn’t do this, you’re going to be like, “Why am I … what? What am I doing here? This is so strange!” And sometimes a white film might come off as you’re doing it. That’s totally fine and normal. You’re just getting that gunk out and it’s going to make food that much more enjoyable and make your mouth environment that much healthier.
Tell me what you think in the comments. I’m really curious.