Winter is fast approaching! We all know that sooner or later you will be exposed to people coughing and sneezing whether it is in your work, public transport or at your box/gym. Let's assume you got sick but you want to get back to doing the WODs at 100% ASAP.
I'm going to give you my 2 step way to restoring proper gut function, reintroducing positive gut bacteria and boosting your immune system after after a course of antibiotics!
We've all been there, and I'm guessing most of you did notice how weak antibiotics make you feel and how long it takes for your gut to start working properly after even 1 course. There's a reason behind it - antibiotics are necessary when it comes to dealing with certain infections, but while they get rid of what ever is "bugging" us, they also have the tendency to destroy the good guys. The bacteria who aid our digestive system and immune system. We need to give those little guys a helping hand.
One of the fastest ways of doing that as well as delivering some quality nutrients to our bodies is introducing fermented foods! Yes you heard me right! I know most of you growing up in Western Europe had very little exposure to some of those foods and might classify those foods as "yucky". I find them essential when restoring proper gut function and gut microbiota.
First on our menu: Kefir
Kefir is a fermented milk product, consistency is quite thin just like a drinkable yoghurt would be.
In taste it's a bit sour and appears to be lightly carbonated but that's due to the fact that it's "alive" with bacteria responsible for the fermentation process. Unlike most probiotic drinks where the amount of live bacteria is measured before bottling so by the time you open it you're just drinking sugar yoghurt, Kefir is one of THE MOST potent probiotics available on the market.
Kefir is rich in bacteria but also in beneficial yeast flora, thanks to that it has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. But don't sweat it! We're talking about it helping to destroy the bad kinds of fungus and bacteria that might find their way down into your gut after taking antibiotics. Apart from that Kefir is rich in some awesome vitamins and minerals like: thiamin, B12, K2, Biotin, calcium, folates, magnesium and phosphorus.
Benefits include: immune system regulation and support, improved gut and bone health, potent anti inflammatory, helps with lactose digestion in people with lactose sensitivity.
You might ask where can I find this product? Try your local supermarket in the fridge section of "European foods", or I would advise you to go to the nearest European/ Polish shop most of them keep it in stock.
Second one you might have heard of: Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut is basically fermented cabbage. Quite sour in taste with a firm texture works perfectly as a side dish to most meat and fish dishes!
Just like Kefir you will find that it's very rich in beneficial bacteria which can help fend of any unwanted fungal and bacterial infections of your digestive tract. Same as with Kefir by eating fermented cabbage you are making sure that the bacteria culture are still at work!
Apart from the healthy bacteria Sauerkraut is also very rich in: fiber, vitamins A, C, K and B and minerals like iron, manganese, magnesium, copper, calcium. Apart from benefiting you with extra fibre it also serves as food for the bacteria.
Benefits of this food would mainly be the support of your immune system as well as gut health. But it's also beneficial in your bone health and highly anti inflammatory.
Same as with Kefir don't be afraid to hit your local European/ Polish shop for this food.
Why didn't I recommend supplements? Apart from the fact you will pay a fraction of the price for the raw product. The probiotics gets into our system in the best possible way, in its natural raw form without unnecessary processing. Not only that but the bacteria get there with a nice packed lunch which will help them do their job and reinforce/establish a healthy gut culture down there. We are eating a whole complete food with a number of benefits to our whole body, A healthy well working gut means a very healthy and strong athlete!