SauerCrowd guide for gut healthy food
It's time to rethink
So much of what we know about nutrition is changing. Since the start of the human microbiome project in 2008 we have to call our old view on nutrition as outdated.
Medical and nutritional professionals used to think that our microbiomes were irrelevant. Now we know this assumption was completely wrong. All the microorganisms in and around us make up about 90% of our functioning DNA.
We are comprised of thousands of microbial species and thanks to advanced microbiology we can now explain the vital importance of our microbial ecosystem towards human health.
The microbiome: “Epicenter of human health”
Most of the 20th-century science and medicine were based on cleaning, sanitizing, and freeing humans from “bad germs. But this systematic killing of our microbial partners has brought a new area of human disease to us.
An era of “incurable” NCDs. This stands for Non-communicable Diseases. Everything from heartburn, indigestion, and IBS to cancer, autism, food allergies, Crohn’s, eczema, and Alzheimer’s is linked to gut microbiome dysbiosis.
If our microbiomes are the epicenter of human health, we have to encourage the growth of healthy, thriving microorganisms in and on our bodies. My way of doing so is starting with a whole food, mainly plant based diet.
Quote: “According to the WHO, NDCs kill about three times as many people as infectious diseases per year.”
How can we support our very own ecosystem with food?
The question I get asked over and over again from our Crowd is: “What is the optimal diet for good gut health”. Today, I want to give you a short insight into my daily diet, so the food I consume on a regular basis.
The western concept of “the perfect diet” does not exist. I have tried many “dietary trends” in the past such as low fat, no carb, high protein, no sugar, and so forth. In my opinion taking out a few foods without looking at the whole picture of a wholesome diet does not do the trick.
In this overview I want to show you that you don’t need to sacrifice on certain ingredients but find the right balance to maintain a healthy gut microbiome (increase diversity).
My rule of thumb is: “Eat only ingredients you can imagine growing in nature”
Let me give you a few examples:
- You go into an organic store and pick a can of Italian tomato sauce. Ingredients: Tomatoes, basil, olive oil, salt. Everyone can picture these ingredients growing in nature (and is able to spell them correctly).
- You go to the farmers market and buy a jar of Sauerkraut. Ingredients: Cabbage, apples, salt, bay leaves. Again the origin of the ingredients is clear for you.
- You go into a supermarket and buy a package of vegan ice cream. Ingredients: oat base tapioca syrup, coconut oil, dextrose, invert sugar, chicory root extract (inulin), agave syrup, maltodextrin, mono- and diglycerides, pink salt, soy lecithin, color added, pea protein concentrate, carob bean gum, natural flavor. It's hard to understand all the ingredients and especially how/where they grow.
I think you get where I am going. So keep that in mind next time while doing groceries.
“If you can´t spell the ingredients or can´t picture where they are growing don’t buy it!
Our friends from cultured guru have established a new food pyramid which is the perfect guideline for a gut healthy diet. It's an everyday pyramid and also my personal standard way of eating during the week. Occasional adding dairy or meat products from an organic, local source is up to every individual himself and totally legitimate in moderate amounts (e.g., 1-2x per week).
Some ingredients' inspiration from the new pyramid needed?
- Nuts, Fats and Oils: Olive oil, flax seed oil (raw), sesame oil, avocados, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, nut & seed butter, tahini, plant based yoghurt
- Whole Grains: Whole grain pasta, spelt, barley, quinoa, rice, sourdough bread, rice pasta, corn tortillas, gluten-Free bread products, amaranth, buckwheat
- Legumes: Beans (White, red, fava, kidney, black), chickpeas,lentils, tempeh, tofu, plant-based meat replacements
- Fruits: Kaki fruit, apples, oranges, bananas, mangos, pears, watermelon, berries, grapes, figs, pomegranate (try to stay seasonal)
- Fresh, Cooked and Fermented Vegetables: Kale, garlic, spinach, green cabbage, sauerkraut & kimchi (raw, fermented), bok choy, zucchini, squash, beets, tomatoes, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, green beans, bell peppers, onions, leeks, artichoke, sunchoke, swiss chard, collard greens, endives, carrots, celery (best organic certified and seasonal)
- Supplements: Vitamin B12, calcium and multivitamins (from fortified plant-based drinks or pills)
„For long term gut health, you should feed the gut microbes!”
Best is if we eat probiotic (raw, fermented vegetables, cultured yogurts and drinks etc.) as well as prebiotic foods (fiber rich plant based and not too much processed) is becoming your habit and lifestyle.
Probiotics & Prebiotics quickly explained 🧫🌱
Let me explain to you both on the example of a garden in nature:
🥬Probiotics are the seed and resemble the actual alive bacteria that we feed our gut (which is our garden in this example).
🥗Prebiotics (the fertilizer) are the foods which the probiotics nourish on. These consist mainly out of digestible fibers (from plant foods such as broccoli, asparagus, leafy greens, fermented vegetables etc.)
🌾 they work together in symbiosis and can’t function without each other just like healthy soil in nature needs alive bacteria and microorganisms we humans need that as well to build resilience and health from within.
Here comes the good news! Within properly raw lacto-fermented vegetables, which have a sufficient amount of alive bacteria to reach the large intestine, you may find both pro/prebiotics. These include lactic acid bacteria and plant fibers.
My personal experience with a gut healthy diet is 100% positive and without regret. After years of allergies, gut issues, skin conditions, and fatigue caused by a high stress, fast food, and low sport lifestyle, I now feel better than ever before. My skin became clean and soft, my physical as well as mental health is at its best and I became an overall more compassion and self-loving person since I started implementing this new way of eating and living.
In previous chapters we have learned that feeding your gut microbiome the right bacteria is already a mother's responsibility towards her baby in the womb. The first 5 years in life are where we build most of our good gut bacterial diversity. So make it a habit to eat enough pro and prebiotics and maintain a low stress level to strengthen the diversity and resilience from the inside.
Hint for mothers: It helped my sister to tell her children that there is a small pet living inside them (the gut microbiome) which needs to be feed well with plants and probiotic fermented foods on a daily basis. This pet became an important friend of the kids and they now do not refuse broccoli, kraut, and tempeh anymore but love to eat and feed their little friends the good gut bacteria.
*This guide is no medical advice, only speaking from my own experience with changing to a gut health focused diet and the outcomes within my personal experience. For more information on gut related disease and treatments please ask your practitioner and gastroenterologist.
- Alanna Collen (2015). 10% Human: How Your Body's Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness. HarperCollins
- Lisa F. Stinson,Matthew S. Payne, and Jeffrey A. Keelan (2018). A Critical Review of the Bacterial Baptism Hypothesis and the Impact of Cesarean Delivery on the Infant Microbiome. Frontiers in medicine. Doi: 10.3389/fmed.2018.00135
- Cukrowska B, Bierła JB, Zakrzewska M, Klukowski M, Maciorkowska E. The Relationship between the Infant Gut Microbiota and Allergy. The Role of Bifidobacterium breve and Prebiotic Oligosaccharides in the Activation of Anti-Allergic Mechanisms in Early Life. Nutrients. 2020;12(4):946. Published 2020 Mar 29. doi:10.3390/nu12040946
- Magne Fabien, Puchi Silva Alexa, Carvajal Bielka, Gotteland Martin (2017). The Elevated Rate of Cesarean Section and Its Contribution to Non-Communicable Chronic Diseases in Latin America: The Growing Involvement of the Microbiota. https://doi.org/10.3389/fped.2017.00192
- Mayer, E. (2018). The mind-gut connection: how the hidden conversation within our bodies impacts our mood, our choices, and our overall health. HarperCollins.