“Your gut health is the centre of the rest of our health, it is basically our second brain. 80% of our immune system resides in our gut.
It’s really important to keep our guts happy; the little microbes, our gut bacteria outnumber our body cells by a ratio of 10:1.” Meg Thompson.
Naturopath and holistic nutritionist Meg Thompson introduced me to a new F word: Fermentation and all its bacterial goodness.
She believes our gut is the key to overall wellbeing and wants to spread the word about the need to keep the digestive system happy.
Here’s how to get your glow on…
MH: So Meg Thompson fermented foods – not so glamorous but you are a huge fan, why?
Meg Thompson: If you think about before we had access to fridges fermentation was purely a means of preserving vegetables. A lot of people can relate to Captain Cook’s voyage out with scurvy due to lack of vitamin C, they worked out if they ate sauerkraut; which is basically fermented cabbage which is particular high in Vitamin C then that stopped them from getting scurvy.
Fermented foods (like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir or kombucha) allow good bacteria to grow and flourish, which we then eat and enjoy the wide ranging benefits from. We can enjoy it at that point, not a whole plate, but to use it as a condiment. A replacement for tomato sauce or mustard.
MH: Why should we care about fermented foods?
Meg Thompson: Our gut health is the centre of the rest of our health, it is basically our second brain. 80% of our immune system resides in our gut.
It’s really important to keep our guts happy; the little microbes, our gut bacteria outnumber our body cells by a ratio of 10:1.
Meg Thompson: There’s a lot of them! When they’re not happy it affects our digestive health: immune system, skin health, brain function everything basically. Fermented foods or drinks are a way of making our own probiotics.
Lots of people would have had courses of inner-health plus and whatnot, but I like to make it because you’re not restricting yourself to certain strains.
With fermented foods and drinks you’re getting a wide variety of good bacteria in your food, also just by the action of eating them it improves digestive function, especially things like bloating and regulating bowel action. A cheaper, more holistic way to have your pro-biotic!
MH: I’m over the moon to see you ordered a latte today. Do you sense people are often curious about what you do and don’t eat?
Meg Thompson: Yes. I get asked a lot and I think it’s that a lot of people feel they need to be perfect, or that I might eat this perfect way 100% of the time.
For a start the perfect diet is different for every single person. But also it kind of takes some of the enjoyment out of it, it becomes so much of a chore to think “Oh no, I’ve gotta have this, or I’m not allowed to have that!” That’s not how I like to eat or teach my patients to approach their eating whatever their condition may be.