Some of my favourites I use liberally to nourish myself and my loved ones…
· Fermented foods
Traditional cultures used fermentation as a pre-refrigeration preservation technique. The fermentation process produces various strains of microbes that greatly contribute to replenishing the beneficial bacteria in our guts. Our gut health plays a pivotal role in our systemic health that’s why it’s vitally important to include food-based probiotics in our diet daily. Examples of fermented foods: unpasteurized sauerkraut, natural yoghurt, kimchee, natto, tempeh.
· Coconut oil
A primary source of fat throughout the tropics. It has a unique profile in its saturated fat content – specifically medium chain triglycerides. These fats don’t require pancreatic enzymes for digestion and are immediately available for energy. They’ve been studied extensively for lipid balance, cognition, metabolism and immune system.
A staple ingredient in the Indian cuisine which has been studied for its anti-inflammatory, immune system modulating and detoxifying properties.
Our diets focus heavily on muscle meat consumption and as such, we lose out on the benefits of consuming skin, tendons and bones, which is what our ancestors did. Traditional bone broths are used in gut healing protocols for mucosal repair, while the high glycine content of gelatin may help with sleep problems, joints, anxiety, hair and skin.
· Medicinal mushrooms
Called medicinal for a reason; in Asia they’ve been ingesting mushrooms for millennia. Primarily used to modulate the immune system. Examples of medicinal mushrooms: Reishi, Shitake, Lion’s mane, Cordyceps, Maitake and many more. Shitake mushrooms are fairly easy to get hold of in various stores as they’re often used in stir fried dishes, soups or stews. Not all medicinal mushrooms are tasty, so some are best ingested as supplements. When looking for a brand chose the one that produces their products according to GMP (i.e. good manufacturing practices).