One of the most best ways to deal with the majority of menopause symptoms is to keep your gut healthy.
The easiest and most beneficial way to keep your gut healthy is by taking probiotics. Essentially, probiotics are healthy bacteria that live in your gut and help restore gut flora. Why is this so important? Nutritionist Joy Skipper says, “If your guts not working, you’re not going to absorb any nutrients and the chances are that other things aren’t going to be working properly, as everything works together. Gut health is where it starts.” Even if you’re eating a healthy diet full of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients, they aren’t going to be properly absorbed if your gut isn’t working well.
Healthy gut bacteria are essential for overall health, immunity and good mood. Your levels can be depleted by eating a diet high in processed foods, sugar, refined carbs, and artificial sweeteners. Additionally, taking a course of antibiotics can wipe out your good gut bacteria and it can take up to a year to restore good bacteria levels. So, is there anything you can do to speed up the process?
There are a few ways to feed probiotics into your diet, including through probiotic supplements, and food (most famously, yoghurt). As always, getting your nutrition from whole foods is better than supplement form, especially given that bacteria in supplement form are less protected, and more likely to be inactive by the time they reach your intestines. Also bear in mind that they are freeze dried which is a bit like turning a grape into a raisin and expecting it to have the same nutritional properties. Foods high in probiotics actually protect the bacteria from being killed off by your stomach acid as you digest it.
As we mentioned, yoghurt is perhaps the most widely used food for probiotic health – but it may not be the best one. Kefir, a natural probiotic drink, can have as many as forty different strains of bacteria and twenty strains of yeasts (compared with normal yoghurt, which is made with two strains of bacteria). So, what is kefir?
The Truth About Kefir
Kefir is made using kefir grains.These grains are actually complex micro-organisms and are a harmonious balance of bacteria, yeasts and enzymes. When these grains are put into a medium such as coconut milk, they feed on the nutrition inside the liquid whilst they are fermented and in exchange, they give out baby probiotic bacteria, which grow and multiply. Because it’s fermented, it increases the nutritional value by raising vitamin and minerals levels. Additionally, it’s incredibly beneficial for your immune system, as almost 80% of our immune system is found in our digestive tract. Fermented foods are an easy way of putting bacteria back into the gut and helping your immune system.
What goes on in your gut affects your brain, the gut being referred to as a second brain. According to a survey published in Journal Psychiatry Research, probiotics in fermented foods such as kefir support digestion and gut health and have also been shown to support the immune system and brain function. Eating fermented foods can help with those menopausal symptoms such as: allergies, depression,digestive problems and bloating. Kefir, is also a great source of vitamin K2, essential for heart and bone health too.
Which Brand Should You Try?
Meg recommends Coconut Kefir by Rhythm Health, which is the first non-dairy unpasteurised kefir. Rhythm use live grains unlike other kefirs which use freeze dried cultures. Their product raw pressed and contains billions of live bacteria. It’s made using coconut milk and as such the drink is vegan and 100% dairy and gluten free with no added gums, water or thickeners. Rhythm stay as close to mother nature as possible and have had incredible results with various customers on array of gut related and immune issues.
To find out more about Rhythm Health, visit their website: www.rhythmhealth.co.uk.