Why do some researchers call the gut your "Second Brain?"
October 17, 2022

We've all heard the saying "I've got a gut feeling" or "go with your gut feeling." Are these merely old sayings, or is there some deeper wisdom behind them?

Modern science is increasingly showing that our gut health plays a major role in maintaining optimal mental and emotional health, and that being exposed to a variety of (good) bacteria has major positive impacts for our body beyond just the immune system. (12).
In this quick email, we’re going to cover:

  • ‣ What is gut health, and why is it important? 
  • ‣ How you can get your daily dose of probiotics through real food to keep your gut healthy and happy.

So what is all this “gut health” stuff?

In our modern world, nearly everything we touch or eat has been heavily sanitized, sterilized, or treated to minimize microbial exposure. (Especially now in the post-COVID era!)
Most of the time, this is great - on balance, we all want to have clean water, food, and so on. However, we don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.  
A huge variety of bacteria (some 100 trillion total probiotic organisms!) make up your digestive tract, helping your body absorb minerals and vitamins from food. These microorganisms are often referred to as your gut flora, and keeping regular exposure to a diverse variety of (good) bacteria keeps it robust and healthy. 
On the flip side, foods that contain toxins reduce the good bacteria’s ability to breakdown food and can lead to having a leaky gut, the common name for when the gut/intestinal tract becomes porous, allowing incompletely digested food to “leak” directly into the bloodstream. Studies have shown this can cause a host of problems, including ongoing digestive issues, emotional distress, and even skin blemishes / acne (3).


The power of the gut (4)

Food additives (like preservatives or sugars) are often added to food to kill bacteria so it can have a longer shelf life, but these additives don’t separate good (potentially beneficial) bacteria from harmful ones, they simply wipe out everything...and they can wreak the same havoc in your gut!
Many plants even produce their own toxins as an evolutionary defense mechanism to prevent animals from grazing on them (hello, grains!).

The gut-brain connection
Did you know the very thought of eating can release the stomach’s production of digestive acid before food ever gets there? And it turns out this connection goes both ways.

A troubled intestine sends signals to the brain, just as a troubled brain can send signals to the gut. Therefore, a person's stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress, or depression.
An increasing body of research indicates that the composition of your gut flora regulates the production of various hormones (like testosterone or estrogen) and neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA which play a role in energy levels and mood. For this reason, some researchers call the gut your “second brain!”

A stable and healthy gut is essential to overall health,
an imbalance can negatively influence the gut and the brain


OK, so what should I eat to keep things in balance?
In pre-modern times, our guts received much higher doses of these good probiotic bacteria naturally through - wait for it - the incidental ingestion of soil (mainly from residues, or dirt, on gathered plant and animal foods). The world has changed (thankfully), but you can promote a healthy gut flora with daily consumption of delicious fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, vinegar, pickles, or kombucha (in rough order of probiotic density).

Even a couple big bites a day of a high-probiotic density food like sauerkraut can go a long way toward keeping a strong arsenal of healthy bacteria working away in your gut.

Having the goal to eat at least one high probiotics per day is very easy and can have a noticeable positive impact on your immune system and mental health. Not sure how to start your new gut health journey? Here's a list of all our fermented foods in order of highest concentration of probiotic density:

1. Organic Sauerkraut - Doesn't only taste great cold or hot, but it also has a range of health benefits as it contains vitamins, calcium, iron and probiotics. Best enjoyed alongside your meal as a "side", or you can eat it right out the jar.



2. Organic kimchi - made without sugar or soy, all organic vegetables used are hand-picked in the morning and fermented on the same day. Like our sauerkraut, this dish is best enjoyed as a side alongside your meal.


Our organic kimchi contains zero sugar and soy. 


3. Kefir - if the above is a little too strong on your palate, our brand new kefir range is the lowest effort, maximum reward to improve your gut health. Kefir is a fermented milk drink similar to a thin yogurt that is made from kefir grains.
Our flavors include:

  • ‣ Grass-fed milk kefir - great to drink on its own or combined with smoothies, fruit, or granola. Kefir has been produced and consumed for thousands of years in Eastern Europe, where tribes in the Caucasus mountains would ferment goat and cow milk in leather bags.


Probiotic density of around 4-5x a typical yogurt. Try in on its own or power-up a smoothie.


Not as dense in probiotics as milk kefir, but still more dense per milliliter than yogurt, and the perfect introduction for kids to gut health.


The ideal way to introduce children to the gut-lifestyle

4. Jun fermented tea - a naturally fermented probiotic tea with a light and refreshing carbonation, perfect lunchtime beverage with a mild caffeine kick for a mid-day recharge. Like kombucha but a bit sweeter.
5. Full-fat Greek yogurt - made from 100% organic grass-fed milk from Khao Yai with added gut-boosting probiotics, this has been a huge hit with parents and children.
This yogurt makes a fantastic base for either a quick, healthy snack (pair it with berries, cut fruits, or nuts) or a little more indulgent dessert experience (try it with dark chocolate nibs or granola).

Mix and match for a new desert every day

6. Kombuchas - Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage that contains live probiotics, enzymes, and b-vitamins that aid in detoxifying toxins in our liver, improving digestion, boosting energy level and increasing our immune system. We have 15+ flavors to choose from.


Quick and easy way to hit your gut health goals


Give it a try! If you don’t regularly eat fermented foods, try daily consumption for a month and see how your mood, energy levels, digestion, and immune system are impacted.
The best thing is that all our probiotics foods can be eaten right out the tub/jar or added as a side dish to your favourite meals or smoothies  with minimal effort! Our fermented food range are made from 100% whole foods. No pills or powders.
Many supermarket brands often list their items as "probiotic friendly" but also contain preservatives, emulsifiers and refined sugars, which kind of defeats the purpose if you ask us. It always pays to read the label to know what is really in your food.

Happy gut, happy life! See you on the Grocery :)





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