How often can you say you spent Sunday taking part in a Guinness world record for making the world’s biggest Sauerkraut?! Well that’s exactly what I did, at the 2018 Sauerkrautathon yesterday.
Over 6 hours yesterday I followed a huge team of amazing volunteers as they chopped, massaged and tamped around 240 kilos of cabbage + fennel to set the world record for making the largest recorded dish of sauerkraut.
This event was the brainchild of Katie Venner and Jo Webster, to raise awareness of the benefits of fermented foods for gut health… and to show everyone that you don’t need to buy the expensive stuff on the supermarket shelves… a little cabbage, salt, time is all that’s needed – the fermentation brings the magic.
I also got to geek out listening to incredible line up of gut heath expert speakers including Dearbhla Reynolds, Tim Spector and my favourite girls from the Gut Stuff. I came home with my brain and microbes buzzing after finishing the day with chocolate sauerkraut cake (yes really!).
The gut health lowdown
More than ever, this whole event emphasized the links between the gut microbiome and pretty much every aspect of our health. We heard from researchers studying the links between the biome and the brain (linking gut microbiota to depression, autism and other neurological conditions) and master fermenters who have shown what an abundance of beneficial bacteria there is in home fermented foods.
Moreover diet – the message for gut health is loud and clear.
- Feed your microbiota with plenty of fibre.
- Get plenty of variety in your diet.
- Eat lots of bright and colourful fruits and veggies.
- Top up those beneficial microbes with fermented foods like kefir and sauerkraut (the exception being if you have IBS or another gut condition, as some of these foods can aggravate your symptoms, so smaller amounts or adjustments may be needed)
Other tips? Keep an eye on your poop >> (hello Bristol stool chart type 3-4).
Take your gut bugs for some gentle exercise (walking, cycling, yoga etc, very tough exercise may not be so helpful).
And consider eating your dinner a bit earlier and brekkie a bit later every now and then, to allow your gut microbes to do some housekeeping. Yes, they do enjoy a bit of a fast.