Pickled foods are great for gut health due to their rich probiotic content. The process of pickling involves fermentation, a natural preservation method that encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria, such as lactobacilli. These live microorganisms reach the gut intact, where they play a crucial role in maintaining a balanced and healthy microbiome.
Probiotics are known for their positive impact on digestive health, as they help in the breakdown and absorption of nutrients, enhance the immune system and maintain a harmonious balance between good and bad bacteria in the gut. Pickled foods, like sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles, are teeming with these probiotics, providing a tasty and convenient way to support gut flora.
In addition to their probiotic content, pickled foods offer prebiotics, which are substances that serve as food for the beneficial bacteria already present in the gut. The combination of probiotics and prebiotics creates a symbiotic relationship, fostering a more robust and resilient gut environment.
Including pickled foods in the diet not only adds a burst of flavours but also contributes to improved digestion and overall well-being. However, moderation is key, as excessive consumption may lead to high sodium intake. Embracing pickled foods as part of a diverse and balanced diet can be a delicious strategy to nurture gut health and promote a thriving microbial community in the digestive system.
To support your gut health journey Billabong Retreat Head Chef Adam Lord has shared his Cucumber & Radish Pickle recipe.
- 45g Himalayan pink Salt + extra for salting
- 300ml Apple cider vinegar
- 1 Bay leaf
- 4 tbls Agave syrup
- 1tsp Coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp Black mustard seeds
- 1/2tsp Yellow mustard seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 Lebanese cucumber
- 1 Bunch red radish
- 150ml Water
- 2 tbls Chopped dill
- Slice both radish and cucumber into 1/4cm thick rounds.
- Sprinkle with salt and leave for 30mins.
- Wash off salt and drain in colander.
- In a saucepan, lightly toast mustard seeds and coriander seeds.
- Add liquids, salt, cinnamon and bay leaf to the saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Remove from heat and cool slightly ⁃ Pour liquid over cucumbers and radish and leave to cool completely.
- Add chopped dill and mix to serve.
- To keep, sterilise jars and fill with pickles making sure the is enough liquid to cover them.
To learn more about how food can support your well-being join our Detox with Gut Health & Digestion Specialist Day Retreat on 2 March 2024. Click here to learn more.