Amy Shah, MD, an Ivy League-trained, double board certified physician, is one of the few doctors who masterfully integrates mainstream medicine with Eastern thought and a mind-body approach. This week, we're thrilled to share Dr. Shah's expertise in a new series on total gut health. To learn more, head to her mindbodygreen course: The 7-Day Gut Reset: How To Get Your Digestion Back On Track In Just One Week.
You've probably heard a lot about probiotics, and all their gut-healing powers. But you should also know that you don't have to turn to probiotic supplements or even store-bought foods to reap the benefits. In fact, making your own naturally probiotic foods is surprisingly simple.
When I first started my gut-healing journey, I'd buy my natural fermented foods at health markets, in order to avoid all the added preservatives. Then I realized that sauerkraut and fermented vegetables are super easy (and cheap!) to make at home.
Here's the recipe I recommend:
- 1/2 cup salt (pickling salt recommended)
- 1 gallon water
- 3 pounds vegetable of choice (cucumbers, carrots, fennel and cabbage all work well)
- 2 cloves garlic (optional)
- 1 bunch fresh dill (optional)
1. Combine the salt and water in a pitcher, and stir until the salt has dissolved.
2. Rinse the vegetables thoroughly and cut them into spears or small chunks.
3. Place the garlic and dill in an air-tight jar.
4. Add the vegetables to the jar, on top of the garlic and herbs.
5. Pour in the salt-water mixture over the vegetables, completely covering them.
6. Set in a cool, dry place for approximately seven days. You'll know they're ready when they taste sour.