Nutrition Notes from Nancy Howse, Bowen Road
Eating for overall gut health and immunity
Something many people are interested in these days are fermented foods. They come with many health benefits, especially surrounding intestinal health and immune balancing benefits. Historically, fermentation preserved food, prevented spoilage, and helped maintain nutrient value.
Fermented foods often are accompanied by a strong pungent flavour. The list includes kimchi, dairy products, sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha, the list goes on. Fermentation, in a nutshell, can help to restore bacterial balance, and serve to make us less vulnerable to intestinal illness. For example, kefir is easily digested, and helps colonize our digestive tract with beneficial micro-organisms. While fermented foods have many benefits, some possible downsides have come to light. Fermented soy (high intake) was associated with an increased risk of gastric cancer. Like many things in life, sometimes we run the risk of “too much of a good thing.” For every miracle food, there can be a down-side for someone. The wisdom to take from this is to listen carefully to your own body and keep yourself informed.
In a nutshell, I like to tell my customers that ‘you cannot out supplement a bad diet or lifestyle.’ Also, while you’re enjoying our amazing summer, keep yourself well hydrated! Fun in the sun can take a turn when you’re overexposed to heat and activity.
My favourite go-to products are electrolyte-containing supplements. Some I like to choose are Ener-C (made in BC!), Concentrate Trace Minerals and Nuun tablets. All these products are convenient, budget friendly and available in our supplement aisles at all locations.
Coconut water is also worthy of a shout out, as the electrolyte balance perfectly mimics the human body profile, keeping us easily hydrated.
So enjoy the lake, the ocean, the trails and the great outdoors, just don’t forget to stay hydrated and remember to include sunscreen and aloe vera gel in your backpack or beach bag. And come see us for all our fresh offerings. We always love to see you!
Nancy Howse is our nutrition manager at Country Grocer Bowen Road.