Fermented Coconut Yogurt
If you have been following me, you will already know that your gut is a big deal. If this comes as news to you, my past article is a good place to start.
The majority of us are walking around with compromised digestive systems, and we don’t even know it.
Yep, you don’t necessarily have to encounter symptoms like bloating, gas, IBS, constipation, or diarrhea to have digestive problems.
But what’s even more concerning is the gut - PCOS link. If you have PCOS you may suffer from even worse gut function.
A study compared the gut microbiome with PCOS women vs women without PCOS and found the stool microbiome of PCOS patients showed a lower diversity and an altered composition compared to controls.
This does make sense as PCOS is linked with chronic low grade inflammation which is a driving factor for insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism.
In addition, PCOS women are more prone to experiencing IBS like symptoms than none PCOS women, and the state of your gut can potentially trigger or worsen your PCOS phenotype and symptoms.
Why is this? Your gut lining represents your first line of defense against the outside world. When this is compromised, such as with intestinal permeability, this results in unwanted substances such as bacteria or large food particles allowed into circulation which can trigger an immune response as well as increased levels of inflammation. Over time this wreaks havoc in the body, damages cells, and can even result in autoimmune disease, such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
Not only that but the poor absorption of nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and vitamin D can worsen symptoms like depression, anxiety, fatigue and also lower the rate of conception.
These increased levels of inflammatory chemicals can also damage insulin receptors and result in impaired function of glucose entering the cell. This increase in insulin levels and inflammatory markers can trigger a rise in androgen production from the theca cells in the ovary, which gives rise to those symptoms we know so well like hirsutism, anovulation, acne, and hair loss.
Poor microbiome diversity has also been linked in numerous studies with an increased rate in obesity. So your number and quality of good bacteria can play a role in determining if you extract more or fewer calories from your food or whether you poop it out.
As you can see it’s a vicious cycle and it’s all linked back to inflammation. This is why gut health is the one of the primary focuses with my PCOS clients, and I haven’t met one PCOS woman with adequate gut function yet.
So what can you do?
Removing offending foods and replenishing with foods that our good bacteria looove is a great place to start!
What are offending foods? GMO foods, processed foods, refined carbs, non-organic animal products, hydrogenated oils… these all feed pathogenic bacteria and deplete our beneficial flora.
Glyphosate, also known as Roundup is particularly problematic and can be found in GMO and non-organic foods. Glyphosate has been linked to many health problems one of them being severe damage of our gut flora and intestinal vili (which absorb nutrients) and the promotion of pathogen growth in the intestines. It has been shown to kill off good bacteria but not bad bacteria. This is a problem. Glyphosate can be found in many foods such as non organic grains, legumes, and even wine.
What about the good stuff?
This is where prebiotics and probiotics come into play. By replenishing our gut with good bacteria found in probiotics we are able to rebuild and fend off invaders, whilst prebiotics help maintain an ideal environment for these bacteria to flourish.
What are prebiotics? They are essentially food for our probiotics. These include artichoke, onions, garlic, asparagus, oats…
Prebiotics are often overlooked by many who go out to buy an expensive probiotic supplement but neglect adding in prebiotic foods. This step is crucial in order to maintain a healthy microbiome. If the environment is not ideal these bacteria won’t want to stay for long and opportunistic bacteria can take over.
One of my favourite ways to boost gut health with myself and my clients is to include regular consumption of a variety of probiotic rich foods.
One of my favourites? Fermented Coconut Yogurt!
Check out the recipe below for an easy way to boost your gut health.
1 can coconut cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 probiotic capsules
Empty the coconut cream into the mason jar and stir well with a wooden spoon. Empty the probiotic capsules and vanilla extract into the jar and mix together. Cover the lid with a thin cloth or paper towel and elastic band. Let sit at room temperature for 24-48 hours. Once it is down fermenting store in the fridge for consumption!
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