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The five K’s with Liz Earle
Liz Earle MBE is a multi-wellbeing-brand founder and is the Editor in Chief of Liz Earle Wellbeing magazine and the podcast host of The Liz Earle Wellbeing Show. She has written over 35 books on health, and promotes the need for a well-rounded approach when it comes to wellbeing.
Gut health is one of Liz’s major passions and her book The Good Gut Guide shines a spotlight on this topic. From pre- and probiotics to fermented foods (including the five k’s), The Good Gut Guide explains how to best address individual needs to promote optimal gut health.
Traditional kefir is made by fermenting cow’s milk with grains of bacteria and yeast. The finished product has a slightly sour taste and a bit of a fizz to it from the fermenting process.
Given the right conditions, the bacteria will multiply in the milk. It feeds on the milk sugars (lactose), meaning the sugar content of fermented milk is actually lower and also becomes virtually lactose free.
Kefir’s probiotic content can help aid digestion and alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome as it diversifies your gut bacteria. A genuine superfood!
Kraut originally comes from Germany and is usually made with fermented cabbage, white or red. The fermentation process produces lots of good bacteria, ready for us to eat.
Fermented foods like kraut, or sauerkraut to give it its full name, help reduce inflammation and problems with digestion. Good bacteria in our gut can even aid those with chronic digestive issues, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Sauerkraut also contains enzymes that help our bodies to break food down food. Smaller bits of food are more digestible and so help the body to absorb more nutrients
Kimchi is a Korean dish that’s low in fat and high in fibre. It’s ideal for improving our gut health.
Like kraut, kimchi is made with cabbage. Add salt, vinegar, garlic, chilli peppers and other spices for the finished product.
Kimchi contains a raft of probiotics, namely ones belonging to the Lactobacillus group, which are good for digestion.
By encouraging more antibodies in our blood, studies show this fermented superfood can help us ward off illness too.
The dough of kamut is full of prebiotic fibre that can help fertilise and feed the healthy bacteria in the gut. The process even mitigates the gluten allergens in the bread and can be much more gentle on our digestive system.
Kamut sourdough can help with digestion so make the swap from ordinary bread for a more gut-friendly alternative to reduce indigestion and gut health issues.
Mildly fizzy and slightly sour, Kombucha is made when a ‘scoby’ (which stands for ‘symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts’) is added to a sweetened tea and left for ten days to ferment.
Like in kefir, the microorganisms feed off the sweet content, meaning it’s a great alternative to sugary drinks. Tea is full of free-radical-fighting antioxidants and the yeast breaks down the sugars in the fermentation process.
The fermentation process also produces modest amounts of vitamins C, B, and B12. It’s an easy way to help boost your immune system and keep you better energised.