Be honest, when you read this title, you questioned my sanity a little.
Hear me out.
I just got back from spending 2 days in NYC for a leadership & self-development course at Next Jump. Part of the curriculum was led by a 3-Star Michelin Chef. His goal – to increase the mental clarity and decision making ability of todays leaders by improving their gut health.
The premise goes like this:
Have you ever ate bad food and then been in a mental fog or bad mood?
Have you ever been so stressed out that you had GI distress?
If you are a leader (and we all are, in some way or fashion, whether its work, parenting, etc) … how good of decisions are being made during those two scenarios above? Not ideal ones, that’s for sure.
Next, in order to be a great leader, you need to have a clear mind. A major part of having a clear mind is eating well, and a major source of this is fermented foods.
How much of your diet should it be?
This helps keep the good bacteria in our gut in charge. A diet low in fermented foods can lead to the bad bacteria taking over. When good bacteria runs the show, the brain can function at a higher level.
This is known as the “brain-gut axis” and it’s being proven in research about how the two are connected. Here’s a quick blurb if you are interested:
The gut-brain axis (GBA) consists of bidirectional communication between the central and the enteric nervous system, linking emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with peripheral intestinal functions. Recent advances in research have described the importance of gut microbiota in influencing these interactions.
What are some fermented foods?
- Kombucha (watch for added sugar)
- Probiotic yogurt
Lastly, how do fermented foods help you recover faster from your workout?
They help reduce inflammation markers in your body! Soreness is inflammation, so any way you can reduce systemic inflammation you are helping your recovery ability.
How do we – The Olson’s – implement fermented foods?
- Cabbage a couple nights a week (sauteed, with olive oil, good to go!)
- Kombucha (currently about to experiment with making it at home)
- Miso (going to add this in as a steak marinade)
Take some time after reading this article and think about how you can implement fermented foods into your diet and routine!