Our Blog this week features ways to ease nausea, how to use Butterfly Pea Flower in your smoothies and second ferments and a Galactic Purple People Pleaser Cocktail to impress your friends.
What’s New At Happy Gut
Happy Gut continues to expand across Canada. I spent my week promoting Happy Gut DIY kits and grains to various health stores in Calgary and I had the pleasure of shooting a video about how water kefir helps with summer dehydration with Malcolm and the wonderful folks at The Light Cellar.
Check out the video that we shot about making water kefir with Coconut Water here.
We have also been working on something extra special for our friends at Nature’s Fare. Keep an eye out for our feature in The Good Life Magazine, and check out the previous blog post for more.
The Kootenay Herb Conference takes place this weekend in Winlaw BC and Happy Gut is proud to be a drink sponsor. Their line up of 26 teachers and 35 presenters means that it is going to be a stellar weekend! Check it out here.
Autoimmune Month- Nausea
Our final instalment for autoimmune month focuses on Nausea. Many of you provided feedback and report that you experience nausea directly from your medical condition, or as a result of the medications that you take to treat your symptoms.
Nausea is the sensation of unease and discomfort in the upper stomach. Along with nausea, individuals may also experience vomiting. We here at Happy Gut want to help!
How can water kefir help to tackle nausea? Though most of the research around probiotics and nausea are anecdotal, those reports should not be discounted. As we already know, water kefir is rich in probiotics, and probiotics are already used to help treat the symptoms of diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, or the side effects of chemotherapy drugs (often used in the treatment of autoimmune disorders) and work to build healthy flora in your gut. One study specifically states,
“The ability of the gut microbiota and oral probiotics to influence systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, glycemic control, tissue lipid content and even mood itself, may have important implications …”
Maintaining probiotic health is one of the best ways to combat nausea and gastric distress. One of the best things about water kefir is not only the high amounts of probiotics (1oz yields the same amount of probiotics as 8oz of yogurt), but it is also a liquid. This makes the probiotics easier and faster to absorb during an episode of nausea. Many medications strip away the good bacteria in our guts, but sometimes do not allow us to ingest other probiotic-rich foods or capsules, without the risk of vomiting them up before they are absorbed. A shot of first ferment water kefir alone may be enough to help combat symptoms, and aid in food digestion, further helping to decrease nausea symptoms, and the absorption of important nutrients. Also, don’t forget that having a healthy diet or probiotics helps to boost the immune system. The healthier your immune system, the less chance you will experience nausea as a side effect.
PRO TIP: If you experience chronic nausea and are just starting your Happy Gut water kefir journey, consider starting small. Starting with 1 to 2 ounces of water kefir per day is more than enough to start building your internal flora, while preventing any possible stomach upsets while your body adjusts to the new balance of flora in our gut. Slowly increase your intake every 3-4 days, and you should avoid any gastric upset all together.
Now for our favorite part of the newsletter, nausea battling foods.
Ginger- We all know and love our friend ginger. We have already talked about its amazing helping properties in other blog posts, but did you know that ginger is also helps relieve nausea? In a study of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, they found that as little as 1/4 of a teaspoon of ginger helped to cut nausea by 40%. Taken in conjunction with other anti-nausea medications, the National Cancer Institute of America states that took 1/4 to 1/2 of a teaspoon of ginger prior to their treatment reported back little to no nausea (1 to 2 points), while their counterparts who took a placebo reported moderate to severe nausea (4 to 5 points). We already love using ginger in our brews, and now you can use it to help combat your symptoms!
Peppermint- Peppermint has long been a nausea-fighting staple in most households, and deemed by research to be one of the best home remedies for fighting nausea. This herb is native to North American and can easily be found in grocery stores or at your local garden centre. Peppermint is a hearty herb so if you are prone to chronic nausea, growing your very own in your garden or in a pot makes it readily accessible to add to your water kefir brews!
PRO TIP: to get the most anti-nausea benefits from peppermint, be sure to gently bruise it (use your hands, or gently tap the leaves with the back of your knife), in order to release the nausea-fighting peppermint oils before adding it to your second ferment.
FAST FACT: the scent of peppermint oil can also help to combat nausea, so be sure to take some nice deep breaths while you bruise your mint, for an extra nausea-fighting boost!
Peppermint also contains measurable amounts of:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
Chamomile- Most of us already know that chamomile is excellent for relaxation and assisting with sleep. Chamazulene and alpha-bisoprolol are essential oils in chamomile, which give chamomile its calming effect, but did you know that they also effect the mucous membrane in the stomach and duodenum? This makes chamomile perfect for soothing an irritated stomach and help relax the surrounding muscles that often seize up during bouts of nausea and vomiting, giving further relief. It also helps relieve inflammation, making it a great partner in the fight against autoimmune disease. What an amazing little plant! Chamomile has a light, pleasing, floral flavor and aroma, making it an easy addition to your water kefir brews.
Papaya- Papaya melons have been used for centuries in Mexico and Central America to help combat stomach upset, nausea and gut inflammation. Papaya is a rich source of proteolytic enzymes, such as papain, chymopapain, cardician and glycyl endopeptidase, that can greatly aid in the digestive process. Papain specifically, helps break down proteins in food, making them easier to digest, which is of great value when you are experiencing nausea or vomiting. This allows you to absorb nutrients more quickly, in the hopes that digestion-related nausea will be less frequent. Papaya can also decrease the amount of gas present in the stomach and intestines, decreasing bloating and nausea that way. Papaya is a mild, low acid fruit with a slightly floral flavor and aroma. Another easy addition to your water kefir blends that is available at most grocery stores. Papaya is picked green and left to slowly ripen. Though green papaya is best for assisting in digestion, it is not palatable for most individuals, while ripe papaya is juicy and delicious and contains many more vitamins and minerals.
PRO TIP: trying to ripen your papaya? Wrap it in newspaper or place it in a paper bag for several days until the skin turns soft and yellow. Store the ripe papaya in your refrigerator to increase its longevity.
Coconut Water- Coconut water is just that, the water produced inside of a young coconut! This clear, slightly viscous liquid has a number of health benefits. Though coconut water itself can be a diuretic when consumed in large amounts, it is extremely beneficial for replacing electrolytes lost during bouts of vomiting, or when nausea makes it challenging to eat. It is also rich in potassium, healthy amounts of sodium, and easily absorbed carbohydrates, though it is still low in sugar and fat free! Coconut water is another mildly-flavored food. It is sweet, with a slight hint of coconut flavor, and easily mixes with any blend of water kefir.
FAST FACT: coconut water is the liquid inside of a young, green coconut, not to be confused with coconut milk or coconut cream, made from the flesh of the coconut! You can find coconut water at almost any grocery or convenience store. Make sure it is pure and has no added sugar.
Belly Bliss Blend Water Kefir- 2nd ferment
1-2 heaping teaspoons pea flower tea powder
5-8 pieces of candied ginger
3 sprigs of fresh bruised peppermint (gently tap with the back of your knife to release the natural oils)
1 teaspoon dried chamomile flowers
Blue Moon Nausea Smoothie
1-2 heaping teaspoons butterfly pea flower powder
1 cup spinach
2-3 sprigs peppermint
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1/2c fresh honeydew or papaya (also available in the freezer aisle)
1-2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon
1.5c first ferment water kefir
Galactic Purple People Pleaser
2 heaping teaspoons butterfly pea flower tea
2 cups boiling water
1/2oz fresh squeezed lime
6oz fizzy ginger water kefir-double the amount of ginger for this blend
2oz vodka (or your preferred spirits)
Optional: honey or simple syrup to taste for sweetness.
Mix pea flower with boiling water. Allow to cool. Use 2-3oz per cocktail.
PRO TIP: for a fun “outer space” effect, freeze the tea into cubes (add optional honey to taste for some sweetness) and crush. Top drink with the crushed blue ice, so that as it melts, your cocktail magically changes color!
Shake all remaining ingredients with ice, strain into your favorite glass. Add pea flower tea or top with pea flower crushed ice.
Garnish with culinary flowers or mint and a lime wedge.
PRO TIP: Butterfly pea flower tea is becoming a common ingredient in many brews these days. While many natural food stores or tea shops do carry butterfly pea flower tea, you can also easily purchase high quality, butterfly pea flower tea online. When we can’t find it locally, we purchase our flowers from amazon.ca. Cost is approximately $12 per 100g.
CUSTOMER QUESTION CORNER
Did you know that Happy Gut has an amazing FAQ section on our website? If you have any questions, check it out! FAQ not covering what you are looking for? Feel free to contact us. We are happy to help!
This week, we had an important query sent over:
Q: My grains have suddenly stopped working. They have been brewing perfect mixes, I am using all of the correct sugars and clean water, there hasn’t been any cross contamination. Did I kill my grains? Is there any way to bring them back to life? WHAT’S GOING ON WITH MY BABIES?
A: If you are using your grains continually, they become tired and need a rest. Put them into dormancy for a week of two in your fridge and by taking a break, they will come to life again once you start feeding them. Don’t we all need a holiday sometimes?
Happy Gut Brewer of the Month
Holistic Wellness Coach Kristyn Trickey has been thoroughly enjoying brewing Happy Gut water kefir and sharing her brewing journey with all of her followers on Instagram and Facebook. Her food creations are absolutely stunning! She recently launched her online coaching business and is keen to teach people about sustainable steps to vibrant health and well being. Check out her website kristyntrickey.com and follow her on Instagram @kristyntrickey and Facebook Kristyn Trickey Wellness Coaching
We will be doing something special for our July edition of the blog, to thank all of you for your incredible support! So be sure to tag all of your Happy Gut water kefir photos with #teamhappygut for a chance to be entered to win a cool little Happy Gut Perk!
We Want to Hear From You
We love our Happy Gut family, and that includes you! Please let us know if you have any questions or comments, or have suggestions or ideas of what you would like to see in the blog. We do this blog for you, so your feedback means everything to us!
You can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Facebook or Instagram @happygutpro.
Would you like your local health store or restaurant to sell Happy Gut products? Ask them.
Interested in listening to a Podcast about the inception of Happy Gut? Listen here.
Leeza and the Happy Gut team