Ask a Registered Dietitian: Sourdough & Gut Health
Meg Gerber is a functional medicine dietitian specializing in gut health, autoimmune and gluten free living. She is passionate about improving the quality of life in those with gut issues by melding individualized nutrition with stress management through her unique approach. Her upcoming cookbook ‘How To Glow Gluten Free’ based on her personal journey with autoimmunity is due out in November.
We sat down with Meg to ask her all about the benefits of sourdough bread and her tips for supporting gut health!
BS: What makes sourdough “good for your gut”?
MG: Sourdough goes through a slow fermentation process that results in a bread that is easier on the gut! The result has a higher bioavailability of nutrients and therefore vitamins and minerals in the food are easier for the body to digest and absorb (1).
Fun Fact: Bread SRSLY sourdough ferments for more than 12 hours!
BS: What are the benefits of eating sourdough bread vs. non-sourdough?
MG: Sourdough is generally better tolerated - especially by those with digestive issues as it doesn’t seem to cause the bloating or discomfort that typical bread can cause for many people. In addition, the slow fermentation process of making sourdough allows for a more absorbable food that your body can better reap the nutrients from (1,2). Generally, B vitamins and minerals are more readily absorbed from sourdough breads.
BS: What is your favorite way to support your gut health?
MG: Remembering my ‘Rule of 3’s’ breath work at meal times! This my unique method of hacking the nervous system to get the body into ‘rest and digest’ mode at mealtimes. Many of us eat on the go, too quickly or under higher levels of stress- this is a total disservice for our digestion! In a high stress state or one where we are on the go, we are in the activated, sympathetic mode of the nervous system where digestion is shut down. Our bodies need to be calm, sitting down and slowing down when we eat meals in order to optimize the breakdown and absorption of our food.
BS: What exactly is the Rule of 3’s?
MG: It’s the practice of taking 3 deep breaths, 3 times per meal. Starting at the beginning with your breaths and then stopping twice more during the meal to remind yourself to slow down and support healthy digestion and absorption. HOW you eat can matter just as much as WHAT you eat!
BS: Why do you eat and recommend Bread SRSLY?
MG: I love that Bread Srsly is a 100% safe gluten free bread for celiacs (I have celiac myself) and is a gluten free bread that actually tastes good! I spent many years after my diagnosis wasting money on expensive bread that tasted bad and/or had awful ingredients like refined sugar and processed vegetable oils. Bread SRSLY uses ingredients that I standby for myself and my clients!