MedStar Health Dietitian Explains Gut Health

– You know, working for
your health tonight, we all know the importance of being active and staying healthy, especially paying close
attention to your heart health. – But, what about gut health?
Did you hear about this? – Yes, I heard. – Gut health? WMAR 2 News, Erin MacPherson talked with a registered
dietician who says, “It’s just as important.” And she shares some of the simple ways that we can all improve our health. – [Erin] All of these
bottles filled with Kombucha, a fermented tea, rich in
probiotics and antioxidants. – Our focus is really just on bringing healthier alternatives to the market and trying to make our
community healthier. – [Erin] Sid Sharma is the
co-founder of Wild Kombucha in Northwest Baltimore, who showed me how this process works. – We make tea. We use a fair trade organic
gunpowder green tea, just like you would on a stove at home. And then, we ferment it with
a symbiotic cultured bacteria in yeast, known as a scobay.
– [Erin] You heard him right. We all have naturally occurring
bacteria in our bodies, especially in our gut to help digest and process
foods, known as probiotics. – So when we process foods or antibiotics, which are meant to kill
bacteria and things like that, we need to replenish those. And Kombucha is kind of, you
know, a more tasty, fun way to replenish that naturally
occurring bacteria. – We need to be able to be
eating the right amount of those to make sure that our
gut is working properly. – [Erin] Michalea Gale
a registered dietician at MedStar Harbor Hospital, says Kombucha is a great way
to replenish that bacteria, so is any other fermented
foods, like yogurt or kimchi. – It plays a big role in things
like immunity, metabolism, and overall human behavior. – [Erin] She says prebiotics
are just as crucial, since they fuel probiotics. – All of our prebiotics are either fibers or non-digestible carbohydrates. So this is found in a lot of
whole fruits and vegetables. There’s a lot of interaction
between what we feed our gut and actually how our body
works and is able to fight off many types of diseases. – [Erin] So how much do you need? Well, Gale says it’s
different for each person. – Everyone’s GI tract
is very, very unique. It’s kind of like our own DNA. You know, it’s difficult to say exactly what one person needs versus the other. It’s really about a trial
and error type of process. – [Erin] She stresses since Kombucha is such a craze right now to
be cautious with what you buy. – You always wanna look
at the ingredients. And number one, you wanna
make sure it contains live and active cultures. But you also wanna take a look
at just the sugar content. You know, there’s some
Kombucha and yogurts out there that are extremely high in sugar. And it can actually almost be half of the sugar content
of something, like a soda. – [Erin] That’s something
the owner of Wild Kombucha, Adam Bufano, takes very seriously. He started this company
after making Kombucha and other fermented foods his whole life. – Our family was super healthy,
didn’t want to eat anything artificial and they push that on us. So we made our own, like,
sourdough bread, kefir. And my fridge looked pretty
crazy when we grew up. – [Erin] He continued brewing
Kombucha with no added sugar and only using organic
ingredients to avoid chemicals. – In this one, there’s ginger
juice and grapefruit juice and that’s it. – [Erin] They have a handful of flavors, like their seasonal brew
and the most popular. – You know, elderberries are
obviously rich in antioxidants. A lot of people try to consume
them during flu season, ’cause they, you know,
help the immune system. Our focus is on making
Kombucha and healthy products more approachable for everyone. – So what about what’s
bad for your gut health? Well, we touched on antibiotics
and processed foods. Michalea Gale, says
anything that you can find in a vending machine isn’t so great. Like these sugary drinks found right here and processed foods over here. She says avoiding these
will help your gut health and your overall health.