Our special June gut health issue, on newsstands now, is filled with tips, recipes, and stories to help you put science into practice.
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A couple of years ago, Executive Editor Ann Taylor Pittman fermented a quiet revolution in the Cooking Light office when she began sharing with colleagues a recipe for DIY kombucha, along with pieces of her SCOBY. The symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (a.k.a. SCOBY), also known as a mother, is a slimy disk that feeds on the sugar in tea to create carbon dioxide and multiply scores of bacteria.

The result: a fizzy, pleasantly sour brew with probiotic benefits. Like fermenting cabbage to make sauerkraut or kimchi, making kombucha taps into ancient culinary traditions of making food more “alive,” flavorful, nutritionally dense, and easily digestible. Bonus: The DIY route also saves money at the supermarket, where probiotics are now a $37 billion global industry.

Don't neglect this important component of a healthy lifestyle.

What’s fueling the category growth? Consumer interest—in the next frontier in nutrition science, the gut-brain connection, and how the trillions of bacteria that make up the human microbiome regulate so many bodily functions, from digestion to mental health.

Right now we know more about the solar system than we do about the gut, but emerging science tells us that a diet rich in probiotics and prebiotics (like fiber-rich vegetables) helps to feed and maintain a healthy gut microbiome. As writer Rene Ebersole puts it in “You Are What You Eat,” which we are publishing in partnership with the Food & Environment Reporting Network, “You are what you eat eats.”

Thus, our June, 2018 special gut health issue, produced by Food and Nutrition Director Brierley Horton and available at the grocery store now. A healthier diet is not a cure-all. Sleep matters; so do relationships and time spent outside. Still, it pays to listen to your gut.