Gut Health, Fertility and Fermented Foods by Charlotte Grand

Charlotte Grand is a registered Nutritional Therapist, fertility nutrition expert and creator of the popular Instagram channel @thefertilitykitchen where she shares her wholesome balanced approach alongside deliciously simple, everyday recipes. Charlotte has spent almost ten years specialising in preconception and fertility, and in her private practice supports her clients to transform their health in preparation for conception and pregnancy.


Gut health is central to overall health. Your body depends on a healthy gut function for nutrient absorption, healthy immune function, hormonal balance and detoxification.

Your gut houses your microbiome, which consists of trillions of bacteria. There is a strong connection between your gut, your microbiome and hormone health. When hormones have done their job, your body packages them up for safe elimination so they don’t continue to act. This is done primarily through the gut. Issues like constipation or an imbalance of gut bacteria (dysbiosis) can prevent your body from properly detoxifying and eliminating hormones, especially oestrogen.

This can lead to reabsorption and recirculation of oestrogen causing unpleasant symptoms like bloating, heavy periods, PMS and cyclical breast tenderness. Endometriosis and fibroids are oestrogen-dependent conditions and hormonal imbalances sit at the heart of PCOS, conditions that can all affect fertility. It is essential to move your bowels every day to remove the oestrogen your body no longer needs.

In The Fertility Kitchen, I cover gut health in detail, explaining how to recognise if your gut needs some TLC, and steps you can take to support yourself. Optimising gut health takes time and commitment but can be transformative and I share a five-step process to help restore balance. One of these steps is ‘repopulate’ and is focused on making a happy home for your gut bacteria. You can do this by:

Eating fibre. Aim for at least 30g of fibre every day. This should be easy to achieve if you make vegetables the foundation of your diet. Fibre acts as fuel for your gut bacteria. Soluble fibre, found in apples, oats, flaxseeds, chia seeds, psyllium and most vegetables, helps prevent constipation.

Striving for vegetable variety. The magic number for gut diversity is 30+ unique varieties of plants every week.

Including prebiotic foods. Prebiotic fibres provide food for beneficial bacteria. Good sources include apples, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, garlic, leeks and onions.

Eating fermented foods. Fermented foods are abundant in beneficial microbes and prebiotic fibres. Live yoghurt, kefir, kimchi and sauerkraut are all probiotic foods. Fermentation creates complex and intense flavours that can really perk up a meal!


5 easy ways to make fermented foods part of everyday eating

• Add a spoonful of Smoky Pink Kraut to a salad for a burst of colour

• Make a dressing for salad or veggies using Fermented Hot Sauce (see below)

• Spice up scrambled eggs or an omelette with a spoonful of Classic Spicy Kimchi or Fermented Hot Sauce

• Mix Fermented Hot Sauce into coconut yoghurt to use as a marinade for meat or fish

• Top a hot dog with a forkful of Classic Kraut


Spicy Cashew Dressing (makes 125ml/half a cup)


90g (⅓ cup) smooth cashew butter

60ml (¼ cup) warm filtered water

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 small garlic clove, crushed

1 tsp Eaten Alive Smoked Sriracha Fermented Hot Sauce

¼ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp sea salt

Pinch of cracked black pepper


1. Place the cashew butter, water, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, sriracha, onion powder, salt and black pepper in a small food processor and process until smooth.

2. Enjoy!

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