Gateway Foods to a Better Diet and a Happier YOU! Part 2: The Sours and the Sweets to Eat

By Deb Martín, Holistic Health Educator

What if adding two or three new foods to your plate and cup each day could improve your overall health and happiness in very noticeable ways…from your brain to your immune system? Using food as medicine is a form of Functional Medicine, and it is a foundational aspect of our natural medicine practice at Lotus Blossom Clinic, which includes working with a highly-respected lab to assess nutritional and gut health. This practical and successful approach can and does help reverse many illnesses. And, if you are looking for a more vibrant life and glowing skin…well, read on!

In this article, we cover two foods which are literally Gateways to Better Health and a Happier You. As they are consumed, they make changes in your body which help propel you forward to create a healthier lifestyle by changing your cravings, providing more energy, better immunity, mental clarity…and more!

#1 The POWER of Fermented, aka “Cultured” Foods

We have seen crazy-good health results, sometimes from a single bottle of Kombucha, or three pickles. You are bound to find one you really enjoy, and in a short period of time, you will find you like even more of them.

This is a BIG class of foods…there are many options. Taking that bold step to eat fermented foods and beverages daily can become the easy choice, and it gets easier and easier as the benefits accrue and your new, health-promoting gut microbes say “Give me more of THAT!!” Start with one. Start small. But START!

These foods have historically been part of basic home healthcare in every culture around the world. In America, we have largely forgotten them, and so we suffer too much. Fermented foods are an antidote to modern life with its stressors, chemicals and other environmental poisons. Fermented, aka “cultured” foods provide our intestines with symbiotic bacteria, called probiotics, which support our body to heal itself and remain healthy. They have proven to help reverse everything from cat allergies and headaches to mental wellness and cancer. Of course, all the digestive diseases benefit. This is a class of Gut-Healing 101 foods and drinks.

Why do fermented foods work so well?
We humans are far more bacteria, fungi and yeast than human DNA. We are in an amazing, symbiotic existence with these tiny microbes in our guts which help us produce compounds needed by our bodies, including serotonin (the “feel good” hormone) and providing us with the ability to regulate our metabolism and nervous system.

The ten-year, $170 Million Dollar “Human Microbiome Project” sponsored by the National Institutes of Health uncovered an unimaginable richness of information. New products, new sources of healing information poured forth! Data from those studies came “home” to Lotus Blossom Clinic as well, inspiring Dr. David Martín and Vickie Gelardi to work with a chemist to create a weight loss probiotic powder!

A deep dive on the Internet will provide you with thousands of serious research studies and fascinating articles about the power of our Microbiome to heal. And if we have damaged it through antibiotics, pesticides, drugs, processed foods, and other environmental contaminants, diseases and ills befall the body. The good news is we can use FERMENTED foods as a major tool to help recover and experience radiant health!

Here are a couple of Fermented Healings to whet your appetite:

  • In 2014, I personally experienced near-instant relief from a sinus infection, and it happened less than 45 minutes after consuming two heaping tablespoons of high-power, colorful, crunchy sauerkraut!
  • Recently, a neighbor had a serious chest infection. He had taken several courses of strong antibiotics…to no avail. He ate a quart of my sauerkraut over the course of a week, and finally regained his health.

There are many types of fermented foods you can buy or make. Our “go-to’s” are sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir and pickles. You can find those recipes in Dr. David & Vickie Gelardi’s “It’s Not Just a Cookbook”  (on sale at the clinic and in our online store).  Learn to make fermented foods for pennies by watching videos and listening to blogs from our Cultured Food Guru, Donna Schwenk ( Listen HER story! One of these foods literally saved her baby’s life.

#2 Raw Honey

Who doesn’t love honey?? All the bears love it. Early humans put themselves at great risk to acquire it high up in trees and caves. Why the strong attraction?

Honey has scarce and important nutrients. It is a densely- nutritious food. Check out this article on Honey for Health from a few years ago.

A few special items about honey which make it a Gateway Food are:

  • Honey carries the DNA of ancient bacteria, mostly lost to the modern human microbiome. We need the diversity of these ancient bacteria.
  • Honey has nearly all the B vitamins, including B-12 for ENERGY.
  • It contains enzymes to help us DIGEST –to access the nutrition in—our foods.
  • It has critical amino acids needed to make up the proteins which fuel our organs, muscles and central nervous system. These are needed to make up our nails, hair, blood and lymphatic fluids

In short, supporting your gut bacteria by eating honey, makes you more resilient on many levels!

QUALITY TIP: Buy RAW and REAL honey… not clear and pretty corn syrup which has been found labeled “honey” at some grocery stores. Buying from local farmers is a good way to support local and help ensure you’ve got the real gold.


Fermented, cultured foods and honey are highly-supportive of your friendly gut bacteria and other microbes. Science is proving over and over how important it is to have a diverse and balanced microbial environment to support all areas of mental, emotional, and physical health. It’s a true foundation of health which changes us from the inside out. These are, indeed, Gateway Foods to Greater Health and Happiness!

The final article in this series will reveal a most serious and delicious medicine. It is my last top-pick Gateway Food. It may surprise you because it is one of the world’s most beloved foods. Stay tuned!

Other articles in the series Gateway Foods to Greater Health and Happiness:
Article #1: The Power of Gateway Foods.

May Food be Your Medicine,

Dr. David and Deb Martin
Lotus Blossom Clinic

Serving the Greater Fort Myers area with Natural and Holistic Medicine, including Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Massage, Science-backed Food as Medicine, Laser Therapy, Energy & Transformational Sessions…and Community Classes & Events both Virtual and In-Person!

We are not M.D’s, Nutritionists, or Dieticians. Vickie Gelardi and Deb Martín are certified in the Conquering Any Disease, a High-Phytochemical Food Healing System, and they work under Dr. David Martín’s directions with his patients, helping them incorporate his dietary guidelines into their lives to improve health.