By now you have probably heard of the health benefits of probiotics. If you study health you will learn how crucially important the bacteria in your gut are to your health. The website Green Med Info has assembled an amazing list of more than 200 studies, which together explore more than 170 diseases which can be helped or treated with probiotics. The conditions include:
- Skin and Rash Problems
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Weight Gain
- And even the common cold!
Digestive microbiology has only just started to gain an understanding of our internal ecosystem, which is made up of somewhere between 500-1000 different species of bacteria.One thing’s for sure, though: these little critters play a massively important role in the maintenance of your health.
When they’re not happy, you won’t be either. Gut flora imbalance has been linked to all sorts of health problems, including immune deficiency, obesity, and diabetes. As this field of research continues to develop, I’m sure we’ll see an increasing body of evidence demonstrating that it’s absolutely essential to take care of our gut flora. One way, is to start using ProFlora from Helion Nutraceuticals, best probiotic we’ve seen on the market so far. Another option – make probiotic-rich fermented foods yourself.
Fermented Foods – Make Your Own
Around the World different cultures have been consuming fermented foods for years, from Sauerkraut in Germany to Kimchi in Korea. With the advances in technology and food preparation, the potency of these traditional foods has declined or is totally lost. The amount of probiotics and enzymes available in the average diet has declined sharply over the last few decades as pasteurized milk has replaced raw, pasteurized yogurt has replaced homemade, vinegar based pickles and sauerkraut have replaced traditional lacto-fermented versions…
One of the surest ways to make sure your foods contain probiotics is to make your own fermented foods at home! It’s not nearly as hard as you may think, and the results are well worth the effort. Besides, there’s something magical and empowering about creating your own food and health products. Our consumption-addicted society likes it when we value the convenience of shopping more highly than self-reliant freedom.
While the bounty with which the food and health product industry provides us is certainly something to be grateful for, it’s also nice to remind ourselves of this simple truth: we are fully capable of taking care of ourselves. So in the spirit of DIY healthy eating, here’s some probiotic-rich fermented foods that you can easily make at home. Most of these foods require minimal prep-work, and then you simply wait for the beneficial bacteria to work their magic.
- Sauerkraut is a classic and delicious fermented food that’s incredibly simple to make—and it’s packed with beneficial bacteria that will keep your microbiome strong and healthy.
Essentially, all that you need to make it is cabbage and salt (3 pounds of cabbage and 1.5 tablespoons of salt is a good ratio), as well as a mason jar or other fitting fermentation container.
- Pickled vegetables are another straightforward class of fermented foods. They also allow you to add lots of variety to your repertoire, because you can pickle pretty much any vegetable.
Try to avoid pickling recipes that call for sugar or whey (including inflammatory and health-sapping substances seems entirely beside the point). Instead, use salt or lemon juice.
- Yogurt is also incredibly easy to make (don’t let the fancy packaging of store-bought packaging fool you). Basically, you just combine a bit of your favorite pre-made yogurt with the milk type of your choice.
Remember that milk carries an assortment of potential health problems. Try making yogurt with coconut or almond milk instead, or at the very least, make sure that your cow’s milk is organic (and preferably raw).
- Kombucha preparation is a great hobby to take up if it’s your probiotic medium of choice (continually buying it from the store can get very expensive). Making kombucha is a bit more of an intensive process, but lots of people will tell you that’s it’s worth it. It’s a sort of alchemy – a relatively simple process with endless variations for you to play with.
You can learn exactly what teas, fruits, spices, and flavors you prefer. It’s also pretty neat to cultivate a connection with a living “mother culture.” You can get kombucha scoby here.
- Fermented juice is a healthy twist on a classic beverage.
Just remember that juices are processed as simple sugars by the body (which means they spike insulin and can lead to all the same nasty effects as processed sugar). Enriching them with probiotics certainly makes them more healthful, but you still shouldn’t go overboard.
- Drinking vinegars are highly medicinal, and once again, very easy to make. Apple cider vinegar has long been celebrated as an immune system tonic and natural cold remedy.
Drink them straight, or use them as ingredients in smoothies, juice blends, and salad dressings, so that even more of your diet becomes enriched with probiotics.
Now the real fun begins
Once you’re hooked on fermented foods, you’ll be happy to find that there’s a whole fermented foodie culture (no pun intended) awaiting your exploration. There’s seemingly no end to the delicious and interesting recipes that the community has created. Find your favorites (or make up your own), and integrate these incredible foods into your life for vibrant health and wellness.