Probiotics and Fabulous Ferments
Did you know the main way to boost your immune system is eating fermented foods daily and improving your digestive health. You may have heard or already have some knowledge regarding relatively new research on a condition called leaky gut. This is now considered a major cause a weakened immune system, increased food sensitivities/allergies and an underlying factor in ALL autoimmune disease
You need to think about increasing probiotics but also about eliminating things that kill off probiotics!
Things that are detrimental to probiotics
1. Stay away from the toxicity of tap water that contains fluoride and chlorine. If this is your only option at least boil the water before you drink it. Chemicals are added to the water to keep it bacteria free - think about what it is doing to your resident bacteria when you only drink tap water.
2. Be careful of taking antibiotic medications. These are necessary at times but do not use them as a first port of call for every illness. Too gain immunity to certain bugs your body sometimes needs space to fight for itself. Yes; being sick is inconvenient and definitely not how you want to spend your time but using natural antibiotics like garlic, apple cider vinegar, grape-seed extract are are good starting point in fighting infection fast. Misuse of antibiotics is the leading cause of probiotic's getting wipe out today. Here is a link to how to Recover your Gut Health after antibiotics
3. Consuming too much sugar can cause bad bacteria to feed, which actually imbalances the good and bad bacteria in your body. High sugar intake is well-known to cause or prevent healing from most modern day illnesses
Immune System Boosters: Probiotic Foods
Kombucha — Kombucha is an effervescent fermentation of black or green tea that’s started by using a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). Kombucha has made for thousands of years, originating around Japan. Multiple claims have been made about kombucha, but its main health benefits include increased energy, liver detoxification and digestive support.
Thank you so much to Good Buzz Kombucha for sponsoring the Mount Taranaki Ascending Project - The team thought this would make the perfect mid morning or afternoon pick me up or even as a champagne/wine/beer alternative if you are looking at reducing your alcohol intake.
Probiotic beverages, like apple cider vinegar, water and coconut kefir — Made by fermenting the juice of young coconuts or water with water kefir grains, this dairy-free option for kefir has some similar probiotics as dairy kefir but is typically not as high in probiotics. Still, it has several strains that are great for your health. Smoothie recipe for Gut Love.
Kvass is a common fermented beverage in Eastern Europe. It was traditionally made by fermenting rye or barley but in more recently has been made using beets along with other root vegetables like carrots. Kvass uses lactobacilli probiotics, tastes slightly sour and is known for its blood- and liver-cleansing properties.
Sauerkraut and kimchi — Made from fermented cabbage and other vegetables, sauerkraut isn’t diverse in probiotics but is high in organic acids (what gives food its sour taste) that support the growth of good bacteria. Kimchi is a cousin to sauerkraut and is the Korean take on cultured veggies - if you love a good chilli hit you'll love this! Both are high in enzymes that can facilate digestion.
Thank you so much to Be Nourished for sponsoring the Mount Taranaki Ascending Project! Many of the team had never tried sauerkraut before so this is the perfect product to try if you are hesitant about making your own. Its rare to go a day without this incorporated into a meal at our house. Remember you only need a tablespoon per meal!
Milk Kefir — Milk Kefir is like tangy yogurt - it is made by adding kefir grain (not grains at all - but bacteria colonies)to raw milk. It contains anywhere from 10 to 34 strains of probiotics depending on the grain. Kefir is similar to yogurt, but because it’s fermented with yeast and more bacteria, the final product is higher in probiotics.
Yoghurt is another great probiotic but the problem is there is a large variation of the quality of yogurts on the market today. If purchasing you need to look for an organic variety with no added sugars, colours, flavours and contains live cultures. Coconut yoghurt is a delicious and excellent alternative for people who are intolerant or choice to avoid dairy products. Here is a link to a recipe for Coconut yoghurt
Thank you so much to Raglan Coconut Yoghurt for sponsoring the Mount Taranaki Ascending project. The team loved the sample packets and most of them went down the hatch straight after the intense Spin class at rampage. General consensus was Mango was the favourite flavour. Try them out and see what's yours!
Natto — Popular in Japan and is made by fermenting soybeans, it typically contains the probiotic bacillus subtilis, which has been proven to boost your immune system, support cardiovascular health and increase digestion of vitamin K2. Natto contains a anti-inflammatory enzyme called nattokinase that has been shown to fight cancer.
I realize that for many people having to think about making their own fermented foods its just not achievable in their already busy lives so take a moment over the weekend to check out your local farmers market or health food shop. Here is a link on Practical ways to Incorporate Ferments daily.
There are some incredible companies out there who make some seriously delicious and authentic fermented products.
Products that I use and happily recommend are:
Sauerkraut/Kimchi - http://benourished.co.nz/
Coconut Yoghurt - raglancoconutyoghurt.co.nz,
Coconut Kefir - http://www.thekefircompany.co.nz/
Apple cider vinegar - http://chantalorganics.co.nz/raw-apple-cider-vinegar-2/
Look for them at your local supermarket or health food store!
I would love to see how you incorporate ferments into your meals/snacks so upload your pictures to the Revitalizeme_Laura Warren facebook page or
tag @revitalizeme _laurawarren on Instagram.
You could win 4 Raglan Coconut Yoghurt Yoghinis - Mango and Natural, a jar of Be Nourished Rudy Red Sauerkraut and a Good Buzz Kombucha - Lemon Ginger Flavour.
Winner drawn on the 14th April.