What is a probiotic? Why are they so important?
Did you know that your gut is the center of your immune system? Your gut is also filled with millions and billions of bacteria that are constantly working to help break down the nutrients in the food you eat. Without these guys your nutrient absorption will be affected and so will your immune system. Do you think its important to have a strong immune system? I sure do!!!
We all know that antibiotics kill bacteria, good and bad ones, so especially after a course is it very important to replenish the good guys!!!
So how do I replenish good bacteria?
Well you have many options! There are a lot of probiotic supplements. Just google it and you will find many. There are a wide selection and prices.
How do you know which one to choose? And how do you know if they are even working?
Well I’m not really going to be much help there because I’ve tried a few in varying prices and never felt much of a difference. Some even made my stomach hurt.
It wasn’t until I tried cultured/fermented foods that I realized that my digestive system wasn’t up to par. That’s the seg-way to cultured/fermented foods!
So all fresh organic fruits and vegetables contain beneficial bacteria on their skin. When foods are cultured or fermented, these bacteria are allowed to proliferate. Sounds funky huh? Well I thought so too, but when I tried them… “OH MY GOD!!!” My world was changed!!! I never realized what I was missing! Or what it meant to feel good.
Our health is dependent on beneficial bacteria for our survival. Healthy flora keeps bad bacteria in-check!!! We NEED good bacteria to feel good:) Who doesn’t like to feel good? I think that is what we are always looking for.
So what exactly are these cultured/fermented foods you ask? Well here is a list of a few with a link to a recipe on how to make it yourself.
There are many wonderful books and blogs out there all about cultured vegetables. My first introduction to many of these was a book called “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon. She has a website called WestonAPrice.org. There is a quote in her book that always stayed with me. I’ll share it with you here: “Professor Zabel observed that sick people always lack digestive juices, not only during the acute phase of their illness but also for a longtime afterward. In addition, he never saw a cancer victim that had a healthy intestinal flora…. Thus, the different lacto-fermented foods are a valuable aid to the cancer patient. They are rich in vitamins and minerals and contain enzymes as well that cancer patients lack. Of particular value are lacto-fermented beets, which have a very favorable effect on disturbed cellular function. Many scientific studies have demonstrated that beets have a regenerating effect on the body.” ~Annelies Shoneck Des Crudites Toute L’Annee
Here is a great blog on the health benefits of fermented foods:)
Learning about all of this can be overwhelming at first, but take it one step at a time. I started with kombucha. I first started buying it at the store, until I found myself buying it almost daily and realizing I couldn’t keep spending so much, so I started making it myself. Then a while later, I wanted to make beet kvass. That’s what really opened up my world! Delightful:) Then I made my own yogurt with raw milk, delicious! Then I made gingered carrots and sauerkraut.
Lucky for you, you can actually find a lot of these already made for you at Whole Foods or Soothe Your Soul or your local health food store.
- Probiotics and the Immune System- What’s the Link? (janecolbourne.wordpress.com)
- Would You Eat Bacteria? In Fermented Foods, It’s Actually Healthy (hyalani.wordpress.com)
- Grow a healthy ‘gut garden’ (news4jax.com)
- Kombucha- the ‘new’ ancient wonder health drink? (lightninghealth.wordpress.com)
- Probiotics are all the rage, and experts say there are results behind the hype (dailyherald.com)