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Fermented foods

Eat a diet rich in fermented foods to help achieve optimal health

Saturday, September 29, 2012 by: Brad Chase
Tags: fermented foods, probiotics, health

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(NaturalNews) Beneficial microbes have been living inside the human gastrointestinal tract since the beginning of time, as they have been for all animals and insects. Eating a diet rich in fermented foods, which contain massive amounts of beneficial microbes, or probiotics, is essential for optimal health.

Unfortunately, ever since Louis Pasteur's work was promoted, the average person associates "bacteria" with germs that need to be killed. Medical science responded with antibiotics, but lately, "superbugs" have developed for which medical science has no answers.

Delicate probiotics are easily destroyed

Beneficial bacteria are more delicate than infectious or "bad" bacteria. It is easy to kill off beneficial bacteria through stress, sugar consumption, and chlorine in municipal drinking water. Antibiotics may or may not kill bad bacteria, but most definitely destroy strains of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

When beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, are killed off, opportunistic and pathogenic bacteria easily grow in their place. Yeast and fungi also grow prolifically in a gut environment that does not contain enough probiotics, causing uncomfortable yeast and fungal infections all over the body.

Probiotics are critical for optimal health and life itself

Probiotics create an inner ecosystem which communicates with the intestinal environment to transfer energy and nutrition throughout the body. They help produce Vitamin B, ward off parasites, help the body to assimilate proteins and fats, and are critically involved in immune support. Since the work of Nobel prize-winning biologist Elie Metchnikoff in the beginning of the 20th century, scientists have known that shifts in the microbial balance in the gut can either cause or eliminate disease.

The medical journal, Immunology and Cell Biology, explains that probiotics attach to enterocytes, the tall cells found in the mucosal lining of the small intestines which are responsible for final digestion and absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream. They block pathogens from entering the bloodstream by sheer numbers.

Probiotics also trigger signaling events on cell receptors that result in the manufacture of cytokines. Cytokines are the means in which cells communicate with one another. Certain probiotics neutralize cancer- causing nitrosamines, which may be found in people who eat a high protein diet.

Making homemade fermented food is the best way to get probiotics

Probiotic supplements can help, but most probiotics die before they reach the consumer. Making your own fermented foods and drinks is a much more reliable and less expensive way to add probiotics to any health protocol.

Just a few forms of fermented foods are sauerkraut, kombucha tea, kefir, yogurt, and kimchi. Any vegetable can be fermented, along with apples and several other fruits.

Fermenting is easy. Simply slice or chop fresh vegetables, submerge them in water, and add sea salt or "real salt." Tamp the vegetables down into a crock, cover, and leave them alone for several days. Spices and other flavorings may be added according to recipe. Several recipes suggest starting with five pounds of fresh vegetables and three tablespoons of salt for every gallon of fermented vegetables desired. Celery juice or seaweed can be substituted for salt.

Fermenting should be done in a ceramic crock or a wide mouth glass jar. Even food grade plastic containers can leech trace amounts of plastic into the fermenting vegetables. "Open container" fermenting works well for those without a crock, simply by placing a clean dish towel over the glass jar or mixing bowl.

The vegetables may begin to ferment in as few as three days, depending on the temperature in the room. The longer the vegetables are allowed to ferment, the tangier the recipe becomes. "Ripeness" is largely a matter of taste.

Sources:

Mail. Successmakers.com, "Probiotics 100 Years After Elie Metchnikoff," by Kingsley C. Anukam PhD, MHPM and Gregor Reid PhD, MBA, ARM, CCM
http://mail.successmakers.com

Pubmed.gov, Immunology and Cell Biology. 2000 Feb;78(1):80-8. "Survival and therapeutic potential of probiotic organisms with reference to Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium spp" Kailasapathy K, Chin J.

News-medical.net, "What are Cytokines"
http://www.news-medical.net/health/What-are-Cytokines.aspx

Wild Fermentation.com, "Vegetable Fermentation Further Simplified," by Wildadmin
http://www.wildfermentation.com/2012/04/

About the author:
Brad Chase is the President of ProgressiveHealth.com. His website provides articles and natural remedies to help people solve their health concerns.
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