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Raw foods

Raw Cultured Vegetables are Digestive Superfoods

Saturday, March 13, 2010 by: Heidi Fagley
Tags: raw foods, superfoods, health news

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(NewsTarget) For centuries raw fermented vegetables have provided medicinal properties throughout different cultures of the world. The mouth-watering zing that tickles the palate provides the perfect balance of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.

Maintaining proper acid-alkaline pH is essential for life and a state of well-being. Balancing your body terrain can increase longevity, control cravings, and create a harmonious environment for a smoothly functioning digestive system by increasing the good bacteria in the intestines.

Raw fermentation is live food with naturally occurring essential enzymes and lactobacillus ("friendly" bacteria) cultures. Many commercially cultured vegetables are heat-pasteurized, which can destroy beneficial bacteria. Making your own or purchasing freshly made raw will ensure you are getting the highest quality that will aid in supporting health and longevity. The existence of living lactobacilli in fermented foods enhances digestibility, as well as increases phytonutrients (disease preventing properties) and vitamin content. Lactobacilli and lactic acid (a natural preservative that inhibits pathogenic bacteria) promote healthy flora throughout the intestines, as well as help to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

There have been numerous digestive disturbances such as candida, peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, colic, a variety of food allergies, cystitis, and vaginal yeast infections - to name a few - that have received help and support from the beneficial bacteria that exist in raw cultured vegetables. These bacteria thereby assist the working of one's inner ecosystem at an optimum level. As a result, your immune system is stronger.

Cultured veggies are made by shredding or chopping cabbage, carrots, beets, garlic, onions, turnips, etc., and even certain fruits, adding a little good quality sea salt and/or sea veggies like Dulse or perhaps some caraway seeds, and massaging the mixture (approximately 10 minutes) to create juice, or brine. Pack tightly into a clean crock. Cover the mixture with a plate or some other lid that fits snugly inside to create an airtight environment, and place a clean weight (i.e., a quart mason jar filled with water) on top of the plate. This will force water out of the veggies and keep them submerged under the brine. Cover with a clean towel to keep dust and flies out. This container should be kept in a temperature environment of 59 - 71 degrees Fahrenheit anywhere from 3 - 7 days, and possibly longer depending on air temperature and your particular tastes. (The longer it ferments, the more zing you will experience.) During this time friendly bacteria multiply, converting the sugars and starches that naturally occur in the vegetables to lactic acid. Check every day or two and remove any surface mold; the kraut itself is safe under the anaerobic protection of the brine. When desired taste has been reached, scoop out into a covered jar and keep in the refrigerator.

Cultured veggies can be eaten with any meal and can be refrigerated for up to six months. They are less expensive than probiotics and contain essential enzymes and lactobacillus that are not depleted during shelf life.

http://www.earthincommon.com/cultured_03-art...
http://www.midvalleyvu.com/Raw_Sauerkraut.ht...
http://www.bodyecology.com/cveggies.php
http://www.sauerkraut.com/benefits.htm
http://www.rejuvenative.com/old/Book_Excerpt...
http://www.wildfermentation.com/resources.ph...

About the author

Heidi Fagley is a Holistic Nutritionist and has two culinary arts degrees - one in Raw, Living Foods and another in Natural Foods. Educating others about nutrition and the benefits of using whole foods to heal and prevent disease is her passion.



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