Chen Ben Asher – Functional Nutrition – Silicon Valley – Probiotic foods – How to Ferment Your Food

Probiotic food isn’t widely heard term referring to foods. It is, even more, likely that an average person has no clue to what it refers and what makes them different from other foods.

What probiotics are

Probiotics, by definition, are “beneficial forms of gut bacteria that help stimulate the natural digestive juices and enzymes that keep our digestive organs functioning properly.”[1] Probiotic food has a lot of live bacterium that plays a big role in the overall state of the body. To obtain the needed complements, a person can choose either to eat probiotic foods or obtain probiotic supplements. Some studies suggest that probiotics also help to probiotics can help ease lactose intolerance. They also may help deal with “gas, diarrhea, and other digestive problems.”[2]

Some of the probiotics foods to add to your diet[1]

 

Yogurt

Yogurt is the most familiar source of probiotics or good bacteria in the gut.[3] However, not every yogurt contains probiotics. The most useful probiotics that can be found in yogurt are lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. The more strains of these bacteria there are, the better. This information can be easily found on the labels.

 

Kefir

It contains a high amount of lactobacilli and Bifidus bacteria. It is rich also in antioxidants.

 

Sauerkraut

It is a useful source to reduce allergy symptoms as well as it contains a high amount of B, A, E, and C.

 

Dark Chocolate

High-quality chocolate is proved to have probiotics in around 4-times higher consistency than in many dairy products.

 

Microalgae

This stands for different ocean plants like spirulina, blue-green algae, and chorella. They have a high amount of Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria traced in the digestive tract.

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Pickles

Green pickle is a good source for probiotics.

 

Kombucha tea

It is a fermented tea that has a lot of healthy gut bacteria. This tea has been used already for centuries and has an additional benefit like energy enhancement and for weight loss.

Probiotics with beneficial bacteria found in various supplements that can be easily added to food or taken separately on the daily basis. As one of them is FloraTrex™[4]. It contains 18 probiotic strains that make him a good support for the digestive and immune system. It also boosts the intestinal function. Supplements can come in pills, liquid, capsule and powder forms. It is suggested to consult a doctor first before taking any of them.

Natural News[5] also states that a method to ferment your food is becoming again topical. Mainly canning with glass jars and fermenting vegetables is done to prepare food for long winters. It helps to store the necessary food, mostly vegetables. It also allows having probiotic rich food available whenever needed much cheaper.

 

How to ferment your food

It is possible to ferment almost any food that contains a high amount of probiotics. One of the fermented dishes like in Korean traditional dish is Kimchi. Salt and liquid are the main things that will be necessary for fermentation. This process also doesn’t require cooking. It refers to any of probiotic foods. The process itself takes days up to weeks, but it pays off nicely. Regarding Kimchi fermentation particularly[6], you have to stuff the cabbage in the jar or jars depending on its size. Later you add salt that will take out all the liquid from the cabbage. You need to properly steal the jar. Then it needed to be taken to some darker and colder place to let the fermentation begin. It starts after few days.

This fermentation goes for several weeks, but anyone can taste it himself in the meantime and decide when Kimchi is ripe enough. Furthermore, almost any vegetables can be fermented in a similar way. Mainly these are sauerkraut and cucumber pickles. For fermentation process can also be added water and spices. In this case, it is needed to use a hammer or any other strong tool to squeeze the juices from the veggie that is about to get fermented. Normally it should be done at least for 10 minutes. During the fermentation process, lactic acid created as a part of natural process. It is easy to do.

However, there needs some attention, especially if someone wants to ferment beets. It is important that they wouldn’t be made in too small pieces as they contain a high level of sugar and can produce alcohol later. Also, there should be 1-2 inches of the space at the top. On the internet, it is possible to find also various other recipes for a more advanced level of fermentation. As one of them can be mentioned cultured salsa[7].

For fermentation of cultured salsa:

  • Four medium size tomatoes
  • Two small onions
  • 1-2 bell peppers with seeds
  • One jalapeno pepper with seeds
  • One bunch cilantro
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • One tablespoon sea salt
  • Four tablespoons whey
  • ¼ cup filtered water

Tomatoes need peeling. The easiest way how to do it is to drop them into boiling water for about 15 seconds. Furthermore, you put them in cold water, and the peels should be easy to take off. You need to chop and place the other ingredients in a clean mason jar. It is possible to use a spoon to press them down. Furthermore, pour water to cover the vegetables. Don’t forget to leave 1-2 inch head space. Additionally, it is better to leave at the room temperature for 2-3 days and later taken to a colder storage.

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Probiotic foods are valuable for any human body. They contain a high amount of good bacteria thus it is useful to make an effort to obtain foods that contain a high amount of them. The fermentation process can help you to use some of these foods throughout the year for much lower expenses. Your stomach and immune system will be thankful.

Reference:

[1] Probiotic foods. Accessed from: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/probiotic-foods/rel=”nofollow”

[2] When can probiotics help? Accessed from: http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/probiotics-benefits#1rel=”nofollow”

[3] The Truth About Probiotics and Your Gut. Accessed from: http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/probiotics-15/slideshow-probioticsrel=”nofollow”

[4] FloraTrex™. Accessed from: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/floratrex.htmlrel=”nofollow”

[5] Make your own fermented probiotic dense foods. Accessed from: http://www.naturalnews.com/033675_fermented_foods_probiotics.html#rel=”nofollow”

[6] How to Get Kimchi to Ferment. Accessed from: http://www.ehow.com/how_8724383_kimchi-ferment.htmlrel=”nofollow”

[7] Lacto-Fermentation: An Easier, Healthier, and More Sustainable Way to Preserve. Accessed from: http://www.simplebites.net/lacto-fermentation-an-easier-healthier-and-more-sustainable-way-to-preserve/rel=”nofollow”

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