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28 Day Real Food Challange: Day 12 - Get Your (Good) Bacteria

Posted Feb 14 2010 12:00am
This is the challenge that I'm trying to incorporate into my lifestyle. Consuming yogurt and kefir, making naturally pickled vegetables such as kimchi are just some of the naturally fermented foods that I'm eating. But there's a problem. I couldn't find my supplier for kefir. I'm supposed to ask him for some kefir grains so I could make my own milk, water or coconut kefir. Because of that I don't have any supplies of milk kefir. Where did he go? Did he change his mobile number? I have no idea. But I could visit him at Salcedo Market on Saturdays. And there's another supplier of kefir and kombucha but she's not responding. The problem here in the Philippines is that when you have inquiries, it's either they don't reply to your email or they don't call you back. Oh well, I'm expecting they will show up at right time.

If you want to incorporate healthy foods into your diet, this is the challenge that you need to do.

Here's day 12's post (Get Your Good Bacteria) from Nourished Kitchen.

Beneficial bacteria play a critical role in health; they work with our DNA to keep pathogens at bay, they help to synthesize vitamins in the intestinal tract, keep the intestinal tract healthy and otherwise benefit overall of your body. Indeed, without them, you'd die.

Traditionally, the foods people enjoyed were rich in beneficial bacteria: fresh raw milk, yogurt, kefir, small beers, unpasteurized wine, fermented vegetables; moreover, products like hand sanitizer, antibacterial dish and tissues had not yet been invented. Babies were birthed at home, naturally and breastfed until weaning, all of which help to contribute to an ideal and diverse profile of beneficial intestinal microflora.

Not only do the mere presence of beneficial bacteria in our foods help to improve our health, but also, you should note that the actual practice of natural fermentation - in which those friendly bacteria are given the ideal environment to proliferate - improves the nutrient profile of many foods. For instance, the folate, biotin and riboflavin content of milk increases when it's been subjected to fermentation - depending on the strains of bacteria used.

One of the best improvements you can make to your and your family's diets is by increasing the number of naturally fermented, probiotic foods you regularly consume and by making sure that these foods are of the highest quality. Learn more about lactic acid fermentation and its benefits to food.

Fortunately fermentation is quite easy: vegetables are easily fermented with a bit of unrefined salt and, occasionally, a starter culture; milk is easily fermented with a starter culture and you can even make wholesome, natural substitutes for sodas with water kefir and kombucha.

So, today, your assignment is to make sure you eat a naturally fermented food - one that is rich in beneficial bacteria. Perhaps you'll pick yogurt or kefir, real sauerkraut or naturally fermented sour pickles. If you haven't much in your house, hit up the health food store and pick up a bottle of kombucha (don't drink more than 4 ounces at a time, if you're just beginning). In the beginning of next week, we'll take a better look at probiotic foods: making cultured milk products, probiotic beverages and naturally pickled vegetables.

Day #13 Checklist:

Enjoy a food naturally rich in beneficial bacteria: In our home, we include a small amount of fermented food with almost every meal. For the rest of the challenge, make sure you do your best to incorporate naturally fermented foods regularly into your menu plans.
  • Yogurt
  • Water Kefir
  • Kombucha

Further Reading:
More about beneficial bacteria:
Do you make your own kefir, kombucha or naturally fermented vegetables? Share your experience below and let me learn from you.

Love and light,

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