Thursday, April 11, 2013

Healthy Bacteria

They say there are about 100 trillion bacteria in your gut!

So for a healthy digestive tract it makes sense to improve the ration of good bacteria to crowd out the bad bacteria.  This is done through foods and supplements that contain probiotics (various types of healthy bacteria).

Probiotics, which include lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, keep the lining of the colon healthy and may improve gut motility and sensation. While much of the research has centered on intestinal health, studies point to potential positive effects on the mouth and stomach, too.

Where do you find these good bacteria? 
Of course, you can easily go to your health food store and purchase capsules or powders containing healthy bacteria (probiotics), but i thought i would share with you some other ways to get healthy bacteria in to your body through foods.

  • MISO - my favorite miso paste is made by Cold Mountain.  They make a RAW, UNPASTEURIZED paste which i make into a salad dressing and of course miso soup.  
Pasteurized miso paste does NOT contain beneficial bacteria.

This miso dressed salad recipe comes from my cookbook .  For the recipe click here.

  • YOGURT - of course we probably all know that yogurt contains probiotics or healthy bacteria, but what does someone do when avoiding dairy products?
This is just one example of a cultured yogurt which is made from coconut milk instead of cow's milk. Find out more here

These yogurts are great as a snack or in a smoothie!

  • CULTURED VEGGIES like sauerkraut 
Cultured vegetables, like sauerkraut are found in the refrigerated section of your health food store.  Pasteurized sauerkraut you buy in the supermarkets does NOT contain any enzymes or friendly bacteria.

I personally eat some everyday and i really love how i feel after eating it !

You could think of the friendly bacteria in raw cultured vegetables as little enzyme powerhouses.  By eating the vegetables, you will maintain your own enzyme reserve and use it to eliminate toxins, rejuvenate your cells, and strengthen your immune system – which all add up to a longer, healthier life.

For a list of of other cultured vegetables visit this website

This year's hottest cool beverage is a fizzy, fermented drink with a tangy taste and a strange name!

Kombucha (pronounced kom-BOO-cha) is the latest elixir to elicit claims of a stunning array of health benefits, everything from improving digestion and immunity to lowering cholesterol and fighting cancer.

Kombucha can be traced back to ancient China where it was worshipped as a remedy for immortality. According to lore, the tea was introduced to Japan by a Korean physician named Dr. Kombu who gave the bacteria-laden liquid to a Japanese emperor as a healing tonic.

I personally start my day with a glass of kombucha tea and really enjoy this brand.  It tastes sort of like a flat gingerale but others say its more tart...try some and let me know what you think!

  • BIO-K
This is a great probiotic drink.
This company now makes dairy-free version made from organic rice.
It contains 2 probiotics and approx. 50 billion active bacteria per container.

You can easily find this at any health food store...just make sure to purchase the dairy free version for those avoiding dairy products.

For more information on Bio-K click here

Try some of the above products and let me know which ones you like!