Me & Latia

Me & Latia
Partners @ Attitude = Performance

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Some Healthy Probiotic Foods

Yogurt-Avoid the sweetened, heavily processed yogurts, and instead go for unsweetened, plain, organic types of yogurt. And be sure the label says, “Live cultures”.

Kefir-A cultured milk product and is helpful to those with lactose intolerance. Kefir contains different types of beneficial bacteria than yogurt does, as well as beneficial yeasts. Kefir contains more bacterial strains that remain viable in the digestive system, increasing the likelihood of intestinal colonization.

Kombucha Tea-This tea is made from a culture of symbiotic beneficial bacteria and yeasts that has been popular in China for the last 2,000 years. Kombucha contains many important amino acids, B vitamins, and powerful substances that enhance the immune system. It’s also known to be effective against many cancers.

Kimchi (also spelled Kim Chee sometimes) -This traditional spicy Korean condiment is made of cabbage and other vegetables and seasoned with salt, garlic, ginger and chili peppers. Fermented vegetables make them easier to digest as well as increasing the vitamin levels. I like to have some Kimchi with my morning eggs for an extra probiotic boost.

Sauerkraut-This cabbage dish has been salted and lacto-fermented over a period of weeks. The healthy bacteria in sauerkraut produce beneficial enzymes as well as having antibiotic and anti-carcinogenic substances. Make sure it’s fresh and not canned sauerkraut which is likely to be “dead” from the heating during canning.

Miso-Miso is made from cultured paste of soybeans. Salt and water are the only other ingredients of natural miso. The enzymes break down and help to pre-digest the proteins, starches, and fats into amino acids, simple sugars and fatty acids. Miso is often used as a soup base but is great in sauces, marinades and dressings as well. Be aware that high temperatures in boiling will kill the beneficial microorganisms in true miso. Note that many miso soups found in the states actually use tofu and not miso. Only miso is the fermented version.

Tempeh-Another healthy form of fermented soybeans (generally soybeans are not a healthy food-unless they are fermented). This soy food is easier to digest and provides many valuable vitamins and nutrients, as well as protein, calcium and iron. The mold that is produced from the fermentation produces a natural antibiotic that strengthens the immune system.

Umeboshi-Salty, sour lacto-fermented pickled plums that originated in Japan. Umeboshi are highly alkaline and help to stimulate the digestive system, and promote elimination of toxins. They also possess natural antibiotic properties and are very beneficial for intestinal health.

Pickles-There are almost limitless varieties of lactofermented vegetables you can make using salt, temperature and a controlled environment. Most pickles purchased from the store, are made using vinegars and heat processing, which eliminates the beneficial bacteria and enzymes that result from natural fermentation--check the label if you want to find pickles that are actually fermented, which is rare to find.

Fermented drinks-Besides kombucha and kefir, there are beginning to be many fermented fruit and vegetable drinks showing up on the shelves of many healthy grocery stores and health food stores. One of my favorites is called, “Inner Eco” and can be purchased at Whole Foods and other healthy food stores. This product contains one of the highest concentrations of beneficial bacteria with over 100 billion probiotics per Tablespoon!

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