Probiotics and Fermentation

     Fermented food is nasty!  It's gone bad!  It's rotten!  These are the words out of my son's mouth.  He won't even try anything that is fermented.  I make my own sauerkraut, and he thinks it's disgusting.  I personally think it is delicious!  I have been adding it to my salads for an extra kick.

     So what is up with all these people in other countries that eat fermented foods.  Asian countries have been eating kimchi for decades.  I remember picking up some kimchi for my brother one day from the Asian market, and it exploded in my car!  LOL  Ooooops!

     Why should we eat fermented foods?  Here are eight reasons:

     1. Restores the good bacteria in your gut.
     2. Improves anxiety and depression.
     3. Improves digestion
     4. Rich in enzymes
     5. Easy and cheap!
     6. Absorb nutrients from your food.
     7. Increase vitamin content.
     8. Flavors are more intense.  So delicious!

     With all our processed foods that we have on the market today, and the depletion of the nutrients from our soil it is important to eat foods that are good for our gut.  It is important to get our guts healthy so that the outside of our bodies will be healthy. If you incorporate fermented foods and probiotics into your diet to make your gut healthy, your immune system becomes healthier.  I can't remember the last time I had a cold or even a sore throat for that matter.  I wasn't going to get a flu shot this year, but I recently got hired on with the local hospital here and they require it, but I have been vegan since last January and so far so good with staying healthy.  A healthy gut will also help skin problems such as acne and eczema.

     What are some ways or some probiotics that are good for you?  I don't really have any suggestions for probiotices, because I eat whole foods and fermented foods.  The less pills I have to take the better.  I have made sauerkraut though, and have enjoyed that experience.   I'm going to try to do some other kinds of vegetables as you can use almost anything i.e. carrots, zucchini, onions, even squash!  From the videos that I have found on Youtube the squash turns out a bit squishy, so that might be an issue for me.  lol  Here is a link to that video: 

     One of my favorite beverages that I like to buy is kombucha.  It is a fermented tea.  It's quite expensive so I only buy it occasionally when I go to the Boise Coop or Trader Joes.  My favorite flavor is guava.  It tastes like grapefruit.  You can also make your own, but you have to find someone with a scoby or buy one online.  A scoby is a bacterial culture that helps produce probiotic enzymes.  Here is a video that explains it well.  I think for right now, I will just buy mine.  I am going to try my hand at yogurt making since my I Pot has a yogurt feature. I will let you know how that goes!  If you just can't get past the thought of eating "rotten" foods, then go to a health food store and see what you can find out about which probiotic is a good one.  They are in the refrigerated section, and some are shelf safe.  Probiotics are quite expensive which is a good reason to try your hand at fermenting as it's cheap.  Just a note, the sauerkraut that you buy at the regular grocery store is not fermented.  It won't do much for you, but it does taste good.  If you have any experiences with this, let me know what you think and how it turned out.  Good luck!
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