Boost your health to a greater level with a great natural Probiotic

Last year I started experiencing the odd bout of anxiety. This was a particularly foreign feeling to me so I had a sense that something in my body wasn’t quite right. Around the same time I observed both digestive issues (bloating, general discomfort) and brain fog/memory loss and was subsequently tested for a candida overgrowth. Testing positive I was put on a diet to improve my gut health and each of the above symptoms disappeared, including the anxiety.

It’s fascinating isn’t it, how our bodies have a way of telling us exactly what we need to know. Is it time then to consider your own gut health?

By Amy Crawford, Source

http://secretenergy.com/news/prebiotics-probiotics-for-your-gut-health/

 

Your gut health is critical

The health of your gut is extremely important to your overall well being. It’s a place where a helluva lot is going on, and rightly so – it has a profound impact on far more than how much dessert you can fit in after dinner. So much so in fact that the gut is often referred to as the ‘second brain.

This is because it’s responsible for some very critical functions in your digestive and immune systems. The presence of what’s called ‘good bacteria’ actually enhance your health, greatly improving things like your hormone regulation, nutrient absorption, digestion, immune system strength and your body’s ability to eliminate toxins.

As we now know, the gut also influences your mental health. The gut contains an Enteric Nervous System that communicates with your Central Nervous System, which triggers mood changes. It means depression, anxiety, memory loss and other cognitive functions can all be caused by your gut.

All disease begins in the gut.
– Hippocrates.

Don’t you find that refreshing? The notion that by simply changing what you put on the end of your fork (or spoon) each day you can better your mental health?

The good news is that it’s actually quite easy to maintain a healthy gut and keep all of these bodily functions in tip top shape.

The answer? Increase your levels of good bacteria. How do you do that? With probiotics.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are microorganisms found in bacteria, yeast and fungi that keep your digestive system happy and running at it’s best. It’s the good bacteria I’ve been talking about that your gut needs to keep everything running smoothly.

If you’ve ever seen an advertisement for yoghurt where they talk about how much good bacteria it contains, they’re talking about probiotics. This ‘living’ bacteria is generally found in cultured or fermented foods. Apart from yoghurt, this includes things like buttermilk, aged cheeses, sourdough bread, miso, tempeh and the drink kombucha.

Next time you look at a tub of yoghurt, look out for guys like lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium lactis – they’re your friendly neighbourhood probiotics.

Using probiotics help you to:

  • Boost your body’s immune system by protecting it against harmful bacteria
  • Assist you to digest and process your food without bloating or gas (my personal favourite)
  • Restore your body’s natural balance after a stint on antibiotics, which tend to kill a lot of good bacteria in your system
  • Help your body absorb all the nutrients and good stuff it needs from what you eat

To improve your gut health, consume probiotic foods like the above 1-2 times a day, and/or take a daily supplement (I take a Bioceuticals supplement every day). You should start to see an improvement in a week or two.

 

What about prebiotics?

Prebiotics on the other hand, are non-digestible food fibres found in specific foods that give good bacteria (like those probiotics) a helping hand to be more effective.

If you imagine probiotics are plants, then prebiotics are the soil. They provide a stimulating environment that helps the good bacteria grow and have a bigger impact on your digestive tract. For probiotics to do their thing, they need a healthy level of prebiotics around to feed them.

Prebiotic foods are a little easier to include in a healthy diet than probiotic foods (in my opinion), so to improve your gut health I’d recommend trying to incorporate them into your eating naturally, before looking at supplements. Here’s a list of foods that are rich in prebiotic goodness:

  • Garlic
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Skin of apples
  • Onions, leeks and celery
  • Legumes
  • Chicory root
  • Rye, barley and whole oats

Image result for apples       Image result for onions leeks celery     Image result for rye barley oats

Combining probiotic and prebiotic rich foods in your diet can allay many mental and physical health related issues and support your health and wellbeing long term. Perhaps this is the prompt you need to make your gut health a priority.

Also from our store: The Friendly Bacteria Replenisher supplement is comprised of 3 probiotic species (that’s the good kind of bacteria) – Lactobacillus Helveticus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, and Bifidobacterium Longum. These shelf-stable bacteria cultures do not require refrigeration and are capable of surviving the harsh environs of your stomach, reaching the lower intestines where they can flourish and do the most good.

Available in South Africa, from BIO-SIL :

 

Kombucha’s benefi

7 Reasons to Drink Kombucha Every Day

reasons to drink kombucha every day title

Please note, BIO-SIL does not sell kombuha or cultures

What is Kombucha?

Known as the “Immortal Health Elixir” by the Chinese and originating in the Far East around 2,000 years ago, kombucha is a beverage with tremendous health benefits.

Kombucha is a fermented beverage of black tea and sugar (from various sources including cane sugar, fruit or honey) that’s used as a functional food. It contains a colony of bacteria and yeast that are responsible for initiating the fermentation process once combined with sugar. After being fermented, kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, b-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic and lactic), which are tied with the following effects:

The sugar-tea solution is fermented by bacteria and yeast commonly known as aSCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). Although it’s usually made with black tea, kombucha can also be made with green tea too.

You can make kombucha yourself at home or buy it for $3–$5 a bottle at most health food stores and some coffee shops.


Beneficial Probiotics in Kombucha 

An article published in the journal Food Microbiology established that the following probiotics make up this health elixir:

  • Gluconacetobacter (>85 percent in most samples)
  • Acetobacter (<2 percent)
  • Lactobacillus (up to 30 percent in some samples)
  • Zygosaccharomyces (>95 percent)

Ultimately, this cocktail of good bacteria interact together in a unique way to produce some unbelievable health benefits for those who drink it.

Health Benefits of Kombucha Infograph diagram


7 Kombucha Health Benefits

In research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food 2014, researchers from the University of Latvia say the following about the health benefits of kombucha:

It is shown that [kombucha] can efficiently act in health preservation and recovery due to four main properties: detoxification, anti-oxidation, energizing potencies, and promotion of boosting immunity.

We agree! In fact, according to research there are five main health benefits of kombucha.


#1 Detoxification — The detoxifying capacity of kombucha is immense. A perfect example is in its ability to counteract liver cell toxicity.

In one study, the liver cells were protected from oxidative injury and actually maintained their normal physiology, in spite of being exposed to a toxin! According to researchers, this was “probably due to its antioxidant activity and could be beneficial against liver diseases, where oxidative stress is known to play a crucial role.”


Digestive system

#2 Digestion — Naturally, the antioxidant prowess of this ancient tea counteracts free radicals that create mayhem in the digestive system. However, the greatest reason kombucha supports digestion is because of its high levels of beneficial acid, probiotics and enzymes.

Some research has shown kombucha’s ability to prevent and heal leaky gut and stomach ulcers. No surprise to us, in some instances it’s even proven to be as effective as drugs like Prilosec, which are commonly prescribed for heartburn, GERD and ulcers.

Kombucha can also help heal candida yeast from overpopulating within the gut because it helps restore balance to the digestive system. Kombucha is a great way to fight candida because it contains live probiotic cultures that help the gut to repopulate with good bacteria while crowding out the candida yeast. Kombucha does have bacteria, but these are not harmful pathogen bacteria, instead they are the beneficial kind (called “apathogens”) that compete with “bad” pathogen bacteria in the gut and digestive tract.

One thing to mention here is that candida or other digestive problems can sometimes be complicated issues to fix and symptoms might actually get worse before getting better. This doesn’t mean that kombucha isn’t effective or is exacerbating the problem, just that gut problems aren’t always a straight path to healing and at times some patience or trial and error is needed.


#3 Energy — Kombucha’s ability to invigorate people is credited to the formation ofiron that is released from the black tea during the fermentation process. It also contains some caffeine (although in very small amounts) and b-vitamins, which can energize the body.

Through a special process known as chelation, the iron released helps boost blood hemoglobin, improving oxygen supply to tissues and stimulating the energy-producing process at the cellular level. In other words, by helping the body create more energy (ATP), the ancient tea can help those who regularly drink it stay energized.


#4 Immune Health — The overall effect that kombucha has to modulate the immune system is best seen in its ability to control free radicals through antioxidant measures.

Clinically proven to decrease oxidative stress and related immuno-suppression, a powerful antioxidant known as D-saccharic acid-1, 4-lactone (DSL) was discovered during the kombucha fermentation process that’s not found in black tea alone.

Scientists suspect that DSL and the vitamin C present in kombucha are its main secrets in protecting against cell damage, inflammatory diseases, tumors and overall depression of the immune system. Also, we know the probiotics found in kombucha support the immune system.


Joint Health, knee pain, arthritis

#5 Joint Care — Kombucha can help heal, repair and prevent joint damage in a number of ways. Kombucha is loaded with glucosamines, which increase synovial hyaluronic acid production. This supports the preservation of collagen and prevents arthritic pain. In the same way it supports joint collagen, it also supports collagen of the entire body and reduces the appearance of wrinkles on the skin.


#6 Cancer Prevention — Kombucha is also beneficial for cancer prevention and recovery. A study published in Cancer Letters found that consuming glucaric acid found in kombucha reduced the risk of cancer in humans.

President Reagan even reportedly drank kombucha daily as part of his regimen to battle stomach cancer.


Weight Loss

#7 Weight Loss — Data from a study in 2005 showed evidence that kombucha improves metabolism and limits fat accumulation. Though we need to see more studies before we can confirm these results, it makes sense that kombucha supports weight loss since it’s high in acetic acid (just like apple cider vinegar is) and polyphenols, which are proven to help increase weight loss.


How to Make Kombucha

Kombucha is simple to make yourself, and because it can be a bit costly to buy bottled kombucha almost every day, we recommend you give it a shot.

Here is a simple recipe for making your own kombucha at home. This recipe makes about eight cups of kombucha, but you can also double the recipe to make more and you still only need one SCOBY disk.


Kombucha Recipe

kombucha tea

Yields: 8 cups

You need:

  • 1 large glass/metal jar or bowl that has a wide opening. You want to avoid using a plastic jar or bowl because the chemicals in the plastic can leach into the kombucha during the fermentation period. It’s also possible that ceramic pots might cause lead to leach into the kombucha once the acid comes into contact with the ceramic glaze. Look for a big metal or glass jug/jar/bowl online or in large kitchen stores, and make sure the opening is wide enough to allow a lot of oxygen to reach the kombucha while it ferments.
  • 1 large piece of cloth or dish towel to secure around the opening of the jar with a rubber band. It’s not recommended to use a cheese cloth since this allows particles to pass through. You can even try using an old thin cotton t-shirt or some simple cotton fabric from any textile store.
  • 1 SCOBY disk. You will need to purchase a “SCOBY” disk and can find one either in health food stores or online at very inexpensive prices. A SCOBY disk can be vacuumed-sealed in a small pouch and shipped directly to your house for only a few dollars, while still preserving all of the active yeast ingredients.
  • 8 cups of water (preferably filtered, but people who use tap water feel this works fine too). Some prefer using distilled water which will contain less contaminants or metals than tap water will. Distilled water is inexpensive (only like 88 cents a gallon) and can be found at most large drug or convenience stores.
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar or honey. When it comes to sugar substitutions, some feel that it’s not a good idea to substitute cane sugar for another kind of sugar,honey, stevia or anything else. On the other hand some people have reported making kombucha successfully with raw honey. The quality of the sugar is important in order to avoid contaminants, so look for organic sugar. Yes, this is one of the few times we’ll tell you to use real sugar! Most of it is actually “eaten” by the yeast during the fermentation process, so there is very little sugar actually left in the recipe by the time you consume it.
  • 4 black tea bags (preferably organic which some people have reported works better). Some people also like to use green tea, although black tea is the kind used traditionally in most cases.
  • 1 cup of pre-made kombucha, which you can either buy or use from a previous kombucha batch that you or a friend made.

Directions:

1. Bring your water to boil in a big pot on the stovetop. Once boiling, remove from the heat and add your teabags and sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

2. Allow the pot to sit and the tea to steep for about 15 minutes, then remove and discard tea bags.

3. Let the mixture cool down to room temperature (which usually takes about one hour). Once it’s cooled, add your tea mixture to your big jar/bowl. Drop in your SCOBY disk and 1 cup of pre-made kombucha.

4. Cover your jar/bowl with your cloth or thin kitchen towel, and try to keep the cloth in plate by using a rubber hand or some sort of tie. You want the cloth to cover the wide opening of the jar and stay in place, but be thin enough to allow air to pass through.

5. Allow the kombucha to sit for 7–10 days depending on the flavor you’re looking for. Less time produces a weaker kombucha that tastes less sour, while a longer sitting time makes the kombucha ferment even longer and develop more taste. Some people have reported fermenting kombucha for up to a month with great results, so taste test the batch every couple of days to see if its reached the right taste and level of carbonation you’re looking for.

Kombucha tea drink recipe

Usually, the warmer your home is, the less time the kombucha needs to ferment. Once you’re happy with the taste, put your kombucha into smaller glass bottles (or whatever type of bottle fits in your refrigerator), and refrigerate the kombucha for at least 24 hours to allow it to cool and finish carbonating. Once it’s cooled, you are ready to drink your homemade kombucha!

*Note that as the fermentation process happens, you will notice that the SCOBY disk “grows” a second SCOBY disk. Many people call the SCOBY that you purchased and used to make the kombucha the “mother” SCOBY and the second SCOBY that grows the “baby.” The mother SCOBY is located on top of the baby.

You can actually use the newly formed baby SCOBY to create a whole new batch of kombucha, so you don’t want to throw out the baby disk. Store the baby SCOBY in a bit of already-made kombucha in a glass jar while not using it, so you have it on hand to start a new batch when you want it. It will “active” for several weeks when it’s stored in some kombucha at room temperature on a counter top. While some people prefer to keep the mother scoby disk attached to the baby, others prefer to throw away the mother SCOBY once the kombucha is finished fermenting.

It seems to work well both ways and keeping the mother disk hasn’t caused any reported problems or contamination. According to some sources, the mother disk can keep fermenting new kombucha batches for about another month after its first use, but then will become inactive and should be thrown away.

Making Flavored Kombucha:

The recipe above is for a basic, unflavored kombucha. You can try adding unique flavors like fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice; ginger root “juice” made by blending ginger and water, blended berries, fresh-squeezed orange, pomegranate or cranberry juices; or many other natural and low-sugar flavors.

We recommend doing this after the kombucha has fermented and is ready to drink, although some people to prefer to add flavor-enhancers to the kombucha a day or two before it’s done so the flavor can intensify. Either way to seems to work well, but keep in mind that berries and other perishable fruits will not last as long as the kombucha itself, so those will limit the time you have to store it.

Another thing to keep in mind is that flavored, bottled kombucha tends to have more sugar than the plain kind. Some brands add very low-sugar flavors like lemon, lime, or ginger juice which won’t jack up the sugar content, but look out for kinds that are high in added sugar and aggravate health problems.


Kombucha Side Effects 

Most people experience great benefits drinking kombucha and have no negative side effects. However, there are possible interactions and side effect symptoms to be aware of, mostly in populations that already have weakened immune systems and digestive problems. Side effects seem to be more of a risk when making homemade kombucha because contamination is possible and the SCOBY disk and finished products both aren’t tested for quality control, like they are when larger manufacturers produce them. If you’re going to brew your own, pay careful attention to using sterile equipment, clean working spaces and high-quality ingredients.

A small percentage of people have experienced stomach upset, infections and allergic reactions when drinking kombucha. Because kombucha has a high level of acidity, it’s possible that this can cause problems for people with digestive problems like stomach ulcers, heartburn, or any sensitivity to very acidic foods.

It’s a good idea to start with a small amount in moderation and gradually work your way up to drinking more in order to see if you have any negative reaction to it. Stick to about 8 ounces per day, especially in the beginning. To limit your risk, buy pre-made kombucha that’s been tested for bacterial contamination.

Other groups that might want to limit their kombucha consumption include: people with leaky gut syndrome, those with very poor immune systems and pregnant women. More information can be found below about risks related to those groups:

kombucha tea drink

Use caution if you have a weakened immune system

People who have compromised immunity due to certain viruses like HIV/AIDS need to be careful about consuming kombucha, since there is always a possibility that the yeast can grow harmful bacteria that can cause illness. This is especially true of homemade kombucha, where contamination is more likely to happen if it’s brewed in an unsanitary environment.

Women who are pregnant or nursing

While kombucha hasn’t been studied much at all in pregnant women, there is always concern that pregnant women shouldn’t consume alcohol or caffeine, both of which are present in kombucha in small amounts. Before more formal research is conducted showing that it’s completely safe, pregnant women are advised to err on the safe side and avoid kombucha, or at least to enjoy it in small quantities.

Those who cannot tolerate even low levels of sugar, caffeine or alcohol

Kombucha is brewed using black tea and sugar, which when fermented turn into alcohol is very small amounts (only about 1 percent of kombucha is believed to be alcohol). For people with existing diabetes, kombucha likely won’t cause much of a problem considering it’s very low in sugar (about 2 grams per 8 ounce), but it’s worth being careful and monitoring blood sugar levels and related symptoms. For those with digestive problems like IBS or anxiety disorders, the low level of caffeine in kombucha is also something to be conscious of, since caffeine can sometimes aggravate these conditions.

As you can see, kombucha boasts many health benefits, and you can even make it yourself for a very low cost so you always have some kombucha within arm’s reach! So drink up for your health!

Have you ever made or consumed kombucha? Do you consume it for the health benefits or for the taste?


References:

  • American Cancer Society. Kombucha Tea. Available at: http://www.cancer.org
  • Bhattacharya S, et al. Protective effect of kombucha tea against tertiary butyl hydroperoxide induced cytotoxicity and cell death in murine hepatocytes. Indian J. Exp Biol 2011; 49:       511–524.
  • Bhattacharya S, et al. Hepatoprotective properties of kombucha tea against TBHP-induced oxidative stress via suppression of mitochondria dependent apoptosis. Pathophysiology 2011; 18:221–234.
  • Banerjee D, et al. Comparative healing property of kombucha tea and black tea against indomethacin-induced gastric ulceration in mice: possible mechanism of action. Food Funct 2010; 1: 284–293.
  • Danielian LT. Kombucha and Its Biological Features. Meditsina, Moscow, 2005.
  • Dufresne C, et al. Tea, kombucha and health: a review. Food Res Int 2000; 33: 409–421.
  • Fu NF, et al. Clearance of free silica in rat lungs by spraying with chinese herbal kombucha. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2013; 2013:790792.
  • Marsh AJ, et al. Sequence-based analysis of the bacterial and fungal compositions of multiple kombucha (tea fungus) samples. Food Microbiol 2014; 38:171-8.
  • Rashid K, et al. An update on oxidative stress-mediated organ pathophysiology. Food Chem Toxicol 2013; 62:584-600
  • Sai Ram M, et al. Effect of kombucha tea on chromate(VI)-induced oxidative stress in albino rats. J Ethnopharmacol 2010; 71: 235– 240.
  •  Vīna I, et al. Current Evidence on Physiological Activity of Kombucha Fermented Beverage and Expected Health Effects. J Med Food 2013; [Epub ahead of print]

Read Next: Vitamin B12 Benefits That You’re Probably Missing

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  1. Littledove says:

    Making my third batch of Kombucha, love it, But I am concerned since reading some of the the articles on this site. I have an auto immune disease, psoriasis on feet, top, bottom, sides and starting up my legs, also on both palms. They crack peel and somestimes bleed. Many days I am not able to walk or use my hands. I started making milk kefir, cultured veggies, sourdough bread and just added kombucha. Do you think the kombucha is safe?

  2. Chrissy the Hyphenated says:

    “advised to air” … should say “err” not air.

  3. Teboho says:

    I use Kombucha all the time and I even make my own. I however would like to caution people against flavoured kombucha. I am not a chemist necessarily but would the organic compounds in fruits react with the bactrium and yeast in Kombucha to form some harmful formaldehyde?

  4. Shirley says:

    Kombucha and diabetes, type 2, good or bad. My ph test is between 3.0 and 3.2 when I process my kombucha. Info please.

  5. Krista says:

    Its “err on the safe side” on “air on the safe side”. Just fyi

  6. Corey says:

    Is kombucha safe for nursing mothers? I’ve come across different opinions. If so, how much water intake would be necessary to flush out toxins and keep them from entering breast milk? Thanks!

  7. Marti says:

    I was drinking Kombucha daily, and had what I think is herxheimer reaction, which I am still working on clearing up. I researched and understand that it is Candida die off reaction, I am now leery to try it again, even though I think I have candida overgrowth. Suggestions please.

  8. Michael says:

    Hi Dr. Axe, can we use the ‘mother’ scoby to start another new batch of Kombucha instead of throwing it away after the fermentation process ? Thank you.

    • Heather says:

      Yes I reuse my mother all the time!! After several months you’ll want to stop using it bit definitely not just after 1 batch. Also do NOT use a metal containe because metal kills the scoby if it’s in contact for long periods!!

  9. chelle nelson says:

    I entered my email for sign up for newsletters and such. Went to download the free items and it disappeared. Need to download them how to access without adding email again.

  10. shea roberts says:

    I have been diagnsed with mycotoxin exposure and possibly lymes with mthfr hetero-a1298c and wondered would this be beneficial for me to drink or should I stay away from yeasty, fermented foods? I have had a difficult time trying to figure out what foods are good for me in this detoxing process and which ones I should stay away from. I know even though some food are “healthy” foods, they are not healthy for me at this stage. Thank you for your advice, Shea Roberts

The psychiatrist in your gut

Psychobiotics

Psychobiotics: Bacteria For Your Brain?

 

Every functional medicine psychiatrist has case stories of the ‘probiotic cure’ – of a patient with debilitating symptoms, often obsessive compulsive range, whose symptoms remitted completely with dietary change and probiotic supplementation. Is this voodoo or is it based on a growing understanding of the role of the microbiome in mental health and behavior? For two decades now, pioneering researchers have been substantiating inflammatory models of mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.  Research has focused on markers that indicate immune distress in an important subset of patients, many of whom are labeled “treatment resistant.” Through this body of literature, we have identified that depression can be induced, in animals and in humans through inflammatory agents, that it is correlated with blood levels of inflammatory markers, in a linear way (more markers = worse depression), and that symptoms can be reversed through pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories.

Inflammatory Models of Mental Illness:

The Role for the Gut

Working with this premise, where is the best place to begin when we consider how to modify inflammatory states in the body, naturally? You guessed it, it’s the gut. Housing >70% of our immune system, the gut is our interface between the outside and inside world, separated by one-cell-thickness. The resident microorganisms, outnumbering by 10:1 by our human body cells, develop an ecosystem through postnatal exposures, in the vaginal canal, through breastfeeding, and the immediate environment.  Disruption to the balance of bacteria through medication exposures, gluten, herbicides, stress, and infection can set the stage for the innate immune system to prepare for attack. Depression, associated with compromised integrity of this intestinal barrier, becomes the swirling storm of inflammation, impairment of cellular machinery (i.e. mitochondria), oxidative stress, and inflammation in a carousel-like forward rotation. Specifically, depression is associated with elevated levels of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a nutrient-binding, inflammatory toxin produced by bacteria that are intended to remain in the gut.

If depression is a downstream collection of symptoms, and inflammation, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial dysfunction are driving these symptoms, what is at the source? It appears, from data in animals and humans, that disruption to our gut ecology may be a major player, and the microbiome has stepped to the forefront of cutting-edge psychiatric research.

Enter psychobiotics: “a live organism that, when ingested in adequate amounts, produces a health benefit in patients suffering from psychiatric illness.”

A review by Dinan et al. encompasses the clinical basis for the use of probiotics in mental health with reference to animal studies in which behavioral changes resulted from exposure to bacterial strains such as bifidobacterium and lactobacillus. In placebo-controlled trials in humans, measures of anxiety, chronic fatigue, and depression and anxiety associated with irritable bowel syndrome.

The therapeutic clinical applications of probiotics have been limited to a handful of strains out of the more than 7000 at last count. It appears that colonization is not an expected outcome of probiotic supplementation, and that genomic communication between bacteria and immune receptors may account for anti-inflammatory effects.

Ancient Wisdom

Given how little is known about therapeutic applications of different strains, it may make sense to defer to ancestral practices that confirm the importance of probiotic exposures. In these foods such as lactofermented kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, and other traditional vegetables, microbes are acting on the food, and the food is then acting on our microbes.

What do bacteria accomplish in the gut? Do they just help with digestion? According to Selhub et al., they:

• Direct protection of the intestinal barrier;

• Influence on local and systemic antioxidant status, reduction in lipid peroxidation;

• Direct, microbial-produced neurochemical production, for example, gammaaminobutyric

acid (GABA);

• Indirect influence on neurotransmitter or neuropeptide production;

• Prevention of stress-induced alterations to overall intestinal microbiota;

• Direct activation of neural pathways between gut and brain;

• Limitation of inflammatory cytokine production;

• Modulation of neurotrophic chemicals, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor;

• Limitation of carbohydrate malabsorption;

• Improvement of nutritional status, for example, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, dietary

phytochemicals;

• Limitation of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth;

• Reduction of amine or uremic toxin burden;

• Limitation of gastric or intestinal pathogens (for example, Helicobacter pylori);

• Analgesic properties.

Given widespread fermentation practices in traditional cultures, it appears that this dietary wisdom may serve to ameliorate gut-based inflammation and promote optimal nutrient assimilation as described in this review:

Traditional dietary practices have completely divergent effects of blood LPS levels; significant reductions (38%) have been noted after a one-month adherence to a prudent (traditional) diet, while the Western diet provokes LPS elevations .”

In addition to increasing bioavailability and production of minerals, neurochemicals, and fatty acids, fermented foods actually produce methylfolate, an activated form of folate required for methylation: brain chemical synthesis, detox, and gene expression.

Because of the complex coevolution of bacterial strains, cultivated through our food supply, and complementary to our inner microbiomes, we have an opportunity to use therapeutic foods to reeducate an immune system that has been drawn off course. Psychobiotics have the potential to modulate multiple different relevant factors at once:

“This could manifest, behaviorally, via magnified antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, reduction of intestinal permeability and the detrimental effects of LPS, improved glycemic control, positive influence on nutritional status (and therefore neurotransmission and neuropeptide production), direct production of GABA, and other bioactive chemicals, as well as a direct role in gut-to-brain communication via a beneficial shift in the intestinal microbiota itself.”

It is therefore compelling to consider the power of reconnecting to the natural world through our food; communicating through our guts to our brains, that nutrients are plentiful, our bodies are safe, and that our inflammatory systems can be put at ease. It is under these circumstances that the infinite complexity of the endocrine, immune, and gastrointestinal systems can play out, unhindered in support of mental health and wellness.

Source: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/psychobiotics-bacteria-your-brain?page=1

 

Kombucha’s multitude of benefits

 

7 Reasons to Drink Kombucha Everyday

Benefits of Kombucha
Known as the “Immortal Health Elixir” by the Chinese and originating in the Far East around 2,000 years ago, kombucha is a beverage with tremendous health benefits. Kombucha is a fermented beverage of black tea and cane sugar that is used as a functional food.  Kombucha contains b-vitaminsenzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic, and lactic), which have the following health benefits:

  • Improving Digestion
  • Weight Loss
  • Increasing Energy
  • Cleansing and Detoxification
  • Immune Support
  • Cancer Prevention

The sugar-tea solution is fermented by bacteria and yeast and is commonly known as aSCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). You can make kombucha yourself at home or buy it for $3-5 a bottle at most health food stores and some coffee shops. An article published in the journal Food Microbiology has established that the following probiotics make up this health elixir.

Good Bacteria and Yeast (Probiotics):

  • Gluconacetobacter (>85% in most sample)
  • Acetobacter (<2%)
  • Lactobacillus (up to 30% in some samples)
  • Zygosaccharomyces (>95%)

Ultimately, this cocktail of good bacteria interact together in a unique way to produce some unbelievable health benefits for those who drink it.

7 Health Benefits of Kombucha Infograph

Why Every Person Should Drink Kombucha

In the newest research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food 2014, researchers from the University of Latvia say the following about the health benefits of kombucha: It is shown that [kombucha] can efficiently act in health preservation and recovery due to four main properties: detoxification, anti-oxidation, energizing potencies, and promotion of boosting immunity. We agree! In fact, according to research there are 5 main health benefits of kombucha.

#1 Detoxification – The detoxifying capacity of kombucha is immense. A perfect example has been observed in its ability to counteract liver cell toxicity. In one study, the liver cells being evaluated were protected from oxidative injury and actually maintained their normal physiology, in spite of being exposed to the toxin! According to researchers, this was “probably due to its antioxidant activity and could be beneficial against liver diseases, where oxidative stress is known to play a crucial role.”
#2 Digestion – Naturally the antioxidant prowess of this ancient tea counteracts free radicals that create mayhem in the digestive system. However, the greatest reason kombucha supports digestion is because of its high levels of beneficial acid, probioticsand enzymes. Extensive work has even been conducted to test kombucha’s ability to prevent and heal leaky gut and stomach ulcers. No surprise to us, it was proven to be as effective as drugs like Prilosec, which are commonly prescribed for heartburn, GERD, and ulcers.
#3 Energy – Kombucha’s ability to invigorate people has been credited to the formation of iron that is released from the black tea during the fermentation process.  It also contains some caffeine and b-vitamins, which can energize the body. Through a special process known as chelation, the iron released helps to boost blood hemoglobin, improving oxygen supply to tissues and stimulating the energy producing process at the cellular level. In other words, by helping the body create more energy (ATP), the ancient tea can help those who regularly drink stay energized for extended periods of time.
#4 Immune Health – The overall effect that kombucha has to modulate the immune system is best seen in its ability to control free radicals through unbelievable antioxidant measures. Clinically proven to decrease oxidative stress and related immuno-suppression, a powerful antioxidant known as D-saccharic acid-1, 4-lactone (DSL) has been discovered during the kombucha fermentation process that is not found in black tea alone. Also, we know the probiotics found in kombucha support the immune system. Scientists suspect that DSL and the Vitamin C present in kombucha are its’ main secrets in protecting against cell damage, inflammatory diseases, tumors and overall depression of the immune system.
#5 Joint Care – Kombucha can help heal, repair and prevent joint damage in a number of ways. Kombucha is loaded with glucosamines, which increase synovial hyaluronic acid production. This supports the preservation of collagen and prevents arthritic pain. In the same way it supports joint collagen it can also support collagen of the entire body and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
#6 Cancer Prevention – Kombucha has also been proven beneficial for cancer prevention and recovery.  A study published in Cancer Letters found that by consuming glucaric acid found in kombucha reduced the risk of cancer in humans. President Reagan reportedly drank kombucha daily as part of his regimen to battle stomach cancer.
#7 Weight Loss – Data from a study in 2005 showed evidence that kombucha can improve metabolism and limit fat accumulation.  Though we’ll need to see more studies before we can confirm these results, it makes sense that kombucha supports weight loss since it’s high in acetic acid and polyphenols which have in other studies been proven to increase weight loss.
As you can see kombucha boasts many health benefits! So drink up for your health. Have you ever made or consumed kombucha?  Do you consume it for the health benefits or for the taste?   References:

  • American Cancer Society. Kombucha Tea. Available at:http://www.cancer.org
  • Bhattacharya S, et al. Protective effect of kombucha tea against tertiary butyl hydroperoxide induced cytotoxicity and cell death in murine hepatocytes. Indian J. Exp Biol 2011; 49:       511–524.
  • Bhattacharya S, et al. Hepatoprotective properties of kombucha tea against TBHP-induced oxidative stress via suppression of mitochondria dependent apoptosis. Pathophysiology 2011; 18:221–234.
  • Banerjee D, et al. Comparative healing property of kombucha tea and black tea against indomethacin-induced gastric ulceration in mice: possible mechanism of action. Food Funct 2010; 1: 284–293.
  • Danielian LT. Kombucha and Its Biological Features. Meditsina, Moscow, 2005.
  • Dufresne C, et al. Tea, kombucha and health: a review. Food Res Int 2000; 33: 409–421.
  • Fu NF, et al. Clearance of free silica in rat lungs by spraying with chinese herbal kombucha. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2013; 2013:790792.
  • Marsh AJ, et al. Sequence-based analysis of the bacterial and fungal compositions of multiple kombucha (tea fungus) samples. Food Microbiol 2014; 38:171-8.
  • Rashid K, et al. An update on oxidative stress-mediated organ pathophysiology. Food Chem Toxicol 2013; 62:584-600
  • Sai Ram M, et al. Effect of kombucha tea on chromate(VI)-induced oxidative stress in albino rats. J Ethnopharmacol 2010; 71: 235– 240.
  •  Vīna I, et al. Current Evidence on Physiological Activity of Kombucha Fermented Beverage and Expected Health Effects. J Med Food 2013; [Epub ahead of print]

Fermented foods heal the gut and boost immunity

Fermented foods heal the gut and boost immunity

 

Wed. Oct. 30, 2013 by Jonathan Landsman

(NaturalHealth365)

The popularity of fermented foods is on the rise. And why not, these ‘cultured foods’ are not only delicious but a highly-effective way to heal the gut. And, let’s not forget, a healthy gut equals a strong immune system – which primarily resides in the digestive system.

Drinking fresh kombucha or eating raw sauerkraut, will dramatically improve your health by promoting the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria, enriching your body with B vitamins, digestive enzymes plus much more.

How do fermented foods improve digestion?

Fermentation actually pre-digests complex foods by breaking them down into readily absorbable amino acids and simper sugars. This includes the extremely nutritious but difficult to digest young cereal grasses such as wheat, barley, alfalfa and oats.

All these grains contain high levels of B vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll and antioxidants – which are encased in the plant cell walls. Humans, sometimes, find it difficult to digest plant-based foods – which is why fermentation is so valuable. In addition, fermentation can help eliminate ‘anti-nutrients’ like phytic acid, a compound found in grains that blocks mineral absorption.

Can fermented foods help us prevent cancer?

According to a study found in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, cabbage is a known cancer-fighting food and the fermentation process – used to make sauerkraut – actually unlocks an even stronger anti-cancer effect.

Researcher Eeva-Liisa Ryhanen, one of the paper’s authors at MTT Agrifood Research Finland, said:

“We are finding that fermented cabbage could be healthier than raw or cooked cabbage, especially for fighting cancer.”

The researchers found that the fermentation process changes the glucosinolates, in cabbage, dissolving them into a a class of enzymes that have been shown to prevent cancer. One study, that compared the incidence of breast cancer among Polish women and polish immigrants in Michigan, found that women who stayed in Poland were less likely to develop cancer. Can you guess why?

The study went on to say that the Michigan immigrants were 4 – 5 times more likely to develop cancer due to the fact that Polish women (in their native land) ate much more cabbage and sauerkraut.

Many scientific papers tout the health benefits of cabbage – especially sauerkraut – due to its ability to inhibit estrogen, which is known to fuel breast cancer.

Fermented foods are the most potent source of beneficial bacteria

These probiotics are able to help the body eliminate a wide range of toxins and heavy metals. In fact, according to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride – a Russian neurologist, fermented foods help to restore our own detoxification system, which is instrumental in the self-healing process.

The best fermented foods to improve your health

To summarize, if you’re looking to improve your digestion; get more enzymes; improve nutrient absorption; reduce food costs; increase flavors plus help to prevent illness – then start eating a wide variety of fermented foods, such as:

True sour pickles – I, personally, love the pickles from a company called, Real Pickles – but you can make your own.

Benefits of Fermented Foods

Dilly carrots or ‘cultured vegetables’ can be a delicious way to boost your nutritional profile. To learn more about the health benefits of cultured vegetables.

Water or milk kefir – which is a fermented milk product derived from cow, goat or sheep and enjoyed by many cultures – worldwide – for its healing properties.

Kombucha, like water kefir, is an extremely popular health drink – especially with kids. Its sweet-tart flavor and fizzy bubbles make this beverage great for parties.

Naturally, there are many other ways to incorporate fermented foods into your diet by eating miso soup, fresh yogurt or tempeh – to name a few. Just be sure, if you can, to avoid GMOs and always use organic ingredients.

Looking for natural health solutions? Sign up now – for our free, weekly show featuring the greatest minds in natural health and science plus free gifts!

Jonathan LandsmanAbout the author: Jonathan Landsman is the host of NaturalHealth365.com, the NaturalNews Talk Hour – a free, weekly health show and the NaturalNews Inner Circle – a monthly subscription to the brightest minds in natural health and healing.

Reaching hundreds of thousands of people, worldwide, as a personal health consultant, writer and radio talk show host – Jonathan has been educating the public on the health benefits of an organic (non-GMO) diet along with high-quality supplementation and healthy lifestyle habits including exercise and meditation.

– See more at: http://www.naturalhealth365.com/food_news/fermented_foods.html#sthash.NlySTf7I.dpuf

Kefir grains and kombucha available in South Africa!

Kefir Grains

So many people have enquired and at last we have sourced a Pretoria supplier of the following :

A glass of kefir at a Polish cafe in London.

The prices are as follow:

Waterkefir:

R150 for wet grains,

R120 for the dry ones,

R100 for milk kefir plants

Kombucha

Kombucha is R100,

Delivery service per order is  R100, usually within 24 hours

Kombucha

FOR ORDERS :

Please contact Ronalda directly :

Cellie : 072 606 1091

———————–

Sangjine advice regarding precious kefir grains :

Don’t Rinse Your Kefir Grains!

 

I get so many emails from people, who in attempt to help their kefir grains, will rinse them in cool water. You should NEVER EVER EVER do this. It damages them and rinses off the protective bacteria that makes them thrive. So many times they will either die, or stop reproducing or not make kefir very well after rinsing. Some kefir grains will survive this and be ok, but it still slows them down and damages them and gives me huge amounts of anxiety.

The coating of milk around the kefir grains protects them and makes them strong. Think of it this way. It is like walking around naked in a snowstorm. They need this coating to reproduce themselves, and protect themselves, because of the combination of bacteria and yeast they make up the composition of kefir grains. Rinsing them washes this away.

If you need to change milks then rinse them in the milk you are changing them too. You really don’t need to rinse them at all, but if you want to rinse them. Rinse them in fresh milk.

Please don’t rinse them. I am trying not to shout and put this in all caps, because I understand people just don’t realize that this could hurt them. I am slightly over protective of these microorganisms. I am trying to insure that these little kefir grains stay around and thrive. We need them to help us live and thrive. I’ve been labeled the kefir police, and decided I am ok with this. Somebody has to do it.

These little kefir grains changed my life, and I will go to great lengths to protect them. They sit on my counter and work on my behalf day after day and never charge me a dime. They do the work and I receive the benefits.  Just doesn’t get any better than that for me. I love them and I just don’t care if people think I’m crazy.

Resist the temptation to rinse them and tell your friends Donna said so. I will sleep so much better at night if you do. Tortures me when people tell me they’ve rinsed their kefir grains.

Cultured Veggies – immune system boosters

Learn How to Make Cultured Veggies at Home

to Boost Your Immune System

June 01, 2013 | 192,426 views

By Dr. Mercola

Your digestive tract is probably the most underappreciated system of your body, often ignored until its screams of discontent become loud enough to grab your attention.

By the time your gut reaches this degree of disgruntlement, the problems have usually been developing for months — or years — and are challenging to resolve.

Instead of waiting for obvious signs of a problem, why not perform some regular “gut maintenance” that will lessen your chances of developing a problem in the first place?

Your gut is much more than a food processing tube — it houses about 85 percent of your immune system. This is in large part due to the 100 trillion bacteria that live there, both good and bad that can stimulate secretory IgA to nourish your immune response.

When your GI tract is not working well, a wide range of health problems can appear, including allergies and autoimmune diseases. If you suffer from any major illness, you simply will NOT be able to fully recuperate without healing and sealing your gut. Balancing the menagerie of microorganisms that occupy your GI tract is a key part of maintaining your immune health, which will be the focus of this article.

Your stomach is where digestion really gets rolling, with the introduction of more enzymes and a whole lot of acid. Fortunately, your stomach is uniquely designed for this process, as it is SO acidic. Its lining must actually regenerate at a feverish pace — just to keep up with the continuous digestion of itself! You require a brand new stomach lining every few days.

Your Stomach Actually Protects You from Infections

A recent article in Scientific American1 explores an alternate explanation about how your stomach works. The “sieve hypothesis” suggests your stomach may operate as a sieve or filter, preventing some of the more harmful microbes from passing through to your small intestine. Evidence for this is not new. It comes from a 1948 study by Dr. Orla-Jensen, a retired professor from the Royal Danish Technical College — a study that has essentially been “lost” in the literature for more than 60 years.

The professor argued that your stomach uses acid to kill pathogenic disease-causing bacteria, fungi, viruses, worms and protozoa, while allowing the more beneficial microbes (which are acid-tolerant) to pass through. If your stomach is unsuccessful at killing these pathogens, then they can dominate your intestines, damaging and eroding your intestinal walls and causing illness.

Your stomach generally becomes less acidic as you age, particularly after age 70. In his study, Orla-Jensen compared the gut bacteria of young people with that of healthy seniors, as well as with seniors suffering from dementia. He found that as people age, they have a greater proportion of pathogenic microbes to beneficial microbes in their intestinal tracts. This was particularly pronounced in seniors with dementia… which begs the question about whether dementia could actually be caused by an “intestinal infection.”

A study done at UC Davis found that E. coli and salmonella bacteria in mice produce fiber-like structures very similar to the inflammatory brain plaques seen in people with Alzheimer’s disease2. Your brain is shaped by bacteria in your digestive tract. Bacteria in your gut actually control how your brain cells express specific genes.3 Other studies report that disturbed gut flora in seniors contributes to accelerated aging, frailty and premature death.

More research is needed in order to understand the exact relationship between dysbiosis and dementia. But at the very least, these studies underscore the importance of maintaining high levels of beneficial bacteria in your intestinal tract. In fact, this bacterial community may be in charge of your entire metabolism.

Unhappy Gut Bacteria May Make You Fat

Inflammation from bacterial endotoxins may be a factor helping to drive the obesity epidemic.4 Junk food causes nasty microbes to bloom and friendly bugs to decline, just as sugar and refined carbohydrates feed the bacteria in your mouth that are responsible for tooth decay. Sugar and processed foods make your “friendly” microbe community unfriendly — even downright hostile. Humans today have lost the microbial diversity that once kept us healthy.

When dysbiosis occurs, bacteria release noxious byproducts called endotoxins. Endotoxins increase the permeability of your gut wall (“leaky gut syndrome”) and make their way into your bloodstream, triggering system wide inflammation. It’s been shown that the hypothalamus, which houses the appetite control center of your brain, is often inflamed and damaged in obese individuals. When inflammation affects your brain, and especially your hypothalamus, your entire metabolism changes.

So, here’s how it goes…

When you consume junk foods, certain bacteria flourish and produce endotoxins, which your immune system detects and, interpreting these endotoxins as an attack, responds with inflammation. Your body changes its metabolism to redirect energy for “battle.” The result is overproduction of insulin, increased fat storage, dampening of your appetite control signals, and eventually obesity. The best way to reverse this inflammation and restore a healthy metabolism is by eliminating excess sugar and processed food, and adding more friendly, beneficial bacteria from naturally fermented foods.

Cultured Vegetables Are the Ultimate Superfood

One of the leading experts in the optimization of intestinal flora is Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, who developed the GAPS nutritional protocol (Gut and Psychology Syndrome/Gut and Physiology Syndrome). For decades, Dr. McBride has successfully treated adults and children with severe illnesses, including autism, epilepsy, mood disorders, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, celiac disease and many more, with her GAPS protocol.

A key component of the GAPS program is the daily consumption of fermented foods. Fermented foods are potent chelators (detoxifiers) and contain much higher levels of probiotics than probiotic supplements, making them ideal for optimizing your gut flora. In addition to helping break down and eliminate heavy metals and other toxins from your body, beneficial gut bacteria perform a number of surprising functions, including:

Please click this link to watch a video on How to do your own

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/01/fermented-vegetables.aspx

Introducing Cultured Vegetables into Your Diet — The Right Way

Download Interview Transcript:

http://mercola.fileburst.com/PDF/ExpertInterviewTranscripts/InterviewCarolineBarringer.pdf

Now that you understand the importance of optimizing your GI flora, let’s take a look at just how easy it is to accomplish this task by making fermented vegetables at home, in your own kitchen. If you aren’t accustomed to these foods, you may have to work them into your diet gradually. Many folks really enjoy the taste of fermented vegetables, which really have a pleasantly salty-tart flavor.

According to nutritional consultant Caroline Barringer, just one quarter to one half cup of fermented veggies, eaten with one to three meals per day, can have a dramatically beneficial impact on your health.

If you’ve never eaten fermented foods, too large a portion may provoke a healing crisis, which occurs when the probiotics kill off pathogens in your gut. When these pathogens die, they release potent toxins. If you are new to fermented foods, you should introduce them gradually, beginning with as little as one teaspoon of sauerkraut with a meal. Observe your reactions for a couple of days before proceeding with another small portion, and increase your dose gradually, as tolerated.

Realize that many food preferences develop very early in life, so the sooner you can introduce fermented vegetables to your child, the better. Traces of the flavors of the foods mothers eat are perceptible in their breast milk and amniotic fluid. Babies whose mothers eat things like garlic or broccoli while pregnant tend to be more likely to enjoy these foods later in life.

Making Cultured Veggies at Home: Equipment Checklist

Culturing your own vegetables is not difficult, but as with anything, having the right tools makes the job much easier and more fun. I have spent the last six months streamlining the process and refining my basic recipe. One of the key ingredients though is the starter culture. We are in the middle of a very extensive testing process to provide a culture that will give you large amounts of vitamin K2 in your fermented vegetables. We hope to have that available later this year if all goes well. In the meantime, you can use the following kitchen tools to make your own fermented vegetables:

  1. Food Processor: You’ll be cutting up large quantities of raw vegetables, which is very labor intensive without a food processor. Make sure yours has a shredding disc, as a typical S-blade will result in too fine a chop, which makes for a pulpier, mushier end product.
  2. Juicer: My own experimentation has resulted in selecting celery juice as the basic brine for my cultured veggies, making a juicer necessary.
  3. Good Knives: Make sure you have a set of good quality, sharp knives for prepping your vegetables.
  4. Cutting Board: A large, sturdy cutting board is a must.
  5. Very Large Bowl: This bowl should be large enough to hold the entire batch of shredded veggies, so a large capacity stainless bowl is a necessity.
  6. Canning Jars: Basic wide-mouthed 32-ounce Mason jars are all that is necessary for both fermenting and storing the vegetables. These are inexpensive and easy to find at your local hardware store, grocery, or online. Make sure they are wide-mouthed, as you’ll need to get your hand or a tool down into the jar for tightly packing the veggies.
  7. Krautpounder: This solid wood tool that looks like a small baseball bat is very handy for tightly packing the shredded veggies into your jars and eliminating air pockets.

Fresh vegetables are important components of a...

Making Cultured Veggies at Home in Six Easy Steps

The following are the basic steps to making wonderful cultured vegetables at home. For additional information, refer to our previous article on this topic.

    1. Vegetable and Herb Selection: The first step is gathering up your veggies. Make sure they are all organic. Cabbage (red or green) should be the “backbone” of your blend, comprising about 80 percent (I use green). Choose dense, tightly packed heads. Five or six medium-sized cabbages will yield 10 to 14 quart jars of fermented vegetables. Remember to reserve some cabbage leaves for the jar tops (see Step 3).

Add in hard root vegetables of your liking, such as carrots, golden beets, radishes and turnips. Peel your veggies as the skins can impart a bitter flavor. I also enjoy adding red bell pepper, Granny Smith apples, and even a hot pepper, like a habanero (make sure you wear gloves!). One pepper for the entire batch is plenty.

Aromatics can be added in small quantities — a little goes a long way, as fermenting concentrates the pungent flavors. Tasty additions include peeled garlic, peeled ginger, and herbs such as basil, sage, rosemary, thyme, or oregano. Onions tend to overpower the mix, no matter how little are used, so I avoid them.

Finally, you can add sea vegetables or seaweed to increase the mineral, vitamin, and fiber content. You can add pieces of whole dulse, or use flakes. Wakame and sea palm do not have any kind of fishy flavor but need to be presoaked and diced into the desired size. Arame and hijaki DO have a fishy flavor.

  1. Culture and Brine: For your brine, I recommend using a starter culture dissolved in celery juice. One quart of celery juice is adequate for 10 to 14 quarts of fermented veggies. While you can do wild fermentation (allowing whatever is naturally on the vegetable to take hold), this method is more time consuming, and the end product is less certain. Inoculating the food with a starter culture speeds up the fermentation process. I currently recommend using two of our Complete Probiotics as the starter culture until we get our refined version which will make more vitamin K2.
  2. High Vitamin K2 Starter Culture As I said above, we are in the middle of a very extensive testing process to provide a culture that will give you large amounts of vitamin K2 in your fermented vegetables and we hope to have that available later this year if all goes well. In the meantime i recommend using two of our Complete Probiotic Capsules for every quart of fermented vegetables as that is very close to what our final culture will be.
  3. Packing the Jars: Once you have your shredded veggies and brine mixture combined in your large bowl, tightly pack the mixture into each Mason jar, and compress using a masher to remove any air pockets. Top with a cabbage leaf, tucking it down the sides. Make sure the veggies are completely covered with brine and that the brine is all the way to the top of the jar, to eliminate trapped air. Put the lids on the jars loosely, as they will expand due to the gases produced in fermentation.
  4. Fermentation: Allow the jars to sit in a relatively warm place for several days, ideally around 72 degrees Fahrenheit. During the summer, veggies are typically done in three or four days. In the winter, they may need seven days. The only way to tell when they’re done is to open up a jar and have a taste. Once you’re happy with the flavor and consistency, move the jars into your refrigerator.
  5. Storage: Refrigerating your vegetables drastically slows down the fermentation. They will keep for many months this way, continuing to mature very slowly over time.
  6. Enjoy! Always use a clean spoon to take out what you’re eating. Never eat out of the jar, as you will contaminate the entire batch with bacteria from your mouth. Make sure the remaining veggies are covered with the brine solution before replacing the lid.

Source : http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/01/fermented-vegetables.aspx

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