Sunday, November 1, 2015

Gut Health: Part 3

Gut Health: Part 3

November 1 is World Vegan Day.  There is a difference from eating 
a plant-based diet and being vegan, but they do go hand in hand.  By eating
plant-based, you are reducing the horrible effects of  animal cruelty in factory 
farming practices.  You are also reducing damage to our ever declining health of the environment,
caused by animal agriculture. Watch: Cowspiracy available on Netflix.

Back to healthy guts....

Our intestines need healthy bacteria to maintain proper balance.  The  foods that we 
consume either provide good or bad bacteria for our digestive system.  
Antibiotics, excessive sugars, and even stress can kill naturally occurring good bacteria.
This leads to inflammation, food allergies, skin issues and even mood disorders.
Probiotics are live, friendly bacteria that are naturally present in our intestinal tracts.
They maintain our digestive and overall health.
According to a 2012 Study, almost 4 million people have consumed probiotic 
supplements. But you can get the same, (if not better, less expensive and more beneficial nutrients)
from foods that contain probiotics.
Here are 7 foods to incorporate into your diet that pack a probiotic punch:

*Kombucha is made by fermenting sweetened black tea with a blend of bacteria
and yeast.  After the process, it is a carbonated drink which contains probiotics, vitamins,
acids and enzymes.  Some contain alcohol so you must be 21 to purchase.  My favorite
is Synergy Gingerade.

*Kimchi is simply pickled cabbage or veggies with a bit of spices.
It has been a staple in Korean diets for thousands of years.  Read here for more benefits of Kimchi

*Miso is made from fermenting soybeans. The paste is commonly used in 
Miso soup.  Check out the health benefits of Miso here.

*Yogurt is the most well known probiotic fermented dairy product.  
  Non-dairy yogurts are also available.
All yogurts are not the same!  Heavily processed and yogurts full of sugar will not
produce the same benefit; they will actually cause more harm than good to the gut.

* Kefir is a fermented dairy product, which is also available in non-dairy form,
and is much like a drinkable yogurt.
It is packed with probiotics, calcium, B12, folate, magnesium, and can heal the digestive
system by fighting inflammation and improving lactose digestion.  You can find some non-dairy alternatives here.

*Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans.  A popular meat substitute, it is packed with
protein, vitamins, minerals and plenty of probiotics, and it takes on whatever flavor you are cooking with.  Check out our "Tempeh Reuben Sandwiches" in our recipe section.

*Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage, and is very easy to make.  If you are going to purchase it at the 
store, make sure its organic!  (Non-organic is loaded with sodium-benzoate.)  Here is a recipe for      Raw Vegan Sauerkraut.

One last thing:
This a link to one chapter of Dr. Garth Davis' new book "Proteinaholic".
He and his publishers have allowed this chapter to be available online in light 
of the WHO's report on processed meats' link to cancer.

Have a great week.
Be kind.

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