How do Probiotics Work?

This week we’ve been talking about the importance of gut health. One way to ensure the best gut health is to eat probiotic foods such as yogurt. But how exactly do probiotic foods work? We’ll take a deeper look at that today.

First of all, let me clarify what I mean by probiotic. I mean naturally fermented foods, which have “good” lactic acid bacteria. These bacteria are what cause milk to ferment (and turn into yogurt) or vegetables to pickle.

In your digestive system, these bacteria cause indigestible carbohydrates to ferment so your body can better process them and they keep the digestive tract acidic so that harmful bacteria cannot grow (Paleoleap.com).

Pretty cool, huh? And although naturally fermented foods are sort of a hot concept on the holistic health scene right now, the consumption of them goes way back, as Dr. Mercola’s article on fermented foods tells us:

During the Roman era, people consumed sauerkraut because of its taste and health benefits.

In ancient India, it was common to enjoy lassi, a pre-dinner yogurt drink. This traditional practice is anchored on the principle of using sour milk as a probiotic delivery system to the body.

Bulgarians are known for their high consumption of fermented milk and kefir, and for their high level of health.

Ukrainians consumed probiotics from a fermented food list that included raw yogurt, sauerkraut, and buttermilk.

Various Asian cultures ate pickled fermentations of cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash, and carrots, and consume these fermented treats until today.

Mercola also points out the nutritional benefits of probiotic foods beyond good bacteria, which include B vitamins and vitamin K2, which helps prevent heart disease.

There is tons of information out there on fermented/probiotic foods. I encourage you to do your research! Dr. Mercola and Paleoleap.com have some great resources.

Have you ever tried fermented foods? Did you notice any significant benefits? Would you try them? Let us know what you think!

Yogurt and Gut Health

How is everyone’s week going?

Today we’ll continue to discuss the topic of gut health. Yesterday’s post talked about utilizing probiotics to nourish the immune system and ensure the best health. One of these probiotics is yogurt.

I started making my own yogurt several years ago, and I absolutely love it! It has a thick consistency, tangy taste, and myriad culinary possibilities (the picture above shows my yogurt with pomegranate seeds)! Yogurt is full of good bacteria that nourish your body and strengthen your gut.

Now, understand that I am not talking about most yogurts you’ll find in stores. Go-gurt tubes and flavored yogurt cups are not healthy or beneficial at all. If they haven’t been processed so much that the good bacteria is gone, they’ve been filled with so much sugar and dye that any benefit you would have is cancelled out. Sorry folks!

Greek-style yogurt is true yogurt; it retains all the good stuff without any drawbacks. This is the kind of yogurt I make, and it’s what is mainstream in most other countries. Hannah once had yogurt on a German plane to Italy and was refreshed with how real it was! Just active cultures and no added sweeteners – the way it should be!

It’s sad that we in America fill up on “healthy” food that’s so processed it loses any health it originally had. The rule of thumb for food – especially probiotics – is the closer to nature, the better.

Have you ever tried homemade yogurt? What did or didn’t you like about it? Would you try ours?

Trust Your Gut

Hello everyone!

This week we’ll be doing a series on gut health. What does “gut health” mean, you ask? Simply put, your “gut” is your digestive system – where you put the food that fuels your body. We believe that everything you ingest has an enormous impact on your health, and that the health of your insides translates to your health outside, for better or worse.

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I just finished reading this book, Brain Makers, by Dr. David Perlmutter.  This book is so straightforward about how gut health affects emotional health. It is written with a lot of research but is very easy to read.

The book encourages readers to include probiotics like plain active yogurt (another product I make!), kombucha and naturally home-fermented foods in the diet to encourage optimal gut health. These foods help strengthen good bacteria in the digestive tract so that they can fight the harmful stuff! We will be talking more about this as the week goes on.

Have you ever read this book? Have you ever tried probiotics? Tell us about it!