Grow Your Own Health Food
Healthy GI Tract Depends on Enough Good Bacteria*
*Food for Thought, Vol 3, Issue 12
A healthy intestine is one that maintains a critical balance of bacteria such as lactobacilli, streptococci, clostridia, coliform, and bacteroides. Conditions such as stress, excessive alcohol use, and diets high in fat, meat, and sugar may endanger the fine balance of intestinal flora, resulting in weakened digestive and immune systems, Chlorine and floride in drinking water, antibiotics, inadequate food and rest, exposure to environmental toxins and antibacterial chemicals, and even antacids may alter the balance of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and leave an intestinal environment in which pathogenic bacteria and yeast can flourish.
...Sufficient beneficial bacteria help prevent substances such as free radicals, pathogens, and undigested fats and proteins from penetrating the intestinal wall and entering the bloodstream. Fortunately, it is possible to encourage a healthy GI tract. Research has shown that dietary supplementation with probiotics, in addition to healthy lifestyle choices, can help balance the friendly intestinal bacteria. Replenishing the supply of probiotics alleviates much of the stress on the immune system.
Lactic Acid Fermented Food
Probiotic or for life bacteria are usually soil borne bacteria that form symbiotic relationships with their human hosts. Probiotic supplementation is not the only way to get these valuable friends. You can grow your own.
With only a small investment of time and effort you can make delicious, lactic-acid-fermented foods that are alive with beneficial bacteria, are easily digested, contain additional vitamins, supply you with live enzymes and include beneficial lactic acid as well.
You may be wary of trying something like this for fear that you will have the wrong organisms growing in your food. You need have no concern. Lactobacillus bacteria carry on lactic acid fermentation, while yeasts produce alcoholic fermentation and certain other bacteria produce spoilage. Lactobacilli control or eliminate yeasts and other bacteria that would spoil your food. This food preservation method dates back to early civilization and has a long history of being beneficial as well as safe.
The following, simple recipes will help you get started. You can find more fermenting ideas in Sally Fallon's book Nourishing Traditions. However, my methods differ from hers in two ways.
Note: use only with organic foods. The presence of toxins in or on non-organic foods will inhibit the bacterial growth you need.
Fermented or Pickled Cucumbers
Pack the cucumber slices into the quart jar leaving about 1 inch of head space. Sprinkle the salt, the contents of the Alpha Sun® capsules and the contents of the Spectrabiotic® capsule on top of the slices. Add enough pure water to cover the cucumber slices.
Cap your jar so that it is airtight and let this sit out on your counter from two to three days. The length of time will be determined by the temperature -- the cooler your house, the slower the bacteria work.
If pressure builds up in the jar so that the lid is bulging up in the middle, you know your food is correctly pickling. When you open the jar, the contents should smell like pickles. If they smell bad, don't eat them. If you want your pickles to taste more acidic (stronger pickle taste) extend the fermentation time.
At the end of this incubation period, refrigerate your pickles and enjoy.
You can try this with many other vegetables and some fruits. For more information send me an
To Ferment buckwheat
You will need some sort of mill to break up the seeds. We use a roller mill, but a blender may work also. A roller mill is different than a mill that produces flour. A roller mill crushes brittle seeds like buckwheat or makes flakes of soft grains like oats whereas a flour mill rubs the seeds between two steel burrs or between two stones abrading them into flour. A roller mill is similar to the wringer on a wringer-washing machine.
When opened, it should smell and taste sour. Check that there is no mold growing as this is an indication that it did not ferment properly.
We have also used the above recipe with mixed grains.
To eat, I like to mix in a few soaked walnuts, a few raisins, and some fresh sprouts. They provide a nice taste treat contrasted to the sour of the buckwheat.
How to make Yoghurt with L. Acidophilus
Procedure (using quart jar)
**Spectrabiotic® contains eight key "good bacteria" which are microblended with four whole foods (Omega Sun® algae, Jerusalem artichoke, acerola, and rose hips) and four kinds of enzymes.