3-5 pounds of the human body is living bacteria which can work for or against you! Ali Miller, registered dietitian and natural foods consultant with Naturally Nourished, is here to teach us how to balance our gut bacterial and show us a technique to promote optimal digestion.
What are probiotics?
Probiotic = “for life” a live microbial food ingredient that is beneficial to health having direct and indirect effects on physiology.
What do they do and how do they thrive?
Microbes present in the GI tract have the potential to act in a favorable, deleterious, or neutral manner depending on the ratio of good to bad bacteria
If the beneficial bacteria dominate, we are in a state of symbiosis
If the harmful bacteria dominate, we are in a state of dysbiosis
Symptoms of dysbiosis: gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, intestinal toxicity, impaired nutrient absorption
Fueling the Body’s Natural Defense with Probiotics
- 80% of immune function is directly related to intestinal health
- Decrease inflammation and can treat inflammatory conditions
- Gastroenteritis, Inflammatory bowel, IBS, H-pylori, colorectal cancer, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s
- Aid in digestion and absorption increases bioavailability of nutrients
- Natural Antibiotics
- Anti-carcinogenic/Cancer fighting
Examples of probiotics: yogurt, keifer, fermented vegetables, kombucha, miso, saurkraut, cultured foods
What are Prebiotics and what do they do?
- Nondigestible foods (fiber) that stimulate the growth and activity of beneficial microorganisms (probiotics) in the colon
- Increase absorption of calcium and magnesium
- Lower cholesterol levels
Examples of prebiotics include asparagus, sunchokes, onions, garlic, leeks, bananas, jicama, chicory root.
Food as medicine with Naturally Nourished RD www.naturallynourishedRD.com
Ali Miller, RD, LD
Fermentation of vegetables with the jar method allows anaerobic organisms to thrive. These organisms eat the carbohydrate sugars in the vegetable, giving off lactic acid as a byproduct preserving the food and providing probiotic lactobacillus organisms. The brine alters the pH which creates an environment that discourages the spoilage bacteria while allowing the probiotic organisms to thrive.
One important secret to making delicious yet medicinal cultured vegetables is to use local freshly harvested, organic, well-cleaned vegetables. Using the method below you can After washing the veggies, spin them dry. Clean equipment is essential. Scald everything you use in very hot water.
Naturally Nourished RD Simple Sauerkraut
- 3 heads green cabbage, shredded in a food processor
- 2 carrots, large, shredded in a food processor
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1.5 sea salt Tbsp in 2 cups of water
- 2-3 whole cabbage leaves
Combine all vegetables in a large bowl or jar. Blend sea salt and water, mix well. Pack vegetables down into a 1½ quart glass or stainless steel container. Use your fist, a wooden dowel, or a potato masher to pack veggies tightly. Fill container almost full with vegetables and pour brine to the top covering all vegetables. Leave about 2 inches of room at the top for veggies to expand.
Roll up several cabbage leaves into a tight “log” and place them on top to fill the remaining 2 inch space. Clamp jar closed. Let veggies sit at about a 70 degree room temperature for at least three days, I recommend 7 days for optimal growth. Refrigerate to slow down fermentation and store in the fridge for up to 6 months.
For more vegetable culture ideas, visit http://naturallynourishedrd.com/