Cultured Foods (also known as fermented foods)

cultured tomatoes and garlic
cultured tomatoes and garlic

Well, what can I say?  I’m hooked, like an addict!  Donna Schwenk’s website Cultured Food Life has really made a huge change in my life.  It all started with her Trilogy, which is the three probiotic foods that you can eat to vastly improve your health.  We are basically composed of about 70 trillion human cells.  But we also contain over 500 trillion bacterials cells, 90% of which are friendly.  So we are basically more bacteria than human!

If the 10% unfriendly bacteria are not kept in check by those 90% good bacteria – and in fact they DO keep it all in check – then illnesses arise.  So making sure that your gut has a wide range of healthy flora is essential.  In the past, that did not require any efforts on our parts, since what we ate in our normal diet (100 years ago) had all the elements to keep us naturally healthy.

But now, the food we eat because of GMOs and highly processed foods (notice that these 2 are human commercial endeavors, they are leading to chronic (long-term, not fatal but just miserable) illness.  This leads us all to have to rely on several medications (another human commercial endeavor) to maintain our lives.  See the problem?

Probiotics are the good bacteria that your gut needs and prebiotics are what those probiotics eat.  So probiotics can be consumed in the form of fermented foods that all cultures throughout history have and do consume (sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, wine, raw dark chocolate, yogurt and kefir, tempeh, miso, etc).  The key here is that these foods, as they contain precious, beneficial bacteria, get killed by heat and pasteurization.

cultured kefir, garlic and mixed veggies
Cultured milk (kefir), garlic and mixed veggies

Prebiotics are the foods that feed your good bacteria:  garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, banana, artichokes, coffee (yup, probiotics eat the fiber from the beans!).  When you eat them, they feed your good gut flora, it’s that simple.  There are lots of websites about this, here’s one:

The most interesting aspect is how you feel when you eat these foods.  I feel lighter inside, I have gotten a serotonin hit of well-being and energy and happiness, my skin and hair are much more luxurious feeling.  This after less than a month on these foods.  This is just an adding process.  I’ve incorporated into my daily food intake a small glass of kefir, a few mouthfuls of cultured foods before meals, and 8 ounces of the fermented tea called kombucha.  Now, because of Donna’s website, I am making myself at home for a fraction of the cost of buying it.  That’s a win-win.  I hope to write more posts on the on-going changes I’m experiencing.

Cultured tea (kombucha)
Cultured tea (kombucha)

The crazy thing about all this is that these food are just delicious and I get to add them, and enjoy them, and they support my health and make me feel good!  As Donna Schwenk says, fermenting preserves these foods (milk, veggies and tea) and when you consume them, they preserve you!

Give them a try, you can purchase all of these foods in most stores.  Just be sure that you get unpasteurized sauerkraut (usually in the refrigerated sections of most stores), any kefir or kombucha is good.

This is the best medicine in the world!


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