How To Go Pro (as in Probiotics)

Let’s learn how to Go Pro (as in Probiotics). Throughout history, fermented foods have provided probiotic bacteria in the diet. All traditional cultures fermented their foods and lived in and with nature. This created an amazing diversity of gut microbes.

WHAT IS FERMENTED FOOD?

Food fermentation dates back more than seven thousand years to wine making in the Middle East. In the United States we are familiar with sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) and yogurt (fermented milk product). Korean-Americans probably have a jar of kimchi in their fridge. We are realizing the amazing health benefits of these microbial foods. CLICK HERE to read my previous blog about Psychobiotics: The Future of Mental Health ( the link between microbes and our mental health).

How To Go Pro (as in Probiotics)

WHAT IS FERMENTATION?

Fermentation is the metabolic process of converting carbohydrates, typically sugars, into other molecules – either alcohols and carbon dioxide or organic acids. The chemical conversion process needs yeast, bacteria (or both) and it takes place in the absence of oxygen. Fermented foods contribute a diverse array of microorganisms to the existing gut microbiota and thus have the potential to affect health.

NOT ALL FERMENTED FOODS ARE THE SAME

While all fermented foods are necessarily made with microorganisms, some products are subsequently processed by heat or filtration. These steps are done to extend shelf-life and make the products shelf-stable, but they also inactivate or remove the organisms. Thus, fermented vegetables, like sauerkraut or pickles packaged in jars and stored at room temperature will not contain live cultures. For other fermented products, like sour dough bread, the organisms do not survive the baking process. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy for consumers to know which products actually contain live bacteria. Still, there are plenty of fermented foods with live cultures, but discerning consumers need to look carefully at the labels.

Many foods can have probiotic benefits
Cucumbers are great to pickle

WHAT ARE DIETARY SOURCES OF PROBIOTICS?

Here is how to Go Pro (as in Probiotics). Probiotics can be found in:

Yogurt – milk that has been fermented by friendly bacteria, mainly lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria.

Kefir – fermented probiotic milk drink. It is made by adding kefir grains to cow’s or goat’s milk.

Sauerkraut – finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid bacteria.

Tempeh – fermented soybean product. It forms a firm patty whose flavor is described as nutty, earthy or similar to a mushroom.

Kimchi – contains the lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus kimchii, as well as other lactic acid bacteria that may benefit digestive health

Kombucha – is a fermented black or green tea drink.

Pickles – cucumbers that have been pickled in a solution of salt and water.

You might also want to supplement with a probiotic supplement to help increase the number of beneficial bacteria that reside in your gut. CLICK HERE for the one I use and recommend.

Vitality & Longevity: Secrets to A Thriving Life – PART 4 Your Microbiome and Your health

Until recently, scientists focused almost solely on how microbes negatively affect humans. There has since been a realization that some microorganisms are actually beneficial to human health.

Let’s first of all define some terms:

  • The microbiota is the collection of microbes that live in and on the human body. The microbiota microorganisms contain about 30-50 trillion cells, bacteria make up the bulk  The human body itself contains about 37 trillion human cells.
  • The microbiome refers to the combined genetic material of the microorganisms in a particular environment

Top Ten Facts About the Microbiome

  1. Microbial genes significantly influence how the body operates.
  2. They impact aging, digestion, the immune system, mood and more
  3. There are approximately 3.3 million microbial genes in the human body (and 2,000 functional human genes)
  4. Microbial genes outnumber human genes by a ratio of 100:1
  5. 99% of human metabolic functions in the human body are coded for bacterial DNA )
  6. Everyone’s individual microbiome is as unique as their fingerprint and comprised of hundreds of different types of bacteria.
  7. The specific number of bacteria cells varies throughout the day and is always turning over.
  8. The microbes that live in your body are determined by what you’re exposed to and these colonies are constantly in flux. Geography, health status, stress, diet, age, gender, and everything you touch all affect the composition of your microbiota
  9. We depend on a vast army of microbes to stay alive: a microbiome that protects us against germs, breaks down food to release energy, and produces vitamins
  10. Gut bacteria have the ability to produce the enzymes required to break down complicated nutrients.

Vitality & Longevity: Secrets to A Thriving Life – PART 3 Foods Your Brain Will Love

BEWARE – Food is medicine, or it’s poison.

LONGEVITY SECRET # 3 – conditions including Alzheimer’s — and other forms of dementia — and also depression, attention deficit disorder, PTSD, even bipolar disorders, are all deeply influenced by the food we eat.

“The real weapons of mass destruction are highly processed, pesticide-sprayed, high-glycemic, low-fiber, food-like substances stored in plastic containers that are destroying the health of America.

Daniel G. Amen, MD

Foods Your Brain will Love

  1. Blueberries are “brain berries.” You want to get them organic or don’t eat them because blueberries hold pesticides more than most fruits.
  2. 80 percent plants — colorful plants.
  3. High-quality fats…  olive oil mixed in with some form of protein because fat and protein together help balance blood sugar. It could be organic tofu; it could be high protein plants like spinach and broccoli.
  4. Wide spectrum of fruits and veggies in order to cover all the bases. We have an overwhelming body of evidence that a healthy diet filled with unprocessed, low-glycemic foods like green, leafy vegetables dramatically improves blood flow, and also lowers our risk of heart disease — for inflammation, for obesity, and diabetes