Today I want to discuss probiotics a bit. (Since I added some yummy yogurt to the box today). Probiotics have become more mainstream, nutritionally, in recent years, and for good reason. More and more research is coming out linking the bacteria in our digestive system to mental health, immunity, development, cancer prevention, nutritional absorption, etc...
When I look at diet, I try to look back at how our ancestors ate, before advent of processed, chemically made "food." How did they preserve their food for winter, with nitrate preservatives, chemicals, and vacuum sealing. Many of the methods they used required fermentation, or the bacterial culturing of our foods. Almost every culture across the globe and in history had at least one version of a fermented or cultured food they consumed regularly. This is a gap in our modern diets. Rarely are people making their own fermented vegetables, kefir, yogurts, sausages, sourdough breads, etc... It is a lost art, but many of you are helping to bring it back, as I know from Facebook!
Culturing your own foods is way easier and safer than you think (for those of you who do not). I almost always have a jar of something on the counter. My husband has threatened to buy my a fermentation fridge if I don't stop...I'm still waiting!
So, Why Bacteria
In a world obsessed by anti-bacterial this and anti-bacterial that, over washing, and over medicating, it has become even more important to consume probiotics in some form. When we are born, we are sterile, we need to be inoculated with bacteria to develop proper digestion, and immunity. We most often get this from being born. Babies born via Cesarean do not get this bacterial inoculation from the start (so probiotics are more important for them). Breastfeeding is our next access to probiotics. By suckling on a mothers breast, a baby consumes bacteria off of her skin. Babies who are not breastfed, are less likely to be orally exposed to good bacteria. These cesarean born children, alone, are up to 20x more likely to develop a chronic immune relate disease.
Science has discovered, already, a variety of benefits to having a healthy gut flora. I am sure there will be more.
Click here to see a range of research and article on the subject.
How to increase your Probiotics
As many of you know, I really do not like supplements. I feel they are, really, sub-par to the quality you get from your food. That doesn't mean that I am ant-supplements. I believe, like medication, they have their place and can be very beneficial and lifesaving if used correctly. I do not like the daily multivitamin!
Probiotics are one of those to me. I really believe it is best consumed in the diet. It is important to TRY to get one serving of cultured foods daily. Do I, NO! I try though. I go through good periods, and bad periods. So, how do you get it through your diet.