Are fermented foods good for you?

When I was first diagnozed with autoimmune disease called Hashimoto more than 10 years ago, I researched a lot and came to conclusion that all autoimmune disorders live in our intestinal tract (gut). It means that there are more pathogenic bacteria in the gut then there are beneficial bacteria. Re-balancing the gut bacteria will lead to reduced inflamation and therefore help to manage autoimmune conditions. Re-balancing can be done through diet (fermented foods), probiotics, and digestive enzymes. I am going to talk about the diet aspect of re-balancing gut bacteria, specifically fermented foods. For thousands of years, people around the world have consumed fermented foods. The process of fermenting foods not only preserves them, but improves their flavor and enhances their digestibility and nutrient status. One of the most important functions of the fermentation process is that it produces beneficial bacteria. A healthy balance of gut flora is critical for immune health, nutrient absorption, weight control, detoxification, and more. Beneficial bacteria are affected by processed foods, sugar intake, antibiotics, acid-reducing medications, toxins, and chronic stress. Fermentation is the process where beneficial bacteria such as lactobacilli and yeasts break down foods sugars, starches, and proteins into lactic acid, carbon dioxide, and enzymes, which produce more beneficial bacteria. The lactic acid produces an environment that inhibits pathogenic and opportunistic bacteria. Proper fermentation must be done with salt, NOT vinegar. Salt is antimicrobial in nature, and will inhibit the growth of putrefying bacteria while the lactic acid preserves the vegetables. Also, salt aids in the proper activation of enzymes. The salt should preferably be non-iodized and unprocessed as this contains minerals that...

Making Smart Nutrition Choices

Making sure that you’re getting proper nutrition every day can be a daunting task. There are a lot of suggestions out there on how you can get better nutrition. Here are a few suggestions that will hopefully help you get better nutrition and make you a healthier you. While red meat is expensive, it is an important part of your diet. Lean red meat, like steak, provides large amounts of protein while avoiding excess amounts of saturated fat and carbohydrates. When paired with a healthy starch and vegetable, it makes for a perfect meal. If money is a problem, chicken and pork are also equally healthy. Healthy Food Pack your own snacks for school, trip or a flight. Food at airports and on planes can be quite expensive and selection can be limited. To save money and ensure you have healthy food that you enjoy, bring your own. This also can be a lifesaver if you end up in one of the stuck-for-hours-on-the-runway nightmare scenarios. When considering nutrition for a child, it is important to make it a positive and entertaining experience. This is important because your child needs nutrients, and they also need a reason why they should eat healthy food. Some ideas would be to cut a sandwich into fun shapes, or use unique colored vegetables. Suppose you are deciding whether to eat meat or not. There are two types of considerations. One is whether meat is “clean” food. Is it raised on a “factory farm” under toxic conditions? Is it loaded with hormones, nitrites and nitrates? If so, it is not a healthy food. The other...

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