Let’s talk probiotics
A perfectly healthy person (do they even exist), has approximately 100 trillion microorganisms from 400 different species flourishing in their intestinal tract aiding in digestion, absorption of nutrients, and the production of B vitamins, vitamin K, and enzymes. ⠀⠀⠀
These beneficial bacteria crowd out harmful bacteria and allow your body to work optimally.
Levels of these beneficial bacteria need to be maintained throughout life by consuming cultured/fermented foods, prebiotic foods, and probiotic supplements (if one does not consume adequate amounts of fermented foods and/or is ill or recovering).
Levels of good bacteria in the gut can decline for many reasons including taking antibiotics, taking NSAIDS like Advil, Motrin, Midol, etc., taking birth control pills, due to chlorine in drinking water which kills bacteria in the water as well as your intestines, changes in the acid/alkaline balance of the bowels, a diet low in vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, radiation and chemotherapy, and many other ways.
Conditions associated with low levels of beneficial bacteria include acne, ADHD, allergies, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, bladder and urinary tract infections, breast pathologies, cancer, cardiac problems, chronic fatigue, Colitis/Crohn’s disease, colon cancer, compromised immunity, constipation, depression, diarrhea, diverticulitis, ear and respiratory infections, foul breath and body odor, gastritis, headaches, hormonal imbalance, IBS, liver and gallbladder problems, migraine headaches, PMS, sinus problems, spastic colon, stomach bleeding, and yeast infections. ⠀⠀
Probiotics are found in fermented foods such as raw sauerkraut, beet kvass, kombucha, kefir, etc.
It is fun and easy to make your own raw sauerkraut and fermented vegetables! ⠀⠀⠀
Here’s a super easy recipe that kids love to help with and also love to eat!
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Raw Sauerkraut
Yields about 2 quarts ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2 large heads of organic cabbage (red or green)
2 – 3 tbsp sea salt
1. Grate, shred, or finely cut 1 cabbage and place in a crock (here are a few great crocks https://amzn.to/2t6E8Ia, https://amzn.to/2GkNFmQ, https://amzn.to/2Dd0NaG, https://amzn.to/2DaHvCz), or large pot. Sprinkle half of the salt over the cabbage.
2. Grate, shred, or finely cut the second cabbage, then add it to the crock along with the rest of the salt.
3. Crush the mixture with your hands until liquid comes out of the cabbage freely (kids love helping with this part).
4. Place a plate on top of the cabbage, then a weight on top of the plate (a weight can be a small glass jar filled with water). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
5. Cover container and check after 2 days. Scoop the scum off the top, repack, and check every 3 days. After 2 weeks, sample the kraut to see if it tastes ready to eat. The flavor will continue to mature for the next several weeks.
6. Canning or refrigerating the sauerkraut will extend its shelf life. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Optional ingredients to add:
• 5 cloves of chopped garlic and 2 sliced onions
• 3 sliced poblano peppers 🌶
• 5-10 chopped Brussels sprouts⠀⠀⠀⠀
• A handful of seaweed or any other vegetable 🥕
Add optional ingredients in when adding the salt.