Dairy and Probiotics

Fermented foods like kimchi and kombucha (which I have experience with and make on a regular basis in my own kitchen) are good sources of probiotics.  Some people I’ve read, however, think dairy ferments are superior.  During the process of digestion, your digestive tract processes your food into particles your body can absorb.  You cannot simply open your stomach, insert a pea, and have a healthy body.  Your body is way more complicated than a car’s fuel system.  There are enzymes in your saliva and stomach.  Your small intestine has an amazing organ called the pancreas which produces enzymes as well.  So for example, a piece of chicken  becomes a chain of amino acids which can then nourish you.  The beauty of dairy kefirs and yogurts is they naturally protect probiotics from this process, depositing good flora in your small intestine.  Kombucha and kimchi don’t have any means to protect probiotics.  In any case, you should beware of the kind of kefir or yogurt you buy because  heat kills all bacteria.  Unprocessed kefir and yogurt are best, and you should look for labels which read “Live And Active Cultures.”  Which cultures?  Look for Acidophilis and Bifidus because those are real probiotics.

Keep that tummy healthy!!

 

Up Next: Fiber, Vitamin K and Your Colon

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Plant Proteins & Probiotics: A Relationship

A couple of days ago, you might remember I wrote about the differences between plant and animal proteins.  Today I would like to give a special tip to those who are either trying to incorporate more plant proteins or eat nothing but plant proteins.  First, however, let’s take a quick second to remember plant proteins are found in nuts, legumes, and whole wheats.  These little gems contain phytates (a type of ester or salt) which come from phytic acids (a type of liquid which chelates minerals) and causes problems with the absorption of zinc, calcium, and iron, for example.  In other words, a person can have a really great diet high in fiber and not get all the benefits.  What to do??  One word: probiotics.  All the good or prolife bacteria in your gut helps you process these otherwise insoluble minerals.  To help maintain your good flora, eat food naturally rich in probiotics, such as unprocessed kimchi (heating kills all bacteria, and really, when something is properly fermented only good bacteria remains).  Drinking kombucha tea is another way of maintaining healthy gut flora.  So (imagine me holding a cup of kombucha) here’s to your healthy gut!!

 

Up Next: I will explain an amazing thing about dairy probiotics.  (It kind of makes me wish I didn’t have a dairy allergy!)

What’s best: Plant and Animal Proteins?

All bodies are not the same.  “Well, yes,” you might think, “some people are short, some tall, and some middling.”  You’re right, but what I mean is bodies process food differently from one another.  Sometimes people who are vegetarians do just fine on that diet, and some do not.  It’s not that those who don’t do well as vegetarians are weaklings in need of some will-power.  Oh no.  Their bodies need more or a different kind of protein from what plants can provide them.  “Let me ‘splain” (as Inigo Montoya from “The Princess Bride” would say).  Protien is so important for the body by, for example, helping to regulate hormones.  Plant proteins provide fiber, zinc, calcium, and all the B vitamins except B12.  Iron is available through plant proteins, but it is hard to digest.  What kind of plants provide protein?  Legumes, soy beans, nuts and some whole grains provide protein, and some people get all the protein they need from these sources.  It’s how their body rolls.  Animal proteins can provide B vitamins, zinc, iron, and calcium but no fiber.  It also takes a little longer to digest.  Sources for animal proteins include dairy products and animal flesh.  Some people can eat mostly plant proteins, but every now-and-then they might need a steak to get them through.  It’s how their bodies roll.  Now before I wish you all an especially great day I must say, diets rich in animal proteins aren’t exempt from problems.  If you eat too much animal protein, you can actually lose calcium through your urine, have an increase of kidney stones, and incur possible liver damage.  A balanced approach would be good for those who aren’t trying to be vegetarians.

Blessings on your day! ❤