Here is an article by Jeanne Rae from My Cultured Kitchen explaining why she is so passionate about these magical little critters that are so important for your physical and mental health.  Jeanne will be running a workshop at the C Beyond Health offices on the 11th of August for those who would like to learn this ancient art. You will receive a goodie box of cultures and comprehensive notes.
When – 11th August from 14H00 to 17H00
Where – C Beyond Health – Hemel en Aarde Village, Hermanus
Cost – R500
Bookings – jeanne@smart-health.co.za.

Magical, Mystical Bacteria

Did you know that we are a walking colony of bacteria? There are 10 times more bacteria cells in your body than human cells?

My interest is in the bacteria that live in our gut and the effect that it has on our lives. Hopefully the good outnumber the bad but we all need a little bit of bad in us!

Chemical, Emotional and Physical Factors can cause an Imbalance of Bacteria.

  • Stress
  • High-Intensity exercise.
  • Chemicals and certain medications.
  • A germ-free environment that obliterates bad bacteria. We need some of the bad bunch to keep a balance.
  • Pollution and radiation.
  • Refined sugar and alcohol. Even a diet high in natural sugars can feed the bad guys. Think of Candida overgrowth.
  • Over-eating. Food sits in the gut for long periods of time and leads to putrefaction.
  • Poor food combining such as excessive animal protein consumption and processed foods.

Some of the Health Issues Resulting from an Imbalance

  • Inability to build muscle
  • Mental Illness
  • Allergies
  • Lethargy
  • Malnutrition
  • Brain fog
  • Insomnia
  • Cancer, Arthritis
  • Auto-immune conditions

Good Bacteria Maintain Good Health and Happiness

  • Protects the body from oxidative stress and has free radical scavenging properties.
  • The gastrointestinal tract, liver and kidneys are responsible for elimination and rely on good bacteria to function optimally, by eliminating waste from the body. If this system does not work efficiently, then additional fat cells are produced to help protect the body from toxins. Yip, you get fat!
  • The gut and brain are connected via the vagus nerve. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter produced by good bacteria in the gut, creates a happy mood.
  • Healthy skin, hair, nails, muscle, joints, connective tissue and bones are kept strong and healthy with good gut bacteria
  • The absorption of vitamins, minerals and nutrients are increased. Less food is required to meet your nutritional requirements. Hunger decreases. Hence you maintain a healthy weight.

So, what keeps these Little Critters Happy and Breeding Prolifically?

We can build and maintain a good bacteria colony by munching on the huge array of cultured and fermented foods that are out there and by the way, have been around for thousands of years. They are pre and probiotic rich which is exactly what good bacteria thrive on.

Remove, Repair, Restore

  • Remove the cause – stress and an unhealthy diet.
  • Repair – by making lifestyle changes.
  • Restore – with a good eating plan rich in pre and probiotics. In other words, Cultured and Fermented Foods.

But what are Cultured and Fermented Foods?

Think of kefir, kombucha, kimchi, yoghurt, sauerkraut and sourdough, just for starters.

Legend has it that kefir grains were the manna from heaven that God gave the Israelites in the Exodus. Cheese first gained notoriety back in the day when the Romans filled their leather drinking gourds with milk. It changed to cheese after a few days of marching in the hot desert. And most of the appeal of the *Scoby (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) is that they are surrounded by myth and lore. While we may not be able to prove the origins and legends, the health benefits of these mystical creatures are undeniable.

My interest in Cultured and Fermented foods began a few years back when I began reading more and more about the link between the brain and the gut. I started on milk kefir and besides the physical relief that I felt, I also experienced feelings of mental clarity, had more energy and felt emotionally brighter.

Keep in mind, that a spoonful of kimchi a day does not keep the doctor away. These foods are not a one stop cure all. Health and wellness is multi-faceted and your lifestyle should include, exercise, nutrition, mental stimulation and soulful pursuits.

Remember, optimum health is about a lifestyle. Make the necessary changes and reap the rewards.

 

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