To those of you who attended the fermenting workshop on the weekend a BIG thanks for making the day as rewarding for everyone as it was! We really did get “down and dirty” with bacteria and fungi and as you now know, I am delighted to share my passion for all things microbial.
Keeping in the same vein, I would like to talk this week about including probiotics in your daily regime to maximise family health. This is obviously of topical importance being bug season, but I want you to realise that supporting gut flora is a daily requirement if you hope to create lasting health and happiness for your children and indeed yourselves.
Probiotics, derived from Greek meaning “for” life, can be found not only in supplements but in fermented foods that can easily form part of some if not all meals of the day.
Probiotic supplements are a dime a dozen these days but as with most things available commercially, not all probiotics are created equal. Things to look for in a quality probiotic are that they are shelf stable, strain specific, broad spectrum and preferably lab tested. My pick is the Bio-kult probiotic, I recommend this one in my clinic most often and my family take this particular one also.
When it comes to taking your probiotic supplement, the best time is first thing in the morning about 20 minutes before food or last thing at night. If you have not managed to avoid antibiotics (which is my preference because of the considerable damage they do to the immune system and gut flors, the very system you are trying to support) then you must take your probiotic away from them, no less than 3 hours either side.
I believe that a probiotic supplement is an insurance policy for optimal health. Our body is subject to such a high level of toxicity and pathogenic challenge that the more we can do to support the system that governs our health in every way, the better!
Probiotic food, or fermented food, is another way to introduce diversity into the microbial environment of the gut and this is a particularly effective way of supporting our health. Independent research has even shown that a serving of fermented food is far superior in terms of probiotic value than any supplement known to science.
If your response to the idea of fermented food is a big “YUK”, then read on to find out how much more there is to know about the flavour sensation that can be fermented foods.
Not all fermented food is sauer-kraut, I happen to make one that tastes delicious! Fermented foods that kids love include tomato sauce and barbecue sauce, gingerbread, spicy/herby honey drink, corned beef and bacon, fruit chutneys and relishes, pickles, sourdough pancakes and breads, yoghurt, kefir, labne cheesecake, yoghurt lollies……
Just a small portion of fermented, probiotic food with each meal or even just one meal daily will provide extreme health benefits.
If you combine your daily probiotics with “pre” biotics, the synergism of that combination will exponentially improve the potential of the probiotics.
A prebiotic is the groundwork for the probiotic, the food it needs to proliferate and create the colonies of health creating and benefiting goodness that is the ideal health scenario in your gut. Prebiotics are known and oligosaccharides and are the undigestible parts of fruit, raw honey and legumes (which naturally you have soaked to maximise nutrition and neutralise their toxins).
With a combination of pro and prebiotics in your child’s and your daily routine you will go a long way to maintaining health and supporting healing and cellular regeneration and repair. Not only will your digestion be supported which allows maximum absorption of nutrition (crucial for growing children), your immune system will function more effectively. This point cannot be underestimated as most debilitating and chronic, even fatal, dis-eases stem from immune dysfunction.
I have gone a bit overboard with recipes this week because the need for recipes has been the loudest request of the last week. For those of you feeling sandwich deprived, here is a fabulous and easy grain free bread recipe that is extremely versatile, even sandwich friendly http://realhealthykids.com/recipes/making-bread-healthy-gaps-friendly/
For a fabulous grain inclusive recipe tip, the yoghurt pastry in my book “Nourishing Your Child for Health & Happiness” (buy here) goes a long way to neutralising the toxins in the grain, promoting digestion and maximising nutrition. Make a filling of sautéed shallots and garlic, in butter of course, and add a packet of thawed organic spinach with 100gm of roughly chopped feta, season with real salt and pepper and serve golden crispy with fermented tomato sauce. Such a joy watching my little boy, and big husband, ploughing through a plate of these.
Again from my book, the beans a billion ways recipe slowly baked with pork knuckle or lamb shanks using home-made stock is richly satisfying and incredibly health giving. Providing valuable fats and protein PLUS gelatine as well as the prebiotics needed to support colonisation of gut flora by the beneficial bacteria. Such a treat on these cold nights, well they’re cold where I am!
Finally, an answer for those leftover egg whites from making my fermented mayonnaise or luscious custard. Check it out here http://realhealthykids.com/recipes/egg-white-almond-cake-answer-leftover-egg-whites/
I am very excited to announce that I will be holding monthly GAPS meetings, alternating between Saturday afternoons and Monday evenings starting mid June. Dates will be in next week’s newsletter but if you are interested please contact me at email@example.com so I can get an idea of numbers.
In addition, regular GAPS meeting will begin in Perth, Kardinya, commencing August 18th, I will add contact details in next weeks letter.
In great health and happiness, Sally