Before factory farming, farmers in southwestern United States were fed up with coyotes stealing their chickens so they put a bounty on coyotes to help their situation. Young kids were making extra cash by shooting coyotes on the weekend. What they didn’t realize is that chickens were the coyotes’ delicacy but field mice and other rodents was their mainstay. Oops! Now to help with the pesky rodent problem, coyote ranchers in Oregon were needed to put extra Coyotes on trains and send them to repopulate and replenish the balance in nature.
Your gut is much the same. After reading part 2 of 5 of our series on friendly bacteria you learned about modern lifestyles that have put a bounty on your intestinal flora. Well, here are some ways to help rebalance the internal ecosystem of your flora. The order is from my most to least favorite.
- Raw Sauerkraut- Notice I say “raw” as cooking your kraut will kill these little critters. I recommend a company called Farmhouse Culture. They are in Whole Foods and can be samples at many farmers markets in the Bay Area. They even have exotic flavors such as smoked jalapeno, caraway and even a mushroom kraut. Putting sauerkraut on a hot dog actually is feeding protein to the bacteria in the kraut and it actually helping you digest the dog. Ladies concerned about yeast infections will be happy to know that the lactobacilli plantarum bacteria in sauerkraut actually helps reduce the growth of unwanted yeast.
- Kim Chi- Like Sauerkraut, Kim Chi is made from fermented cabbage however here Napa Cabbage is used. It is juicier and the Korean version is way spicier. My wife gets home and instantly knows if I have been feasting on Kim Chi because it is quite odiferous. You can find Kim Chi at Korean or Japanese stores and Farmhouse Culture also has a great Kim Chi. If you can handle spicy food, your gastrointestinal and immune system will love this stuff!
- Kombucha- This beverage tastes a bit like a fruit juice beer. We recommend GT’s Synergy as it is not pasteurized as this would kill the probiotics.
- Kefir- This is fermented cows or goats milk with natural probiotics. However, we prefer to keep it vegan and suggest kefir made from coconut milk or coconut water. A great addition to smoothies is So Delicious “Cultured Coconut Milk”.
- Brewer’sYeast- An actual byproduct of the beer making process, brewer’s yeast is a great source of protein, B vitamins and probiotics. It is quite tasty sprinkled on salads. Bragg Nutritional Yeast would be a great product to start with.
- 6. Probiotic Supplements- If you have severely damaged your intestinal flora from food poisoning, antibiotics, laxatives, chemo/radiation or other similar events, you will want to bomb your body with good bacteria. This requires specificity and you may want to consult us before you just pick the latest random item at your local health food store.
- 7. Honorable Mention but not Recommended
- a. Yogurt- Great source of bifidus and acidophilus but usually with too much sugar. Sugar is to be avoided at all costs.
- b. Miso- Miso comes from the Japanese and is made by fermenting beans and grains. Often the soybeans used are genetically modified (GMO) and other non desirable ingredients like MSG are added.
- c. Natto- Besides healthy bacteria natto also contains nattokinase which is an enzyme shown to reduce blood clots and ovarian cysts. They can be found at some sushi bars and Japanese stores. The catch is that it is quite the acquired taste and that they are often made of GMO soybeans.