Fermented foods heal the gut and boost immunity

October 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Food News

Benefits of Fermented Foods(NaturalHealth365) The popularity of fermented foods is on the rise. And why not, these ‘cultured foods’ are not only delicious but a highly-effective way to heal the gut. And, let’s not forget, a healthy gut equals a strong immune system – which primarily resides in the digestive system.

Drinking fresh kombucha or eating raw sauerkraut, will dramatically improve your health by promoting the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria, enriching your body with B vitamins, digestive enzymes plus much more.

How do fermented foods improve digestion?

Fermentation actually pre-digests complex foods by breaking them down into readily absorbable amino acids and simper sugars. This includes the extremely nutritious but difficult to digest young cereal grasses such as wheat, barley, alfalfa and oats.

All these grains contain high levels of B vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll and antioxidants – which are encased in the plant cell walls. Humans, sometimes, find it difficult to digest plant-based foods – which is why fermentation is so valuable. In addition, fermentation can help eliminate ‘anti-nutrients’ like phytic acid, a compound found in grains that blocks mineral absorption.

Can fermented foods help us prevent cancer?

According to a study found in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, cabbage is a known cancer-fighting food and the fermentation process – used to make sauerkraut – actually unlocks an even stronger anti-cancer effect.

Researcher Eeva-Liisa Ryhanen, one of the paper’s authors at MTT Agrifood Research Finland, said:

“We are finding that fermented cabbage could be healthier than raw or cooked cabbage, especially for fighting cancer.”

The researchers found that the fermentation process changes the glucosinolates, in cabbage, dissolving them into a a class of enzymes that have been shown to prevent cancer. One study, that compared the incidence of breast cancer among Polish women and polish immigrants in Michigan, found that women who stayed in Poland were less likely to develop cancer. Can you guess why?

The study went on to say that the Michigan immigrants were 4 – 5 times more likely to develop cancer due to the fact that Polish women (in their native land) ate much more cabbage and sauerkraut.

Many scientific papers tout the health benefits of cabbage – especially sauerkraut – due to its ability to inhibit estrogen, which is known to fuel breast cancer.

Fermented foods are the most potent source of beneficial bacteria

These probiotics are able to help the body eliminate a wide range of toxins and heavy metals. In fact, according to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride – a Russian neurologist, fermented foods help to restore our own detoxification system, which is instrumental in the self-healing process.

The best fermented foods to improve your health

To summarize, if you’re looking to improve your digestion; get more enzymes; improve nutrient absorption; reduce food costs; increase flavors plus help to prevent illness – then start eating a wide variety of fermented foods, such as:

True sour pickles – I, personally, love the pickles from a company called, Real Pickles – but you can make your own.

Dilly carrots or ‘cultured vegetables’ can be a delicious way to boost your nutritional profile. To learn more about the health benefits of cultured vegetables – check out the work of Caroline Barringer, Immunutrition.com

Water or milk kefir – which is a fermented milk product derived from cow, goat or sheep and enjoyed by many cultures – worldwide – for its healing properties.

Kombucha, like water kefir, is an extremely popular health drink – especially with kids. Its sweet-tart flavor and fizzy bubbles make this beverage great for parties.

Naturally, there are many other ways to incorporate fermented foods into your diet by eating miso soup, fresh yogurt or tempeh – to name a few. Just be sure, if you can, to avoid GMOs and always use organic ingredients.

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Jonathan LandsmanAbout the author: Jonathan Landsman is the host of NaturalHealth365.com, the NaturalNews Talk Hour – a free, weekly health show and the NaturalNews Inner Circle – a monthly subscription to the brightest minds in natural health and healing.

Reaching hundreds of thousands of people, worldwide, as a personal health consultant, writer and radio talk show host – Jonathan has been educating the public on the health benefits of an organic (non-GMO) diet along with high-quality supplementation and healthy lifestyle habits including exercise and meditation.

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Fermented foods can bring you back to life

March 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Food News

Fermented Foods(NaturalHealth365) Fermented foods offer a delicious way to help improve digestion; strengthen the cardiovascular system and enhance immunity. This ancient food preparation technique has seen a huge rise in its popularity as people are waking up to the many health benefits associated with these truly functional foods.

In a world of pasteurized and sterilized (de-natured) foods – fermented products would be a great addition to your diet.

Fermentation is a process where starches and proteins in vegetables and fruits are converted into lactic acid; this produces bacteria, which enhances digestion; increases vitamin levels, and promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestines.

Boost your nutrition with fermented foods

Fermented dairy products have increased levels of pyridine and the B vitamins including folic acid, riboflavin and biotin. Fermenting vegetables and fruits increase the bioavailability of amino acids, especially lysine and methionine, while the anaerobic environment preserves the vitamin C content of these foods.

When grains are fermented, the activity of phytic acid is decreased; this acid has anti-nutrient activity, as it binds minerals such as zinc, calcium, iron and magnesium – preventing their absorption.

Natural cures for colitis, IBS and Crohn’s disease

When suffering from any of these conditions – fermented foods can dramatically improve intestinal health. By supplying the good bacteria or probiotics such as lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, it helps maintain and increase the number of beneficial microorganism in the intestines. At the same time, it prevents colonization of pathogenic organisms.

Fermented foods are crucial to digestive health and have the unique ability to protect the stomach and intestinal linings. They ease digestive distress and discomfort related to having too much or too little stomach acid. When the production of hydrochloric acid is too low, fermented foods help increase the acidity of gastric juices, and when they are too high the fermented foods help protect both the stomach and intestines.

Stimulate your bowels to remove unwanted waste products

Traditionally produced fermented foods help with the production of acetylcholine. This is a neurotransmitter, which facilitates the transmission of nerve impulses. And we all know, better nerve impulses equal better bowel movements. If you suffer from constipation – try eating some traditionally-fermented pickles or sauerkraut. (yummy!)

By also helping with releasing digestive juices and enzymes from the stomach, pancreas, and the gallbladder – fermented food becomes a potent digestive aid. Most importantly, the beneficial bacteria create a short chain fatty acid, which becomes a source of fuel that enables intestinal cells to grow healthy intestinal tissue.

Diabetics find a great way to balance blood sugar

Fermented foods improve pancreatic function; the lactic acid-fermented foods are already broken down or pre-digested, so it is easy on the pancreas. Traditional fermented foods will help lower glucose levels by slowing down the speed with which the stomach empties.

In one study, the glycemic index of sourdough bread, which is fermented grain bread, turned out to be 68 on the glycemic index, while non-sourdough bread is 100 – on the glycemic index table.

More recently, German scientists were working with a strain of lactic acid bacteria found in sourdough bread, and found it to be more effective in killing microbes, which were resistant to most antibiotics.

Early civilizations knew that to preserve food – fermentation was a necessity. Today, we know that the concept of using naturally occurring good bacteria will help eliminate harmful types. This is why we find a diet that includes fermented foods helps eliminate candida; lowers the risk of certain cancers, and supports overall health.

Traditional fermented foods include, miso, a paste made of fermented soy beans; sauerkraut; sourdough bread; kefir, a fermented drink made from milk; yogurt, the kind that includes probiotics; natto, from fermented soybeans; tempeh and just about any vegetable can be fermented.

Another great idea is to try some “home pickling” – there are plenty of books available on the subject. If you have a favorite fermented food story or recipe – post your comments below.

About the author: Blanche Levine has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She has the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in natural healing including Naturopaths, scientist and energy healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.



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Natto outperforms statin drugs

December 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Reverse Heart Disease

Safe Body Detoxification(NaturalHealth365) Statin drugs are not the only way to prevent a heart attack. Research published in Atherosclerosis stated that a high dietary intake of vitamin K2 is associated with reduced coronary calcification (hardening of the arteries). And, natto is one of the richest sources of both vitamin K1 and K2. (Read the good news – below)

The health benefits of fermented foods are amazing!

Natto is a fermented soybean from Japan, which is known to promote overall health and wellness. It is the key element, Bacillus subtilis, which is used in the fermentation process – which makes natto easy to digest, while increasing the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

Fermented foods and beverages are the foundation of a healthy diet, since they are a great source of probiotics. In fact, natto has a long history as a super food in Japan, despite its stringy consistency and strong smell. Just be warned – it is considered an acquired taste that is worth acquiring.

In Japan, it has been a breakfast staple for over 1,000 years and one of the many reasons the Japanese are known to successfully avoid (most) chronic degenerative diseases. Vitamin K2 has repeatedly been shown to reduce blood clots; slows arterial calcification; enhances liver function and improve the flow of urine.

Vitamin K2 is a natural solution for heart disease

Vitamin k offers a way to protect the heart though a protein known as Matrix GLA Protein (MGP) – which is responsible for protecting your blood vessels from calcification by guarding against calcium crystal formation around the elastic fibers of the arterial lining. MGP turns out to be the one and only mechanism for arteries to be able to protect themselves from calcification.

The Rotterdam Heart Study a large-scale well controlled clinical trial, which tracked 4,800 participants for seven years, found that the participants who had the highest intake of vitamin k2 had better cardiovascular health than those with the lowest amount in their diet.

The fact that patients who take anti-coagulant drugs like Coumadin®, which is known to deplete vitamin K, suffer from accelerated atherosclerosis shows the value of vitamin K.

Could a natural diet end the need for statin drugs?

Animal studies also show that vitamin K2 not only blocks calcification, but also induces a 37 percent regression of arterial calcification. By the way, pharmaceutical drugs designed to reduce cholesterol have never been great at reversing plaque accumulation within the human body.

In fact, newly published research showed that statin drugs are associated with accelerating coronary artery and aortic artery calcification. A study, published August 2012, in the journal Diabetes Care, revealed that statin users with type 2 diabetes and advanced arthrosclerosis had greater artery calcification.

The science about natto is dramatic!

Japanese researcher Dr.Hiroyuki Sumi tested more than 173 natural foods to dissolve blood clots associated with heart attracts and stroke and found natto completely dissolved the clots. Sumi named the newly discovered protease enzyme Nattokinase which translates to “enzyme in natto.”

Dr. Sumi went on to say that Nattokinase showed “a potency of no other enzyme.” This means grass-fed butter, beef liver, some grass fed cheeses which contains K2 is not as good as natto.

Supplements can never replace a healthy diet

I’ve decided to give natto another try – since the healthy benefits are incredible. Keep in mind, the optimal dose is quite small, just one tablespoon a day will help meet the recommended dose of K vitamins.

Natto is tasty with Umeboshi plums (Japanese sour plum) and also good with rice, vegetables and tamari. Obviously, make sure you have an organic variety of this soybean product. And, remember, all it takes is a few bite size pieces mixed with rice and kim chi wraped in nori to meet the required amount. In addition, wasabi – the hot condiment – goes well with natto.

Most health experts suggest that supplements are never as good as the whole food source of K2, and from a nutritional outlook there isn’t a formula that can replace the health promoting effects of any food which contains vitamin K.

Please feel free to share your experience (or favorite recipe) with natto. Post your comments – below.

About the author: Blanche Levine has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She had the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in Natural Healing including Naturopaths, Scientist, and Energy Healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.


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