By now, most of us have at least a general understanding that maintaining healthy gut bacteria is pretty darn important to our overall health. But what exactly does that mean?
Making your own probiotic-rich water kefir can be a rewarding and cost-effective hobby, but as a living culture, it can sometimes throw you a curveball. Room temperature, water quality and inadequate nutrition are just a few factors that can influence the health of your kefir grains and the quality of your water kefir.
Inspired by the Wise Traditions conference we attended in October, I have recommitted myself to serving one fermented food (or beverage) with every meal.
One of our favorite (and easiest) ways to get real-food probiotics is with water kefir — a probiotic-rich beverage that is made by fermenting sugar water with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.
In addition to the standard perks of transforming a vegetable into a probiotic food rich in beneficial microbes, fermenting beets also reduces oxalates, which improves the bioavailability of minerals. It also preserves the beet’s vitamins C and reduces its sugar content as the lactic acid bacteria consumes beet sugar during the fermentation process.
Fermenting stabilizes and preserves the precious betalains we talked about earlier. Studies suggest that lacto-fermentation can preserve betalain levels for up to a month with no degradation.
Diet plays a vital role in the composition of our gut’s microbiota terrain and, consequently, shapes the immune system. Consuming fermented foods such as sauerkraut naturally supports microbiome diversity, which not only helps to maintain proper digestive function and a healthy metabolism, it directly affects our health and mood.