In April of 2016 I posted on Facebook, something that got a lot of attention.... and I want to share it with you because I know it is true and important information.
There is a wave coming....
"Before the words "with probiotics!" starts getting slapped on EVERYTHING (trust me - it's coming soon) from flavoured waters to candy to cereal (not 'foods' that you actually need) here is a simple warning: probiotics from <<<natural foods>>> are what your body craves...... those probiotics are what your body will understand... they help your body absorb nutrients from food, they are so important, we are learning so much and its just the tip of the iceberg.... that's why everyone is hopping on this train.
Probiotics are living bacteria, they cannot function on dead food...
If you want to eat your probiotics, you need to get them from real food and it needs to be from a raw, fermented food .... not a product that says <<probiotics added>> and not a 'food product' that spouts the benefits of probiotics.
Foods that have live bacteria in them will not often have great shelf space, or big buzz-word labels about them. It will simply say 'raw' or 'unpasteurized' on the label. It may be even be hidden on the bottom shelf somewhere.
This is all just another reason we need to all get back in our kitchens (all of us) and do this ourselves - when we let giant food producers take over our system we lost all these practices.
I spoke with a senior during one of my 2016 Spring Cleanse workshops - she was in shock that "those old barrels of cabbage in the barn" her parents used to do were so good for you. She just thought her parents were cheap. They were smart. So learn to ferment, buy raw ferments and watch the wave start rollin' !"
Then I signed off my facebook post "The Fermentation Purist"
I never considered myself a "fermentation purist" until I got caught once in the awkward middle of a discussion about the best brands of probiotic supplements. There were talks of bottles having dead bacteria, which bacteria can actually survive the trip through the gastrointestinal tract, and how the best quality supplements were obviously the most expensive ones you can find. It was a lengthy discussion. I held my stance of food first, supplements second. It doesn't mean our body can't benefit from supplements, it just means our body understands foods better than pills, so we should always start with whole foods.
Have you ever heard the saying "the truth always lies somewhere in the middle" ? If we applied that to all the information we were fed/told about nutrition, I think I'd be out of a job. We'd all be a bit healthier and a little more balanced and we wouldn't spend so much time thinking, stressing and worrying about our food. It's really true. The truth lies somewhere in the middle.
I digress. It was then that I realized I felt really strongly about people learning to make their own fermented foods because I do believe that we should be getting most of our nutrition from our food first, and then supplements in acute situations.
So many answers that we look for elsewhere are right under our nose - in our food choices.
I believe that Nature can provide all that we need, as long as we have the awareness to learn what it is that we need.
Fermented foods are one piece of the big puzzle of health. Gut bacteria and probiotics are in the news because, as I read in one article last week, research in probiotics are the 'next big thing' we want to research.
It's AMAZING. There is still much to be learned about how probiotics can be used most effectively, which means it’s unlikely we will see routine use in places like hospitals (one place they'd be needed most) recommended for some time.
But the important part is.... the wave is rollin!
Learn more about gut bacteria & mental health, and the upcoming wave, from my amazing friend and colleague Lisa Kilgour in her superb Ted Talk here.
If you're in need of a digestive overhaul, join my incredibly bubbly Fermentation group on Facebook here for culture sharing and general fermenting shenanigans, or send me an email if you need to chat about your nutrition.