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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Fermented foods, gut health,and probiotics for a happy brain and strong immune system on PaleoJay Podcast 37

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Fermented foods, gut health,and probiotics for a happy brain and strong immune system!

Let’s say you know to eat “gluten free”, and you eat grass fed beef, wild caught fish, big salads, nuts- you are a Paleo Person and you know all this stuff and more- you have found that eliminating grains has had many happy results for you; helping you to lean out and improve your skin, your hair, and your teeth.  All of these happy results are typical upon adopting the paleo type of diet!

And, even more!  You know to eat good fats, you know the Vitamin K from pastured butter is wonderful for your teeth and bones, and even your mental health; and you also know that coconut oil with its medium chain triglycerides is also extremely beneficial both for the health of your arteries and brain, your skin, and your sense of satiety.

You, Paleo Person extraordinaire, are really onboard with all of this: why, you even make a big ol Paleo Smoothie each morning in your Vitamix blender that you bought with free shipping from the link  on   and along with all of the frozen veggies and organic berries, green tea and lemon, you know to add a slice or two of Kerrygold pastured butter, and coconut milk and oil!

Congratulations!  You really have made a huge change in your health, and hopefully also in the health of your family!  I hope you consider yourself a “fitness/health leader” now, since you most definitely are one.  What you have done is to gradually remove the “Grain Washing” you have experiences over your lifetime- this is what I call the actual brain washing of nutritional myths we have been indoctrinated with over the past 50 years of so- the food pyramid and “my plate” lies promoted by the big grain and processed food industries to sell you poor quality food and get you to not eat real, nutritious, God made foods!  You know, like those listed just above- humanely, pastured meats, pastured butter, free range birds, coconut oil.... etc.

So congrats on your return to SANE eating, as Jonathon Bailor puts it.  Sane = Paleo.

But, you are probably still missing one crucial piece of the puzzle!  Most folks are:

Did you know that the health of your GUT, or, more specifically, the health of the many millions of bacteria that we co-evolved with, is crucial for the well-being of, not only our bodies, but for the health of our BRAINS!?  We evolved with bacteria, and exist with them in synergy- much of what they do for us (and us for them, as a host organism) is still unknown.  But many bodily processes have been outsourced to them for many thousands of years, and we rely upon them to digest food for us, secrete chemicals that help our body processes, and probably a lot more as yet undiscovered.

Another lie we have grown up with, is that everything has to be refrigerated and kept completely antiseptic to be healthy to eat.  This notion is right up there with the fat is bad for us myth...

We really, really need healthy bacteria within us at all times- and what, pray tell, can give you this healthy gut?
Fermented foods!

I have bought a perfect pickler, which is really just a fermentation lock, such as is used in beer and wine making, that conveniently fits atop a wide-mouth mason jar, available almost anywhere.  Batch one of pickled mushrooms is perking away now, in the Paleo Jay Smoothie Cafe!  Each mushroom, in just 3 or 4 days will be a probiotic bacteria powerhouse, enriching my gut, and consequently then my brain, with happy dancing little bacterial friends!  Can’t wait- and, I love pickled foods just for that taste!

Also, I know I have mentioned it before, but make yourself some Kefir, or else buy yourself some Amasi from Beyond Organic!

This one ingredient has become essential in the Perfectly Paleo Smoothie that I make almost daily. To make Kefir is easy- obtain some grains online, I notice now that Amazon sells many varieties and from numerous sources- I have had mine for several years and they work wonderfully- I think they cost about $5.  All you have to do is add the grains to a glass bottle, fill said bottle with either goats milk or raw milk if available; but even standard whole milk will do... That’s it- let it sit out a couple of days, and you will have your Kefir- then, you can refrigerate it so it doesn’t get too tangy!

But, if time or taste (kefir is quite tangy- I like it, some people don’t... Amasi is a fantastic choice!  Beyond Organic is the only U.S. source I know of-  and they make a wonderful product that tastes amazing, and is just as beneficial as kefir.  It is great in the Paleo smoothie (I use 8 ounces or 1/2 of a bottle in mine), but it also tastes great all by itself, and is a wonderful total meal replacement!

So, again- Ungrainwash yourself!  And, while you are at it, feed, nourish, and repopulate your gut with billions of little pals that almost everyone in the modern Western world is missing- friendly bacteria- by eating fermented foods daily- kefir, amasi, and pickled foods like real fermented pickles are ideal, sauerkraut, really any pickled veggie you do yourself is the best, though there are companies that make the real deal as well.  Major brands are pasteurized for the most part, and just packed in vinegar so all of their bacteria is dead. Avoid these brands! Even ketchup used to be a fermented product- now, it’s just sugar tomato juice that is horrible for you...

We have gotten so far from our real, natural, nourishing food traditions!  It is up to us, you and me as health leaders to get us back on track!  So, eat real food!  And now, make sure that some of it is fermented each day!


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