Kefir grains whole foods market

July 5, 2017
Kefiran and Whole Foods Market

YogurtSeems like we've hit a tipping point - lots of people (especially Jamie Lee Curtis) are talking about getting "regular" and everybody's jumping on the probiotic bandwagon these days. So, what are these probiotics and what do they do for us? When you get sick, you may take an antibiotic. Probiotics, on the other hand, may help you stay well. "Biotic" means "relating to life" so probiotic basically means "supportive of life." There are hundreds of different species of these friendly organisms colonizing our digestive track and competing with potentially harmful pathogens. Here at Whole Foods Market, we've known about this good stuff for a very long time, and we continue to offer foods and supplements that contain these ever-popular bacteria. But wait! Did I say bacteria? Isn't that bad? Well, some bacteria are bad - they are pathogenic in the human body, meaning they can cause illness. But, there are plenty other bacteria that are really, really good! You've probably heard of Lactobacillus acidophilus that you find in yogurt, but there are myriad of other helpful bacteria strains - trillions of live bacteria make their home right inside of you! (And that's usually a good thing!)

Why all of the attention now? As a nation, we have a lot of people with a lot of digestive problems. A healthy digestive tract is a huge defense because the majority of your immune system is located in your digestive system. If your digestive health isn't up to par, chances are your immune system isn't either. And, having a healthy digestive system means having plenty of healthy bacteria, and that's where probiotics come in. They are critical for the health of our immune system. They synthesize vitamins, eliminate toxins and help us digest our food and absorb nutrients. In the old days, people often ate fermented foods. Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso, kimchee, home-made pickles, and cheese are all examples of foods our ancestors prepared that contained live cultures. Nowadays, with so much of our food being pasteurized, we've eliminated most every source of these foods that we used to eat on a regular basis. So, it's a good idea to make sure your diet contains live foods and/or probiotic supplements. Next time you're shopping with us, look for one or more of the following items, many of which are kept refrigerated:

  • Live cultured pickles
  • Live cultured sauerkraut
  • Live cultured kimchee
  • Live pickled veggies
  • Live cultured salsa
  • Unpasteurized miso
  • cheese
  • Assorted beverages such as Synergy drinks and kombucha tea
  • Yogurt with live cultures (not all commercially sold yogurt or frozen yogurt have live cultures)
  • Kefir - a popular cultured dairy drink
  • Probiotic supplements - we have a large selection in our Whole Body Department

Remember to look for "live" food (it will say so on the package) and try to eat a variety of such foods in order to get different strains. Fermented foods are loaded with beneficial bacteria. If you have digestive concerns, they are helpful in competing with unfriendly bacteria, but it is possible to over-do it initially. Starting slowly is a good idea. I usually recommend just a teaspoon with a meal. Then, work your way up gradually to 1/4 to 1/2 cup daily. If you have digestive concerns, be sure to check with your health care practitioner. For a quick lunch filled with fermented foods, make a sandwich with raw milk cheese slices, ripe tomatoes, fresh live sauerkraut, German-style mustard or your favorite mayonnaise on dark rye or pumpernickel bread. Have you ever experimented with making your own yogurt, kefir or cultured veggies? If so, I would love to hear about it. Or if you have a favorite way to get your probiotics, let me know that too!

Community Grains I Made Locally I Whole Foods Market
Community Grains I Made Locally I Whole Foods Market
Pasta by Community Grains I Made Locally I Whole Foods Market
Pasta by Community Grains I Made Locally I Whole Foods Market
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