As you may have realized by now, there are many things that encompass the topics of mind, food and body at the same time.
In fact, food effects both body and mind.
And certain foods have a much greater effect on body and mind than others.
This goes both ways – low and high quality foods have an impact on mind and body.
Obviously, nutrient-dense foods like raw kale are going to provide more essential phytonutrients than calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods like take-out.
And that in itself is material for several other articles…
But the subject of this article is the incredible life-giving power of probiotic foods.
This is my favorite subject and one that continues to hold my fascination after decades of studying it.
Maybe it’s because most people don’t realize some of the key facts about probiotics, probiotic foods and supplements and the awe-inspiring microscopic ecosystem in their intestinal tract.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are bacteria and fungi species that are beneficial to the human species when ingested. These naturally occur in the large intestine (the gut).
What Are Probiotic Foods?
This specifically refers to foods (and drinks) that have been fermented, like pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, apple cider vinegar and many others.
The fermentation process not only allows the beneficial microorganisms to flourish and grow, but it actually increases the nutritional content of the food and makes it more digestible.
In other words, fermented food supplements and augments the existing beneficial bacterial colonies in your large intestine AND is not just more nutritious, but also more bioavailable!
Talk about a triple whammy!
Now, fresh-picked veggies from the garden (even lightly washed with water) are loaded with multiple strains of probiotics.
These are the natural microorganisms in the soil and that’s yet another reason why fresh, raw organic produce is better than stuff that isn’t.
But those probiotics are a tiny amount compared to the quantities found in fermented foods.
There are literally trillions of probiotics in every bite of fermented food, compared to maybe millions on raw fruit or veggies or even in probiotic supplements.
In fact, most supplements claim that there are billions of probiotics in each of their pills.
Actually, most probiotic manufacturers say that there was X number of “live” probiotics in each dose upon production.
But by the time you take them, who knows how many of the bacterial spores are still viable and able to “wake up” and grow?
Which is why I recommend probiotic supplements that don’t require refrigeration. But I’ll get to that in another post.
Clearly then, fermented foods are the best way to get large doses of probiotics while gaining the additional benefits of highly assimilable nutrients via this raw, yet “pre-digested” food.
Another wonderful byproduct of the fermentation process is the creation of certain enzymes.
Enzymes and probiotics work hand in hand within your gut (digestive enzymes, that is) and enzymes of all sorts are the catalysts for every chemical reaction in your body.
The digestive enzymes created during the fermentation process help you to digest all the other foods you’ve eaten, as well.
The better the food is broken down by available enzymes, the better will be the absorption of the nutrients in the food.
So, low levels of digestive enzymes mean low nutrient uptake. And low nutrient uptake means poor and failing health.
But guess what? Enzymes are very temperature-sensitive.
Anything above 115 degrees Fahrenheit and they are toast, for the most part.
Probiotics don’t much like the heat, either.
For storage, they like it cold. And to thrive and grow, they like it at 98.7 degrees.
Which means that cooked food is out.
And raw food is in. At least for probiotics and enzymes.
Do most people cook their food or eat it raw, these days?
And do most people look vibrantly healthy and at their proper weight?
Here’s a more serious one: Did you get any probiotics or enzymes in your diet today?
I have much more to say about this subject, but I’ll end this here for now and write several more posts about this stuff, ok?
Hopefully though, I’ve piqued your interest a little about the “real deal” dynamic duo of probiotics and enzymes.