Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fementation fixation !

More and more, health researchers are finding that our intestinal tract needs a boat load of good bacteria in order to keep us healthy and running in tip top form. Probiotics are what some of these are called- helpful little beneficial beauties that aid out bodies in the process of digestion. Digestion is simply food being broken down and the useful, nourishing components absorbed. Bacteria often gets a bad rap, but the truth is without it we would never have yogurt or cheese. Without happy little fungi , we would never have bread ( yeast is a fungus) or mushrooms. These "bad guys" break down fruits and transform them from something sweet to a substance that brings us in communion with The Gods - o so said the ancient Greeks and Romans about wine. Bacteria can do very good things for us !

Fermentation is something that was honored in days gone by for its ability to pre-digest sugars and allow our bodies to process the more important nutrients without needing to work through the sugars first. Things like Saurkraut and Sourdough were common table fare. Sadly the sauerkraut we find in the supermarket today has been stripped of it's beneficial properties through pasteurization , so even if you do eat it , you are getting short changed nutritionally. To get the real deal you have to make the real deal- something that is not very complicated, but requires time and space. All is not lost however, for there are more than one way to add healthy fermented foods into your diet. One such product is a common food stuff in the Ukranie that can be made in any kitchen- Beet Kvass !

What is Beet Kvass ? It is a form of slow extracted beet essence that is mildly fermented. I am currently brewing a batch in my kitchen. You need a large glass jar, 4 good sized fresh ,organic beets, water and either salt or whey ( the liquid that separated from plain yogurt is whey), First wash, peel and chop your beets, and place them in the very clean glass jar

I am using a gallon pickle jar from Sams. We seem to have a real love of crisp Kosher Dills in this house ! Chop your beets into small pieces, but do not shred. Next, add either 2 tablespoons sea salt and 2 tablespoons of whey OR 4 tablespoons of sea salt ( if you have a dairy allergy). Pour in about 2 quarts of water ( give or take- I just came close to filling the jar), cap and leave on a counter for 2-3 days . Less time if it is a warm room, more time if it is cold.

Yes, you leave a jar of food sitting on a counter for 2 days . The reason is you want the salt to begin to break down the sugars in the beets and begin a primary fermentation process. After 2 days transfer to the refrigerator  and pour off the liquid to drink. It can also be added to salad dressings.  Now why exactly is this good for you and what does it do ?

Beet Kvass benefits:

*More hydrating then water. In order to remain hydrated your body needs a balance of sugar, salt and water.
*Support the intestinal ecosystem. Lacto fermented drinks are packed with beneficial micro-organisms. Essentially they are full of what we often call probiotics.

Beets benefit our bodies by:
    * Good for the blood. They contain Betacyanin , which can dramatically increase the oxygen-carrying ability of the blood. Beets have also been used to help normalize blood pressure, improve the elasticity of arteries, and prevent varicose veins. They are high in iron, which prevents anemia.
    *  Beets have very high levels of anti-carcinogens. Beet juice has been shown to “help inhibit the development of colon and stomach cancer.”
    * Good for the liver. “Beet juice helps stimulate the function of liver cells and protect the liver and the bile ducts.”
    * Reduce Inflammation. Beets contain betaine, which has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body particularly when combined with choline (found naturally in egg yolk for example). ( hmmm- Beet Kvass flavored Deviled Eggs ??)

As of this writing , I have not tasted mine yet. I decided to try this experiment simply to address the amount of
Tylenol and Motrin I have been taking with this injury. Both can be very harsh on your liver, and I feel it is a wise move to repair any damage I may have encountered.

As for the injury, it is getting much, much better ! I asked for a Distance Reiki treatment from one of my fellow Reiki Practitioners, and I was finally able to move the leg enough to be able to get into the shower and walk quite a bit yesterday without the chair. Yay ! I have been doing a lot of self treatment, but it seems that you get greater benefit when another treats you. Makes sense, for even Doctors do not totally rely upon their own skills to treat their ailments. I am really happy with the progress, and in a day or two I will be ready to get out and take a modest stroll in the real world. Can you stand the excitement ??? :-)

1 comment:

blessedmama said...

Di, I am glad that you are starting to heal, even if feels ever so slowly. I totally agree with your assessment of fermented foods. I am trying to incorporate more and more of them on a regular basis into my family's diet.