Fermented foods, one of the keys to health and healing in the Body Ecology program, have finally started to get the mass media attention they deserve.
For example, last year BBC news reported on their curative link to the avian flu. Another study from the University of New Mexico then stated that sauerkraut (when traditionally fermented) may reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 74%. Another study of the fermented Korean food kimchi found similar results in terms of greatly improving the immune system.
While sauerkraut sales increased after last year's report, most of the brands on the market are pasteurized and contain vinegar and table salt which is NOT the type of sauerkraut the studies were referring to. With these commercially prepared sauerkrauts that are found on grocery shelves, the pasteurization (heating) destroys precious enzymes. Furthermore, the added refined -- and therefore mineral-depleted -- salt used by commercial manufacturers further eliminates the health benefits. (In the Body Ecology system of health and healing, we recommend adding some Celtic sea salt just before eating them to add flavor and medicinal benefits.)
A crucial general rule of thumb to remember is that the mass-process sauerkrauts - as well as mass-processed pickles and other foods that mock traditionally fermented foods -- do not provide the benefits that live, enzyme and microflora-rich REAL fermented foods provide.
Because of the incredible health benefits of real fermented foods - and also because finding the right form of these foods is so difficult -- Body Ecology created a line of fermented food starters which have grown into the bestselling products in the entire Body Ecology line.
These starters allow you to EASILY make your own high-quality, healthy fermented foods and drinks and experience the benefits, which can include (but are not limited to):
Probiotic supplements don't even come close to comparing with probiotic-rich fermented foods, as the fermented foods containing many more times the beneficial bacteria. Plus, the fact that the microflora travel down your digestive tract, escorted by food, helps ensure that they survive stomach acid and digestive enzymes in greater numbers.
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You are not limited to using each of the starters as outlined here. Choose the starter for your health goals, but also feel free to rotate them for the full range of beneficial bacterial and yeast that they provide your digestive system.
As for combining the starters, some people have combined them successfully, but unless you are experienced at using these starters already and have a strong understanding of their fermenting properties this is not initially recommended.
One of our customers recently wrote in to say she was making and enjoying the different taste and benefits of "Young Coconut Plantarum" by fermenting young coconut water with our Culture Starter.
Have fun experimenting while you eat and drink your way to much better health!