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Fermented Veggies – Yum!

Fermented foods, also known as cultured foods have been part of the human diet for millennia.  However, due to modern food production as well as convenience foods, fermented foods are no longer dietary staples.  Consequently, the human digestive tract and immune suffers.  Whether somebody is suffering from frequent colds, Candida, auto-immune conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s, Lupus or digestive distress including constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome or stomach bloating, fermented foods can be an integral part of the healing process with these disorders.

In this blog post, I’ll be focusing on fermented vegetables but the world of fermented foods includes chutneys, salsas, relishes, condiments like mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise, kefir, kombucha, yogurt, cheese, and sourdough grains.  The world of fermented foods is abundant and alive (pun intended!)

Originally people fermented foods as a way to preserve the harvest.  However, the process of lacto-fermentation results in foods that not only are preserved long-term but also have increased digestibility and vitamin levels.

During the process of fermentation, lactobacilli (bacteria) convert the sugars and starches in vegetables into lactic acid.  Then the lactic acid preserves the food by inhibiting any putrefying bacteria.

In The Body Ecology Diet, author Donna Gates outlines several benefits of fermented veggies.

  • They are a less expensive alternative to probiotics
  • They improve digestion as the vegetables are pre-digested
  • They contain enzymes to facilitate digestion, eliminate toxins, and boost the immune system
  • Are great for controlling food cravings and assisting in weight control

Fermented vegetables are surprisingly easy to make and are much less expensive than buying them at a health food store.  And you can make them according to your own tastes.  It’s common to start making fermented veggies by using cabbage alone or combining cabbage with other vegetables such as kale, carrots, radishes, ginger, turnips, beets, etc.  The combinations are really endless.

Specific recipes and instructions can be found in the books and websites listed below.  The recipes can be made using only salt but you can use a starter culture such as those available from Body Ecology or by using whey.  If you’re in the Triangle area of North Carolina, I always have extra whey (left over from cheese making).  Leave a comment on the blog and I’ll contact you.

I really encourage you to explore the world of fermented foods.  I find that the more I eat, the more I crave them (believe it or not).  I try to consume fermented foods at every meal whether that be kefir in my mornings smoothie, kombucha, sauerkraut, fermented carrots, sourdough bread, fermented salsa or chili sauce.  Donna Gates recommends a ½ cup serving of fermented veggies with any meal that contains a protein or starch.  I love the variety of foods and their life-sustaining benefits.

Resources

Books:

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz

The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates

Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell-McBride M.D.

Online resources:

Nourished Kitchen Get Cultured e-Course

GNOWFGLINS Lacto-Fermentation e-Course

Nourishing Days Fermented Food for Beginners

Cultured Food Life

Nourished Kitchen Fermented Foods

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Whole Body Purification

Center for Chiropractic and Wellness is hosting a workshop next Wednesday, May 11 on the Purification Program from Standard Process.  We’ve been using this powerfully effective detoxification program in our office for several years now and we invite you to learn more. 

 You may be asking yourself, “Why do I need the Purification Program?”  Unfortunately we live in a toxic environment.  We are exposed to environmental and internal toxins on a daily basis.  Here are some unfortunate statistics:

  • Approximately 87,000 new chemicals have been created and introduced into our environment in the US since World War II. 
  • Two thousand new chemicals are added every year!  Additionally, tap water is contaminated with chlorine, trihalamethanes (environmental pollutants), lead, cadmium, plus medications and hormones. 
  • Body care products such as shampoo, shaving cream, deodorant, makeup, hair styling products, sunscreen, and perfume contain xenohormones.  These hormone-like chemicals wreak havoc on the body’s hormones, nervous system, and general cellular function. 
  • The average American home contains over 60 hazardous products, most of which are lawn/garden and cleaning supplies.
  • The average American consumes 14 lbs of food additives, 160 lbs of sugar, 8 lbs of salt in a given year.

I could go on but needless to say, we live in an environment that is not conducive to health! 

 But other reasons why patients choose to do the Purification Program is that they want to feel better.  So many people are plagued with weight gain, brain fog, allergies, insomnia, acne, menstrual irregularities, poor digestion, sugar and/or salt cravings, pre-diabetes, eczema, low libido, etc.  The purpose of the Purification Program is to stimulate the liver, kidneys, small intestine and large intestine so as to allow the body to lighten it’s toxic load and cleanse itself from the inside out. 

 The Purification Program is a 21-day cleanse that involves eating whole, organic (if possible), unprocessed foods, taking whole-food supplements and drinking plenty of water (filtered or spring).  We have scores of recipes available to help patients create flavorful and exciting food during the cleanse. 

 The Purification Program is also backed by research demonstrating it as an effective tool to lessen cardiovascular disease risk.  Research published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine (September 2008) reported  a total cholesterol decrease of 47 points after the 28 patients in the study completed the 21-day Purification Program.  Additionally the patients experienced decreases in triglycerides, LDL, HDL, and VLDL cholesterol during the program.  As an added benefit, weight loss was also noted for all 28 patients!  To read the research article, please click here.

 That has been our experience at CCW as well.  Last week I spoke with several patients who had recently finished the Purification Program.  One woman lost 15 pounds and her heel pain disappeared.  Another female patient lost 8 pounds, had clearer skin and resumed a “regular” menstrual cycle, which previously had been absent.  Other patients of mine have reported being pulled out of depression, sleeping better, increased energy, decreased allergies, regular bowel movements, improved digestion, clearer thinking, increased vitality, mood stability and a general positive outlook. 

 Even if you are unable to attend the workshop but are interested in the Purification Program, please call us at 919-845-3280.  Here’s to your health!

Cancer Loves Sugar

I’ve known for a while that sugar fuels cancer growth but I read an article today that targets fructose as cancer’s particular favorite. 

The journal Cancer Research published a study conducted by UCLA that demonstrated that pancreatic cancer cells favor fructose as a fuel source over other forms of sugar, like glucose.  The UCLA study found that while cancer uses sugar in general as fuel, fructose drives cancer cells to divide, thereby multiplying themselves.  

The main source of fructose in the American diet is in the form of high-fructose corn syrup which is found is sodas, sports drinks, candy, snack foods, bread, and cereal  to name a few.  On average, Americans consume 70 grams of fructose per day, much more than is recommended by health organizations. 

Fructose is also found in fruit but in smaller amounts.  For example, a high sugar fruit such as a banana has 7.28 grams of fructose per serving while a low sugar fruit like a peach has 2.36  grams.   Author and physician Joseph Mercola, MD recommends less than 20 grams of fructose per day with a limit of 15 grams from fruit.