Today I want to share an article by my colleague, Yulia Maltseva. Julia is an expert in holistic methods of wellness, a herbalist (Herbal Academy of New England), a certified detox and nutrition specialist for the Natalia Rose program and Sarah Gottfried’s hormonal detox; international yoga teacher USA Yoga Alliance RYT300; wellness trainer in Health & Wellness (University of Arizona); founder of the blog yogabodylanguage.com. In addition to all of the above, Julia is an enthusiastic fermentalist. She knows a lot about fermentation and the health benefits of fermented foods. In this article, Julia tells the details:
The history of the disease of modern man
In the food culture of every nation fermented foods occupied a special place. Thousands of years ago, our ancestors discovered that bacteria not only help preserve the seasonal harvest of vegetables, fruits, fish and game by fermentation, pickling, and soaking, but also give them a special taste that the world’s best chef cannot create. Probably, at that time people did not yet understand the mechanism of fermentation, but clearly noted the health benefits of fermented foods.
The emergence of semi-finished foods, preservatives, fast food restaurants has led to the fact that generations “Y” and “Z” can hardly believe that all food foods used to be made “from scratch” at home, and the main family recipes were tenderly stored and passed on. from generation to generation in bulky cookbooks. The changes have affected not only what we eat, how we eat, but also how we relate to food. Unfortunately, many modern people have lost the skills of traditional cooking due to lack of time, desire, due to the availability of quick ready-made food, and at the same time, they ceased to feel a connection with nature and, by the way, began to get sick more often and more.
Long before probiotics were sold in capsules, it was fermented food that replaced medicine. Fermented foods were widely featured in the diet of our ancestors, keeping them healthy every day. The lack of these healing foods in the diet of modern people manifests itself in weak immunity, digestive problems, systemic candidiasis, dysbiosis, low energy levels, inability to concentrate, depression, etc. Surprisingly, all of these conditions are directly dependent on the bacteria that live in our body.
Top 3 Whys About Fermented Foods
- Why fermented foods and not superfoods, fresh vegetables, or green juice?
Because only fermented foods and beverages contain a wide variety of beneficial bacteria that go a long way toward determining how we feel, our energy levels, how we look, and even our happiness.
- Why can’t you just buy probiotics at the pharmacy?
As a rule, it is difficult to find “live” probiotics of good quality and wide spectrum in a regular pharmacy. Even if you manage to find such, they will not contain the biological environment preferred by bacteria in which they remain strong and alive. Along with fermented foods, you also get probiotic bacteria and vitamins, minerals, organic acids from whole foods, which allows you to create optimal conditions in the human body for the colonization of bacteria, and not transit.
- Why can’t I just buy ready-made fermented foods from the store?
Commercial pickles, pickles, and drinks are often made with unwanted ingredients (emulsifiers, sugar, flavorings, unnatural vinegar). In addition, most fermented foods are pasteurized and therefore do not contain live probiotics. If you want to be sure of the “workability” of live foods, it is better (and also easier and cheaper) to make them at home.
The easiest way to get acquainted with fermented foods is to start with kombucha: it is quite unpretentious and has a unique taste that you will definitely like!
Many diseases – one kombucha
To begin with, we do not drink the kombucha itself, but the drink produced by the kombucha culture – fermented tea. Kombucha itself is a zoogley, or “uterus” – a symbiotic colony of several types of yeast-like fungi and acetic acid bacteria, and looks like a rubber disk floating on the surface of a can. The drink produced by zoogley, called kombucha in some countries, is rich in probiotics, vitamins and organic acids.
It is hard to believe that a drink based on regular sugar and tannin tea, obtained by a “mushroom” with a yeast content, is credited with healing properties. But the culture of kombucha has nothing to do with the kingdom of mushrooms, except, perhaps, some visual similarity. Do not be afraid of ingredients that clearly do not fit into the definition of a healthy lifestyle. When you add sugar to strong tea, remember that these ingredients are needed for the mushroom, not for you, and in two weeks the complete transformation of the sweet syrup into a life-giving elixir will take place. A small amount of sugar and tannin still remains in the final product, but definitely ten times lower than in Coca-Cola and energy drinks.
The finished drink contains vitamins C, PP, D, B, organic acids (gluconic, lactic, acetic, oxalic, malic, lemon), probiotics and enzymes (protase, amylase, catalase)that will give him anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties; it helps with digestive problems, dysbiosis, supports detoxification, improves pancreatic function, increases energy levels, prevents the development of allergies through the modulation of the immune system, keeps the human internal ecosystem on alert against the invasion of pathogens, viruses and infections that cause many chronic and inflammatory bowel disease. You can read about other properties of kombucha here. It is an essential body detox product that I use in my detox programs.
Some enthusiasts attribute miraculous properties to kombucha, including healing for arthritis, asthma, bladder stones, bronchitis, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, gout, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, rheumatism, migraines, and more. Although people suffering from these conditions may feel some relief after consuming kombucha, there is currently no scientific basis for this.
The main beneficial properties of the drink are associated with the large amount of organic acids that support the liver’s detoxification function. It is the acids that help the natural cleansing of the body, stimulate the immune system in the prevention of cancer and other degenerative diseases.
photo from food52
How to make kombucha at home
To make kombucha, you need tea mushroom culture… This is the must, because without “mom” you will never get this drink, just as kefir itself cannot be prepared from ordinary milk without adding kefir mushroom or sourdough.
While the ready-to-drink beverage is available in some health food stores and some supermarkets, the homemade beverage is unrivaled.
To make kombucha, you need a three liter glass jar, clean gauze, and culture.
- 3 liters of clean water,
- 300 g unrefined sugar
- 8 organic green tea bags,
- tea mushroom,
- 1 tbsp. ready-made tea infusion or ¼ tbsp. organic apple cider vinegar
Pour water into a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add tea bags. Remove container from heat and leave to brew for 15 minutes.
Remove the tea bags. Add sugar and stir. Let the tea cool to room temperature.
When the tea has cooled down, pour it into a jar. Place the mushroom on top of the tea, shiny side up. Add ready-made kombucha or vinegar. The fungus can “drown”, but during fermentation it will rise to the surface again. (If for any reason you need to pick up or move the mushroom, use a clean wooden spoon, as the metal negatively affects the symbiotic colony.)
Cover the jar with clean gauze and secure with an elastic band. The gauze simply protects the drink from dust, airborne spores and insects.
Leave the jar at room temperature (no lower than 18 and no higher than 32 ° C) in a dark place for up to 10 days. Temperature matters because at low temperatures the fermentation process will take too long. After the 7th day, you can start tasting the drink. The tea should not be too sweet, otherwise it means that the sugar has not yet been processed. The finished drink should foam slightly, resembling cider. If it has become too sour to taste or has a strong vinegar smell, then the fermentation process took too long. The drink can be consumed, but it will not taste as tasty as it should be.
When the kombucha is carbonated enough and to your liking, pour the drink into a sterile glass container, close the lid tightly and refrigerate.
You can store kombucha in a closed jar in the refrigerator for up to a month. The mushroom can be reused an unlimited number of times by caring for it and observing good hand and workplace hygiene.
Since zooglea is a living culture, it is important to carefully consider the choice of the crop supplier, making sure that there are certificates of compliance with food safety requirements. Failure to follow the basic rules of keeping the culture can be infected with unwanted bacteria, fungi and mold. You can read about the criteria for choosing a culture. here.
The drink can cause allergic reactions in some people. Start using the infusion in small amounts
Like any other food, kombucha has a number of limitations. Kombucha should be introduced with caution in the diet for pre-existing health problems. While healthy people, with reasonable use, they will only benefit.
Buy certified tea mushroom culture can be found on Julia’s website.
Julia will answer all questions about fermentation and functional use of probiotic foods in the group Fermentorium: probiotic club.