How to Create a Probiotic-Rich Drink

by mercola

The more I discover about health, the more I appreciate how critically important probiotics are.

The more I discover about health, the more I appreciate how critically important probiotics are. As a matter of fact, Green Med Info has put together a comprehensive list of more than 200 studies about the amazing health-promoting effects of probiotics or beneficial bacteria.

Your body contains about 100 trillion bacteria -- more than 10 times the number of cells you have in your entire body. The ideal ratio of the bacteria in your gut is 85 percent "good" and 15 percent "bad" bacteria.

However, your gut bacteria are very vulnerable to lifestyle and environmental factors, such as:

  • Chlorinated water
  • Antibacterial soaps
  • Agricultural and chemical pesticides
  • Antibiotics
  • Pollution

All of these factors can throw your gut flora out of balance. You encounter many of these factors regularly, making it crucial for you to replenish the “good” bacteria you lose on an ongoing basis. 

The Value of Fermented Foods

The importance of your gut flora and its influence on your health cannot be overstated. It's truly profound.

healthy groceriesAfter doing a series of interviews with Dr. Natasha Campbell- McBride, a Russian-trained neurologist with a full-time medical practice in the U.K., I became fully convinced that the introduction of fermented foods, along with the "heal and seal" process for the gut that she has developed, can help take your health to the next level.

Dr. McBride’s GAPS Introduction Diet, which has been followed in different parts of the world and taught by a growing number of GAPS practitioners, includes consuming top probiotic foods. Among her recommendations are fermented vegetables (which I personally eat nearly every day), such as kimchi and sauerkraut. For individuals with severe digestive disorders, Dr. McBride suggests starting on the juice of fermented vegetables only, as the fiber of the vegetables may be too much to handle for some.

Drinking homemade fermented yoghurt using raw milk from grass-fed cows and consuming organic, high-quality whey are also encouraged. 

How to Make Kefir?

kefir drinkCultured or fermented foods should be a regular part of your diet. If you eat optimal amounts of these healthful foods, you can keep your digestive tract well-supplied with good bacteria.

One of the best and least expensive ways to get healthy bacteria through your diet is to obtain raw milk and convert it to kefir, which is really easy to make at home.

To make your own homemade kefir, follow these steps:

  1. Add kefir granules in a clean glass jar.
  2. Pour in raw unpasteurized milk, preferably from a grass-fed and organic source.
  3. Leave it on your countertop overnight or for 12 to 24 hours. Make sure you keep it at room temperature and out of direct sunlight.
  4. By the time you wake up in the morning, your kefir should be ready. If it hasn’t obtained the consistency of yogurt, you might want to leave it out a bit longer. When it has reached the ideal consistency, keep it in the refrigerator to stop the fermentation process.

A quart of kefir has far more active bacteria than you can possibly purchase in any probiotic supplement. It is also very economical, as you can reuse the kefir from the original quart of milk about 10 times before you need to start a new culture pack. Just one starter package of kefir granules can convert about 50 gallons of milk to kefir.

This is a far healthier and far more economical way to nourish your body with probiotics than buying any of the commercial probiotic beverages on the market. Apart from issues in their probiotic content, most contain added sugars and undergo pasteurization, which depletes the nutrients present in the milk.

Updated: 04/04/2014, mercola
 
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dustytoes on 04/05/2014

I see Kefir at my local store but had no idea what it was. When you say "ideal consistency" what does that mean? Should it be like yogurt? I also don't understand this statement: "you can reuse the kefir from the original quart of milk about 10 times." I've never seen the starter packages, so I'll keep an eye out. I agree that probiotics are important.

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