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The Benefits of " Sprouting" and "Fermented Foods"

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Cabana

114 3rd Street

Lake Oswego, OR 97034

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Raw Food made Simple!

This class is about learning how to prepare delicious food that does not have to be cooked. I will give you quick and easy steps on how to create beautiful and healthy salad dressings with raw ingredients, herbs, and essential oils. Please make sure you come hungry!

Whats included in this class:

  • Gourmet Organic Salads with Sprouts and Fermented Cabbage and Enzyme Dressing

Topics:

  • Why Enzymes are essential to your well-being

  • Secrets of sprouting made easy

  • How to create high enzyme salad dressings

  • Cooking without destroying your food

  • How to make Sourkraut and other Fermented Foods in a few minutes

  • 4 super easy recipes for busy people on the go!


Mark Twain wrote: "To eat is human, to digest divine."

We need enzymes to digest food. Our living body also needs enzymes for every other operation and chemical reaction to take place. Enzymes constitute the difference between life and death. Only living organisms can produce enzymes, but their capacity to make enzymes is limited and exhaustible.

Our body hosts two types of enzymes: metabolic enzymes, which run our bodies, and digestive enzymes, which participate in digesting our food. Only raw and living foods follow nature's design and come with their own food enzymes to aid digestion. They are responsible for the release of nutrients out of the foods we eat.

Dr. Edward Howell writes in his remarkable book Enzyme Nutrition that heat over 118° F kills enzymes. If food is cooked, it does not carry enzymes, and the body is forced to use up its own digestive enzymes.

Only living organisms, be it a human being, an animal, or a plant, possess enzymes. No one would ever argue that a dead person is the same as a living one just because the chemical composition of the body is the same. And yet we never think twice about allegations that cooked food is as good as raw food or better. The plant world possesses integrity and the "life factor." From an enzymatic approach, a picked up fruit or a cut off green is still alive, even though its own source of nourishment has been cut off. Seeds and nuts will reproduce if put into the soil, fruits will continue to ripen even after they have been picked from the tree, a vegetable--be it a carrot, onion, or potato--when put into the ground will sprout.

Ultimate Eating

Enzymes are combinations of proteins, vitamins, and minerals in an active molecular form. Chemists are able to synthesize some of these nutrients, but they have not been able to "breathe life" into them. The "life factor" has never been and probably never will be re-created.

Enzymes are very particular. They cannot tolerate heat, microwave irradiation, or pasteurization. Cooking always removes or spoils the goodness of food. Cooked food points down to the grave because it is dead. Only humans apply heat to what they eat. Presently, humans apply heat to most of their food prior to consumption. Humans on average as a race, die at or below half their potential lifespan of chronic illness that is largely diet and lifestyle related. "You won't be surprised that diseases are innumerable--count the cooks." - Seneca (4 BC-AD 65), Epistles

Cooking is the most profound abuse of food. Cookbooks are full of recipes on how to smother the life out of a meal. The more creative they are in doing so, the more honor we attribute to the cooks. The concept of great cuisine is based on the opinion that plain fruits or vegetables are not appealing to the eye or satisfying to our palate.

Natural food is seen as an enemy. The less the dish reminds one of the original ingredients, the prouder the cooks become. Raw produce is treated not like the divine food but as something to be mutilated and manipulated. It is even called "from scratch," as if it is a second-class product needing an upgrade. And yet, man is not capable of producing even a simple meal without using the basic ingredients he did not make. The talent of the cook should be applied elsewhere because the basic fruits and vegetables he begins with are nutritionally superior to the most sophisticated creations he ends up with.

Traditional cooking alters the taste buds into being incapable of appreciating the flavor and taste of raw fruits and vegetables. We become more concerned with pleasing our perverted palate and satisfying our coarse sensation than with providing nourishment to our body.

By cooking our food, we are killing nutrients that keep us alive and healthy. After we grill or roast, bake or boil, sauté or stew, we produce some decadent matter with no nutritional value and only by using salt or sugar abundantly can we get it to pass our taste buds. All cooks rely on salt, sugar, and spices to have their creations appreciated. Cooking without spices is not appealing. Not surprisingly, spices were originally used to disguise decaying and decomposing food.

How delicious is a fresh apple! But we put it in an oven and it becomes a squashy, mushy, shriveled mass requiring a load of sugar so one can eat it. In cooking, the original colors of fruits and vegetables are dulled and the initial variety of flavors is altered. Make no mistake, the nutritional value is gone as well.

It is ironic, but not incidental, that fresh produce is used for decoration of this bland and dead food. We decorate this lifeless, tasteless, and shapeless mess with fresh green leaves and brightly colored veggies to deceive our eyes. We add spices to disguise the smell. We load it with sugar and salt to cheat our taste buds.


Why Sprout?

Many people find they cannot tolerate grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes, or products such as bread, cakes or bean dishes made from them. Do you suffer from indigestion, flatulence, heaviness and other maladies after eating them?

Grains/seeds and legumes/beans contain enzyme inhibitors, which keep them dormant until they are soaked and start to sprout. They also contain phytic acid (an organic acid in which phosphorous is bound) in the outer layer or bran, and a variety of toxins to protect them from being eaten by mammals, including humans. These enzyme inhibitors, phytic acid, and other toxins make dry grains, seeds and legumes indigestible. Phytic acid also reacts with many essential minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc, and stops their absorption in your intestines.

sunflowerradish

Early humans did not evolve with grains or legumes as part of their diet. It is only in the last 10,000 years since the advent of agriculture, that humans have started to eat them. I emphasize that grains and legumes are a new food and that the human body has not fully adapted to digesting them. No other primates eat them.

Soaking neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors present in dry grains, seeds, and legumes, and starts the production of numerous beneficial enzymes. As they soak, the enzymes, Lactobacilli, and other helpful organisms break down and neutralize the phytic acid. As little as seven hours soaking in water removes most of the phytic acid. Soaking, fermenting and sprouting also breaks down gluten and other difficult-to-digest proteins into simpler components that are more easily absorbed. However, not all toxins are removed, with wheat and some legumes (see below) being the worst affected.

A diet with grains or legumes that have not been sprouted or soaked can lead to serious mineral deficiencies, bone loss, and digestive problems such as reflux, bloating, food allergies, irritable bowel, and other forms of weak digestion.

Bread and other products made from flour that has not been risen or soaked for at least seven hours have a similar effect. Most commercial bread, pastries, biscuits etc are made from un-soaked flour.

Commercially baked bread made from milled dry grains and fast acting yeast is prepared and baked in less than a few hours. No Lactobacilli are involved, only one strain of yeast is used, and the conditions are not suitable for neutralizing enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid. These breads are hard to digest.

Sprouts. The toxins in many legumes do not appear in their sprouts. Sprouts are a living, enzyme-rich food, natural and low in calories. Their vitamin A content will usually double, various B group vitamins will be 5 - 10 times higher, and vitamin C will increase by a similar order. Their protein content becomes easily digestible, and rich new nutrients such as enzymes and phytochemicals are created. They contain significant amounts of bio-available calcium, iron, and zinc.


Why fermented foods?

Groundbreaking new research has revealed the importance of the microbiome, the vast community of bacteria that lives within us. It turns out these bacteria outnumber our cells by a factor of 10 to one!

Believe it or not, we are more bacteria than we are human. The microbiome in our gut governs many of our body’s key functions and is crucial to our overall health.

A balanced microbiome regulates the immune system, metabolism, sustains the gastrointestinal tract, supports mood and brain function, produces crucial vitamins and nutrients, and helps us maintain a healthy weight.

So if you want to lose weight and feel better it’s essential that you balance the microbiome in your gut. One of the most effective ways to do that is by eating fermented foods.

Fermented foods are rich in live bacteria that replenish the microbiome, helping it maintain the right proportion of friendly bacteria for optimal health and weight loss. I call fermented foods part of the new generation of Superfoods.

These Superfoods help our bodies absorb nutrients and keep our microbiome balanced. An unbalanced microbiome causes gut distress, so even if we take all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in the world we won’t really improve our health. I've written about this extensively in my new book, The Microbiome Diet, which is a scientific look at how to improve digestion and lose weight by balancing your gut bacteria.

On this diet, I include the next generation of superfoods: the foods, spices, and supplements that help heal our gut and balance our microbiome.

Chief among them are fermented foods, which are the next frontier in prepared foods. In fact, fermented foods might even become the new American cuisine! Here's what you need to know about them:

Natural Probiotics

Probiotics are pills, powders, or capsules that contain billions of live bacteria, which help replenish your microbiome. Fermented foods are a type of natural probiotic, because they contain so many live bacteria along with many other crucial nutrients. Every culture in the world has its own fermented foods, which is a strong indication of how crucial they are to our health. The chart below offers a brief sampling of fermented foods around the world.



You can find fermented foods in many forms: pastes, seasonings, condiments, curries, stews, pickles, and even candy.

They can be fried or boiled or sometimes candied, and they can be eaten in main dishes, side dishes, salads, or desserts.

Fermented drinks also take many forms. They can be alcoholic, such as beer and wine, or nonalcoholic, such as certain teas, vinegar-based drinks, or buttermilk.

The universal consumption of fermented foods is the strongest possible demonstration of how much we humans need this type of food in our diets.

Sadly, the growing prevalence of Western fast foods and packaged foods is wiping out traditional food cultures, which I have come to believe is one of the primary causes of the worldwide obesity epidemic. Fortunately, as health consciousness grows, interest in fermented foods has grown as well.

The following foods are healthy fermented foods that are readily available in the United States and can be easily incorporated into a Western diet:

  • Sauerkraut — a version of fermented cabbage eaten throughout Eastern Europe, Russia, Austria, and Germany
  • Kimchee — a Korean version of fermented cabbage, carrots, onions, and garlic
  • Fermented vegetables — available ready-made in most stores and online
  • Kefir — a fermented milk drink from the north Caucasus
  • Yogurt — another type of fermented milk product eaten throughout central and west Asia, India, central Europe, and the Balkans

I highly recommend these foods, both for weight loss and for overall improvement of numerous symptoms, including depression, anxiety, brain fog, skin problems, hormonal issues, immune weaknesses, digestive problems, and fatigue.

A healthy microbiome can transform our endocrine, immune, digestive, and nervous systems — and by supporting the microbiome, fermented foods support these aspects of the body as well.

Sauerkraut

The name “sauerkraut” literally means sour cabbage. The cabbage is pickled by a process known as lacto-fermentation, in which glucose and other sugars in the cabbage are converted into energy and lactic acid.

Various types of bacteria — including lactobacilli, leuconostoc, and pediococci — enable the fermentation. These bacteria are also crucial in promoting balance within the microbiome. A number of companies make organic sauerkraut. One that I recommend to many patients is Bubbies, which makes a number of high-quality fermented and picked products, including an excellent sauerkraut and some wonderful pickled green tomatoes. (I'm not affiliated with this company, or any of the other brands I mention in this piece; I just like their products.)

Both the sauerkraut and the tomatoes are natural probiotics (sources of live bacteria). The tomatoes are also a natural prebiotic (sources of the dietary fiber on which friendly bacteria feast).

Tomatoes are full of a prebiotic known as arabinogalactans, which are extremely nourishing to helpful bacteria and thereby promote microbial balance. Tomatoes are also rich in lycopene, a prime antioxidant, and in vitamin C, another antioxidant.

They have plenty of vitamin A, which helps to heal the gut. They also offer have terrific cardioprotective benefits through lowering cholesterol and triglycerides and reducine platelet stickiness. They are also good for bone health. For a more exotic sauerkraut, a company called Wildbrine offers a red beet and sauerkraut salad, a curried cauliflower and sauerkraut salad, and a ginger sauerkraut salad, as well as a more traditional dilled sauerkraut.

Kimchee

Koreans find kimchee so delicious that they eat some with virtually every meal. We Americans could do far worse than to imitate their example, since kimchee is one of the healthiest probiotic foods there is, with proven support for weight loss as well.

A 2011 study published in the journal Nutrition Research found that fermented kimchee had a significant impact on the weight and body fat of the overweight and obese patients who were being studied. Not only did the patients shed both weight and fat, they also showed improvements in blood sugar, blood pressure, and the waist-hip ratio — an important biomarker of metabolic health.

Kimchee has also been shown to lower cholesterol, prevent constipation, and combat colon cancer. In addition, it can help to reduce stress, relieve depression, combat osteoarthritis, reduce atherosclerosis, and fighting liver disease.

Sunja’s offers a wonderful line of fermented vegetables prepared kimchi-style. In addition to the traditional kimchi-style cabbage, you can find fermented kale, radish, cucumber, and beets. There is also a “white kimchi” that offers the health benefits of fermentation without the spiciness of traditional kimchi.

Like pickled and fermented tomatoes, fermented radishes offer a double benefit: the fermentation offers a natural probiotics; the radishes are a natural prebiotic. Radishes are also high in magnesium and manganese (crucial for the production of digestive enzymes), vitamin C (a terrific antioxidant and immune system support), calcium (for bone health), folate, and vitamin B6 (good for coping with stress and supporting brain function).

In addition, radishes offer some ability to combat inflammation, an immune system response that promotes weight gain. Wildbrine also offers two variations on traditional kimchi — a Japanese-style miso and horseradish kimchi and a Thai-flavored kimchi prepared with lemongrass, mint, red curry, and pineapple — as well as a traditional Korean version.

Fermented vegetables

As we have seen, fermented vegetables are natural probiotics, and many are also natural prebiotics. In addition to the fermented vegetables offered by Sunja’s, you can find excellent choices from Bao Fermented Food and Drink, which offers a fermented cabbage that it markets as “Raw Slaw,” as well as a fermented hot sauce and — one of my favorites — a fermented ketchup.

Unlike most traditional ketchups, which are loaded with sugar and other problematic ingredients, Bao’s raw, sour, and fermented ketchup offers plenty of tangy flavor but no added sugar, gluten, or preservatives. Bao also makes kombucha, a fermented tea and a refreshing natural probiotic drink. Bao’s kombucha comes in seven flavors: original, berry, ginger, grape, mango, spice, and super green.

Kefir

Kefir, a fermented milk drink that resembles a liquid yogurt, is yet another natural probiotic. In addition to promoting microbial balance, it offers incredible support for your immune system and has traditionally been used to treat tuberculosis and cancer.

Sadly, many types of commercially available kefir are sold with fruit and other flavorings mixed in. This destroys the live bacteria and also adds many grams of sugar to the product, making it counterproductive as a weight-loss food and problematic for health generally. Kefir needs to be plain and unflavored to retain its full health benefits, although serving it with fresh fruit is fine.Goat’s milk kefir has also become commercially available.

This is fortunate, because many people are sensitive to cow’s milk but can tolerate from sheep’s and goat’s- milk products. Goat’s milk kefir — if unflavored and packaged without fruit — allows many more people to benefit from kefir without risking the inflammatory challenges that might be produced by the cow’s milk.

Yogurt

Like kefir, yogurt has numerous health benefits, but only when it is packaged plain, unflavored, and without fruit, although serving it with fresh fruit is fine. The health benefits of yogurt are numerous, as are its weight-loss benefits. In June 2011, the New England Journal of Medicine reported on research linking yogurt consumption with improved weight. The article reported on “Intriguing evidence [which] suggests that changes in colonic bacteria might influence weight gain.”

A year earlier the British Journal of Nutrition found that the kinds of bacteria found in yogurt produced improvements in insulin sensitivity and inflamation.

I hope this is a helpful starting point for you to begin healing your microbiome through food choices.


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114 3rd Street

Lake Oswego, OR 97034

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