Excerpt from Simple Foods 2.0: Food Probiotics

Time to help readjust the natural flora. Yeasts and pathogenic microbes are pretty pissed that you are trying to weed them out. Best way to tell them to fuck off is with an army of reinforcements. The gut misses its old friends. Without the beneficial strains producing vitamins and acids, you’re left with consuming microbes who are in the gut only for themselves. They then attach to your intestinal tract, and they could give a darm about the host aka YOU. Greedy little bastards. They are feasting on all your organic produce and grass fed beef, without you getting any of the benefits!

Get the gut guardians gathered, it’s about to get ugly. TAKE BACK THE GUT. Here’s how to jump start the growth of beneficial probiotic strains along your intestinal track. Assuming you aren’t experiencing GERD or have an autoimmune disease, here is a good starting point to introduce beneficial strains to the flora. It’s as easy as heading to your local supermarket.

FOODS

Sauerkraut

The enzymes and microbial strains in the glass jars containing kraut are a flora’s dream. Sauerkraut is one of my favorite probiotic foods. Buying this in the store can be quite expensive. I’ve seen these go for 10 bucks a pop. Best way to get around this, is to make your own! Here is where I learned to make my own.

Food Pairings

Breakfast: 2-3 Eggs with a few spoonful’s of fermented kraut.

Beneficial Strains:  Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Lactobacillus plantarum, Pediococcus pentosaceus, and Lactobacillus brevis [1]

 

Kombucha

Flavored drinks don’t have to be bad for you, they can actually be deliciously AWESOME for your gut. Kombucha is just that. The perfect alternative to soda or most sugary liquids, kombucha delivers great taste along with beneficial yeasts and acids. This stuff can be considered as the gut elixir. As with kraut, it can be quite pricey if you’re buying the bottles of this drink in the stores approaching 3$ per bottle. Which makes brewing your own a cheaper alternative. I’m a kombucha brewing machine. Best part about brewing your own, you can mix and match a bunch of different flavors. One of my favorites is ginger blueberry.

I learned how to brew my own from scratch from this site.

Food Pairing

Hangover Cure

Kombucha before and after a night of divulging in the demons of alcohol will give you some solace for your bad gut behavior.

BAD PAIRING

Kombucha & Whiskey

Mixing these two together makes drinking alcohol no so bad. Who am I kidding, its bad, but a cool way to impress your friends with your fresh brews of kombucha. See above for dealing with the next morning.

Beneficial Strains: Bacterium xylinum, Bacterium gluconium, Acetobacter hetogenum, Pichia fermentons, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Torulaspora delbrueckii and Zygosaccharomyces bailii

Kimchi

In the summer of 2014, I was first introduced to this spicy ferment. This fiery Napa Cabbage ferment might seem like your burning a hole in your intestines, but it’s actually providing a lot of benefits for your gut. With its acids and beneficial microbes, this probiotic food is a good way to test out those sweat glands. You can find kimchi in most Asian marketplaces, for around 5-10$ for a 10 oz jar. And like the other two ferments, it’s fun to make your own! A little more time and effort is needed for this but still worth it.

Food Pairing

Bone broth w/ kimchi

This was my go too when I broke my collarbone and wanted to heal fast. Kimchi provides the perfect amount of spiciness to the bone broth. H/T to Colin Champ for the idea!

Beneficial Strains: Lactobacillus sakei , Lactobacillus plantarum

 

Natto

While exploring New York City late August 2013, I had my first experience with Natto. I had no idea what I chowing down, I got scared, and threw it out. What was this gooey, stringy substance that I was consuming!?! Oh, it was just a probiotic glue. This was pre-flora knowledge. Although I haven’t gotten back into trying it again, I’d like too. Traditionally from Japanese cultures, this probiotic food source has an acquired taste that not all might enjoy so much. Hey, it’s worth a try right?

Food Pairing

Rice and Natto

Simple yet effective combo. Don’t forget a nice scrambled egg in there for some protein.

Beneficial Strains: Bacillius Subtilus

Kefir

Tangy yet sweet. Chug down some Kefir for not your everyday drink of choice. Can be fermented by either water or milk. I have only tried the milk kefir, and it is somewhat of an acquired taste. Kefir makes my taste buds dance from tangy joy of perfect fermentation. Also, if you’re a dairy free kinda consumer try making some coconut milk kefir. Mark Sisson has a great recipe for it.

Food pairing

Kefir fruit salad

Toss blueberry’s, strawberries, and banana in your home made yogurt stir and enjoy the fruity sensations along with the twisted tang of kefir.

Beneficial Strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus , Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus casei

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2168044/

  • Ana

    Great article! Look forwards to the book 🙂

  • Matt

    I have become a natto eater (at age 40-ish).. I’m sure it’s all in my head, but I like it.. Even the slight bitterness. It has a funkiness that’s different than cheese. And different brands taste different. I think the smaller beans have better flavor than the bigger ones – not sure why. I use it as a topping to chili or soup. If you want to keep the Bacillus Subtilus alive probably don’t want to get it too hot (<120F).

    And natto is the single highest source of vitamin K2. K2 keeps calcium out of your soft tissue (blood vessels and joints) allowing it to be available for your teeth and bones.

    I recently made a work trip to Japan.. While there I ate Japanese-style breakfast – each one with a little tub of natto. The only place I've found natto to buy in Boise is the Asian food stores.

    • Man that looks fantastic!

      I’ve gotta give Natto another go. I like that idea of putting it on chili and soups!

  • Thank you for this info!!! These are all such important foods to incorporate into your diet to “take back the gut” and this is such great info. http://www.probioticsguide.com