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Altering the gut microbiome improves anxiety, but not with probiotics. Researchers analyzed 21 studies, including over 1,500 participants, which looked at altering gut bacteria to improve anxiety. 14 of the studies used probiotic interventions, while 7 of the studies used non-probiotic (or dietary) interventions. Results found that the non-probiotic interventions were significantly more successful in reducing anxiety than probiotic interventions. 45% of the probiotic interventions and 80% of the non-probiotic interventions had positive effects on anxiety. BMJ Takeaway: Researchers say that these results are consistent with the idea that food is the best way to ignite change in the gut microbiome. Secondly, the probiotic studies may have been less successful due to the fact that many of them used multi-strain probiotics, which resulted in differing microbial alterations, as well as a short study period (one to two months), which may not have allowed enough time for the probiotics to take root…

Introduction Fermented foods are projected to be one of the leading weight loss trends throughout 2019, but they’ve actually been around for a long time. The fermentation process is one of the oldest examples of food preservation, and fermented foods have been a foundational staple of the human diet throughout history. Unfortunately our modern ways of eating – processed, high fat, high salt, and high sugar foods – have taken the place of more traditional and healthful ways of eating. Fermented foods are now one of the least consumed foods in the U.S., despite the fact that they are one of the most important for gut health, specifically for your gut microbiome. Studies show that daily and long-term consumption of fermented foods can lead to improved weight loss. What are fermented foods & why are they beneficial for weight loss? The fermentation process transforms the food into a substance that’s…

This recipe can be scaled up or down, but I wanted to give you the basic instructions for 10 pounds of cucumbers. As for equipment, have a vegetable brush handy. You’ll need a 5-gallon ceramic or glass crock or a 5-gallon bucket of food-grade plastic. Please make sure it’s food-grade; that is, it originally was used to hold food. Other plastics leach toxic chemicals into their contents. You’ll need a glass or ceramic plate that just fits inside the crock or bucket, plus an unused gallon-size zip freezer bag, clean dish towels, a fresh package of cheesecloth, a large stainless steel or other nonreactive metal pot, a carton of canning jars with lids and bands, and a narrow plastic spatula. Note that the recipe calls for pickling spices. You can find them in the spice rack at almost any supermarket, but if you want to make your own, mix together…

This is the recipe for kimchi that I suggest you start with. You can add and subtract vegetables as you see fit, and as vegetables become available through the seasons. Just be aware that summertime kimchi will ferment rapidly, while cold winter kimchi will take more time to get just right. And remember, too, that refrigeration slows fermentation to a crawl, putting the microbes into a kind of suspended animation. This recipe can be doubled or tripled, depending on how many hungry kimchi recipients are waiting. Of course, all ingredients should be organic. Vegetables or other ingredients dosed with pesticides or preservatives will kill off or set back the beneficial fermentation microbes. Makes 3 to 4 pints Ingredients VEGETABLES 1/2 cup sea salt 2 quarts filtered or spring water 1 large head napa cabbage 3 medium carrots 1 daikon radish 3 scallions PASTE 3 serrano chilies, or to taste 5-inch…

For an introduction to fermented foods, try this simple, 3-ingredient recipe. There’s something about the flavor of ginger that augments the flavor of garden-fresh carrots. If you’re not growing your own, look for carrots with their tops on at the market. If the tops appear bright green, aromatic, and fresh, the carrots will be, too. The fermentation period helps these two disparate-but-symbiotic flavors to meld and mellow. *Makes 1 Quart Ingredients4 cups tightly packed grated carrots1 tablespoon grated, peeled fresh ginger3 teaspoons sea salt or pickling salt Method§ IN A LARGE BOWL, mix the carrots, ginger, and salt together and set the bowl aside for 30 minutes. Using a wooden pounder or potato masher, pound the carrot mixture for 5 minutes so the vegetables release their juices. Place the contents of the bowl in a quart canning jar and press down firmly so the carrots are covered by juice. Add…

Kefir is a tangy, milk- or water-based drink fermented by a symbiotic combination of bacteria and yeast clumped together in a matrix of protein, fats, and sugar. It’s a wonderfully rich source of healthy, diverse microbes and will do you a world of good. Kefir originated in the North Caucasus region, but no one knows precisely where or when. It comes to us from the mists of time, most likely handed down through many hundreds of generations. You can buy commercial kefir at the store, but you’ll make a better version at home. The symbiotic combination of bacteria and yeast forms “grains” that resemble small cauliflower florets. Some scientific sources have found up to thirty different kinds of bacteria in the grains. *Serves 2 Ingredients ½ cup organic milk kefir grains, unwashed 2 cups coconut milk Method PLACE THE KEFIR GRAINS in a wide-mouthed quart canning jar and pour in…