by Ashley R. Escarate
Gut flora is the ecosystem made up of friendly bacteria inside your tummy. These bacteria are essential to overall wellbeing (and weight loss) and everyone has them although some people may have more or less than others. Gut Flora will help with a stronger immune system, fighting food allergies, fighting disease, helping digestion, extracting nutrients…. the list goes on. Basically you really really need to keep your gut flora healthy because a happy gut is a happy body. Gut flora can and should be nurtured because by ingesting certain things, you can kill it (ie. Antibiotics, foods with strange chemicals in them, laxatives, heavy metals which can be found in food, surgeries and the medicine you have to take after the surgery). And when you kill your gut flora, your body gets way out-of-wack. What I’m trying to say is that it is crucial to maintain a healthy gut. You may have seen products at the grocery store that say “PROBIOTICS” somewhere on the packaging. Probiotics are what nurture the gut flora, and while you can buy these probiotic products at the store they are, more often than not, significantly more expensive than making your own! So, to make your own probiotic drinks here are a few recipes:
1. Get a large (preferably glass) container
2. Fill it with clean water (and by clean i mean not municipal water)
3. Peel, wash, and chop beets into quarters. You’ll need 1 Beet for every 1qt of water
4. Add 1 tablespoons of sea salt (per 1qt of water)
5. let the Kavas sit in a dark cool place for about a week.
It can sit longer. The longer you leave it the more friendly bacteria you get. It can go in your fridge when you are ready to stop fermenting the drink. You don’t need to drink very much at one time. I usually fill a shot glass full and drink that before bed. I will warn you that it tastes rather odd at first but you get used to it and pretty soon it starts to taste good! After all, it takes about 10 times for our palette to get accustomed to a new taste. You can dress it up with lemon juice or ginger juice or basically whatever you want. The good thing about fermented/organic foods is that you can do whatever you want with them (ie. put them in other foods and have fun with it). Just make sure that the salt you add is sea salt and not iodized.
Kombucha is a drink that you can make very easily at home. The process is similar to the beet kavas but first, you will need to obtain a Kombucha Scoby. The Scoby is the mushroom. You may know someone who has an extra or if not, this is a good website to give you a sort of direction on what to do to get a scoby ( http://www.culturesforhealth.com/obtaining-growing-kombucha-scoby ). Your local Whole Foods may have a Kombucha starter kit and you can even order them at Amazon! If you google how to make kombucha you will find lots of info on the process. But basically, you fill a glass container with tea and sugar and place the scoby inside. The Scoby mushroom will feed off of the sugar you put inside the container and the acid from the tea will kill any harmful bacteria. You can add any type of tea you want. Again, kombucha is organic so it’s not sensitive to the particular “food” you give it (just dont add anything with preservatives). When you want to drink the kombucha, you can drink it plain or you can add it to fruit juice (from the juicer) or smoothies or anything you want.
Good luck with your Kavas and Kombucha! And remember, a happy gut is a happy body 🙂
About the Author: “My name is Ashley Escarate, I LOVE Alaska and I’m really hoping this “Medical School” thing works out.”