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Add yogurt, kimchi & kombucha to your diet. Fermented foods secret to a healthy body



Fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha have long been a staple in many parts of the world. In fact, for thousands of years, various cultures have relied on fermentation to make bread and cheese, preserve meat and vegetables, and improve the taste and texture of many foods.

Now scientists are discovering that fermented foods can have fascinating effects on our intestines. Eating these foods can alter the makeup of the trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi that inhabit our intestinal tract, collectively known as the gut microbiome. They can also lead to lower levels of inflammation throughout the body, which scientists are increasingly linking to a range of age-related diseases.

The latest findings come from a study published in the journal Cell, carried out by researchers at Stanford University. They wanted to see what effects fermented foods can have on the gut and immune system, and how they compare to a relatively healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and other high-fiber foods.

For the study, the researchers recruited 36 healthy adults and randomly divided them into groups. One group was instructed to increase their consumption of high-fiber plant-based foods, while a second group was instructed to eat plenty of fermented foods, including yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, and kimchi. These foods are made by combining milk, vegetables and other raw materials with microorganisms like yeast and bacteria. As a result, fermented foods are often teeming with live microorganisms, as well as by-products of the fermentation process, which contain various vitamins, as well as lactic and citric acids.

Participants followed the diets for 10 weeks while the researchers tracked markers of inflammation in their blood and looked for changes in their gut microbiome. By the end of the study, the first group had doubled their fiber intake from about 22 grams per day to 45 grams per day, which is roughly three times the average American intake. The second group consumed almost no fermented foods and ate about six servings a day. While six servings may sound like a lot, it isn’t

plenty to get: a cup of yogurt for breakfast, a 16-ounce bottle of kombucha tea for lunch, and a cup of kimchi for dinner are the equivalent of six daily servings.

After the 10 week period, neither group had significant changes in general immune health measurements. But the fermented foods group showed a significant reduction in 19 inflammatory compounds. Among the compounds that showed a decrease was interleukin-6, an inflammatory protein that is prone to high levels in diseases such as type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. In contrast, the high fiber group showed no overall decrease in the same inflammatory compounds.


One reason fermented foods can be beneficial is because the microorganisms they contain are constantly producing a lot of nutrients during the fermentation process.

In people in the fermented food group, the decrease in markers of inflammation coincided with changes in their gut. They began to harbor a wider and more diverse range of microbes, in line with other recent studies of people consuming a variety of fermented foods. The new research found that the more fermented foods people ate, the more microbial species bloomed in their bowels. Surprisingly, however, only 5% of the new microbes discovered in their guts appeared to have come directly from the fermented foods they ate.

“The vast majority came from elsewhere, and we don’t know where,” says Justin Sonnenburg, author of the new study and professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford. “I think there were either low-level, below-limit-of-detection microbes that bloomed, or the fermented foods did something that allowed other microbes to be quickly recruited into the gut environment.”

Greater diversity in the gut microbiome is generally considered a good thing. Studies have linked it to lower rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic disorders, and other diseases. People who live in developed nations tend to have less microbial diversity in their gut than people who live in more traditional, non-industrialized societies. Some scientists speculate that modern lifestyle factors such as a diet high in processed foods, chronic stress, and physical inactivity can suppress the growth of potentially beneficial gut microbes. Others argue that the correlation between diverse microbiomes and good health is exaggerated and that the low level of microbiome diversity typically observed in people in developed countries could be appropriately adapted to a modern world.

One topic of which there is little disagreement among nutritionists is the benefits of a high-fiber diet. In large studies, people who eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other high-fiber foods tend to have lower death rates and fewer chronic illnesses. Fiber is considered good for gut health: microbes in the gut feed on fiber and use it to produce useful by-products like short chain fatty acids that can reduce inflammation. Some studies also suggest that consuming lots of fiber promotes a diverse microbiome.

The Stanford researchers expected that a high-fiber diet would have a huge impact on the composition of the microbiome. Instead, the high-fiber group tended to show few changes in their microbial diversity. But when the scientists took a closer look, they discovered something conspicuous. People who started with higher microbial diversity showed a decrease in inflammation with the high fiber diet, while those with the lowest microbial diversity had a slight increase in inflammation when they consumed more fiber.

The researchers said they suspect that people with low microbiome diversity may lack the right microbes to digest all of the fiber they consume. One finding that supports this: the high-fiber group had unexpectedly large amounts of carbohydrates in their stool that were not broken down by their gut microbes. One possibility is that her bowels took more time to adjust to the high-fiber diet. But ultimately, this finding could explain why some people experience gas and other uncomfortable gastrointestinal problems when they eat a lot of fiber, said Christopher Gardner, another author on the study.

“Perhaps the challenge some people face with fiber is their microbiome not being prepared for it,” said Gardner, the director of nutritional studies at Stanford Prevention Research Center.

Fermented Food Pickle_iStockiStock

Greater diversity in the gut microbiome is generally considered a good thing.

One question the researchers want to answer in the future is what would happen if people consumed more fermented foods and more fiber at the same time. Would that increase the variety of microbes in your gut and improve your ability to digest more fiber? Would the two have a synergistic effect on inflammation?

Suzanne Devkota, director of microbiome research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, who wasn’t involved in the new study, said fermented foods had long been believed to have health benefits, but the new research was some of the first provides “hard evidence” that it can affect the gut and inflammation. “We have always been a little reluctant to comment on whether fermented foods are beneficial, especially from an inflammatory point of view, because there really was no data behind it,” she said.

Devkota cautioned that the results shouldn’t discourage anyone from eating high-fiber foods because fiber has so many health benefits beyond its effects on the gut. She consumes a lot of fiber and fermented foods herself, and often recommends that patients in Cedars-Sinai with conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease do the same. “That doesn’t change my recommendation,” she said. “But I would probably go a little more encouraging people to eat fermented foods because I now have data to suggest that there are some anti-inflammatory properties.”

Devkota said more research is needed to better understand the links between fermented foods and general health. However, she suggested that one reason fermented foods can be beneficial is because the microorganisms in them are constantly producing a lot of nutrients during the fermentation process. “A glass of sauerkraut is a living food with substances that are actively produced, such as vitamins,” she said. “When you eat a fermented food, you are consuming all of these microbially made chemicals that are good for you.”

Whole Grains Health

The Pros and Cons of Vegetarian Diets



Many people follow a vegetarian diet to improve their health. The health benefits of a vegetarian diet are well documented. But this diet also has disadvantages. When thinking about following a vegetarian diet, consider these pros and cons to make sure it is right for you.

Pros: A vegetarian diet can lower your risk of disease.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds are at the heart of a healthy, balanced vegetarian diet. These foods provide an abundance of health-protecting vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that can lower the risk of common chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and obesity.

Cons: Just because it’s vegetarian doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

On the other hand, if your vegetarian diet includes a lot of highly processed foods instead of whole plant foods, the risk of some chronic diseases may even increase. There are plenty of junk foods that can fit into a vegetarian diet but are not good for you – think soda, chips, and cookies, among others. Packaged vegetarian meals and snacks can contain high amounts of added sugar, sodium, and fat and offer little to no nutritional value. Remember, as with any diet, there are ways to make a vegetarian diet healthy and turn it into a diet disaster.

Pros: You have options when it comes to going vegetarian.

You can determine the type of vegetarian eating plan that will work best for you. Some people cut meat, fish, and poultry from their diet, but eat eggs and dairy products. Others only allow eggs or only dairy products. Some occasionally contain seafood. A vegan diet eliminates all foods that come from animals, even things like honey.

Downside: You may be nutritionally deficient.

Some essential nutrients such as vitamins B12 and D, calcium and iron are not found in many plant foods. Vegetarian diets can provide these nutrients as long as food intake is properly planned, but supplementation is sometimes required. The main sources of these nutrients for vegetarians include:

  • Vitamin B12: Found in animal products such as eggs and milk (as well as meat, fish and poultry). Also found in some fortified grains, nutritional yeast, meat substitutes, and soy milk.
  • Vitamin D: In addition to eggs and fish, it is also found in fortified vegetable milk and mushrooms. Vitamin D is also obtained from exposure to the sun.
  • Calcium: In addition to dairy products, calcium is found in fortified plant-based milk, grains, juice, tofu, kale, kale, broccoli, beans, and almonds.
  • Iron: You can get iron from eggs, but also fortified grains, soy, spinach, Swiss chard, and beans. Combine iron-rich foods with vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, peppers, or tomatoes to increase your intake.

Starting a vegetarian diet can be difficult when shopping for groceries, dining out, and dining in social settings. Over time this will get easier, but will require some work. Read the product labels and familiarize yourself with common animal ingredients like casein, whey, and gelatin. In restaurants, remember that meatless meals can be made with dairy or other animal products such as beef or chicken broth. So ask questions to make a choice that is right for you. If you’re eating at home, it’s best to bring a vegetarian dish that anyone can enjoy.

If you are committed to a vegetarian lifestyle, a registered dietitian can provide helpful tips to better meet your nutritional needs.


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Whole Grains Health

Falling for weight loss myths



I’m here to warn you about 5 fat loss myths that most people fall for. This may sound like soapbox talk and we apologize, but trust us when we say this is a message that needs to be spread.

Your fat loss depends on it.

Don’t waste time on these:

Myth: Diet pills help with fat loss

It’s so tempting! The commercials make compelling claims about the power of diet pills, but don’t fall for them. The “magic pill” has yet to be discovered (it was discovered – exercise. It just doesn’t come in pill form). Diet pills are more likely to damage your health and burn your wallet than you lose weight.

Don’t take a pill – instead, burn calories with exercise.

Myth: You should starve to lose fat

Trying to lose weight by starving is not only ineffective but also dangerous. It may seem like a severe calorie restriction would result in the fastest weight loss, but your body is complex and doing so disrupts your metabolism and slows down your results.

Don’t starve yourself – instead, eat healthy, small meals throughout the day.

Myth: Lots of crunches will straighten your abs

We all want our midsection to look toned while walking on the beach, but excessive crunches aren’t the solution for tight abs. To achieve a slim look, you need to focus on burning off the layer of fat that covers your abs.

Don’t be obsessed with crunches – focus on burning fat instead.

Myth: Eat Packaged Diet Foods For Quick Results

It is amazing to see what foods are packaged as “diet” or “weight loss” aids. In most cases, these products contain refined sugars and other artificial ingredients that your body doesn’t need.

Don’t eat packaged diet foods – stick to nutritious whole foods instead.

Myth: You have to avoid carbohydrates to lose fat

Carbohydrates get a bad rap, which is unfortunate because you can (and should) eat carbohydrates while you are losing weight. The key is to stick with whole grains, oatmeal, and brown rice while avoiding processed and refined flours and sugars.

Don’t go without all carbohydrates – stick with healthy carbohydrates instead.

Fred Sassani

Now that you know what not to do to look your best this summer, it’s time to go over your beach-ready game plan.

Here’s what you need to know in 3 easy steps:

First: cut out the trash

The best way to do this is to start cleaning your kitchen. Avoid sugary, processed, and high-fat foods. Once the rubbish is cleared away, don’t buy anything more. Remember, your beach-ready abs depend on what you eat – don’t eat trash.

Second: focus on whole foods

Replace the junk food in your life with a lot of the following: cooked and raw vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, moderate amounts of seeds and nuts, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Clean eating is that easy.

Third, start an exercise program with a fitness professional

This is the most obvious step. When you’re ready to get into tip-top shape, find a fitness professional who can help you along the way by creating a simple, step-by-step program. Invest in your health and watch the rest of your life change too.

Fred Sassani is the founder of Bodies By Design, a nationally certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist. For comments or questions, you can reach Fred at or visit

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Whole Grains Health

How to Tell if Your Baby is Ready to Stop Drinking Formula – Cleveland Clinic



Make the formula. Feed your sweetie. Wash, rinse, repeat. For parents of babies who drink infant formula, you did this dance several times a day (and night) for what felt like an eternity. But could the end finally be in sight? When do babies stop drinking milk?

The Cleveland Clinic is a not-for-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our website helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. politics

“A healthy baby should drink breast milk or formula up to the age of 1 year. Formulas are fortified with the vitamins and iron they need, ”says pediatrician Radhai Prabhakaran, MD. “In general, babies aged 9 months to 1 year should have at least 24 ounces per day. But once your baby is on a full diet of nutritious solid foods, switch to cow’s milk, which contains protein and vitamin D. “

Indicates your baby is ready to wean the formula

Whether babies are ready to board the milk express depends on their taste for table food. “Some babies get used to a mostly solid diet early (between 9 and 12 months) because they like it and they are okay with it. If you have a nutritionally balanced diet, it is okay to wean your baby from infant formula before the age of one. “

A healthy solid food diet for a baby should include:

  • Fruit.
  • Grains.
  • Protein from meat, eggs, or boiled beans.
  • Vegetables.

“Gradually reduce the amount of formula you drink as you eat more. Keep offering it to drink because sometimes babies are not full after eating solid foods, ”notes Dr. Prabhakaran. “But wait until they are 1 year old to introduce cow’s milk, even if they wean earlier.”

Signs your baby is NOT ready to wean the formula

Your baby should continue feeding if:

  • You’re not gaining weight.
  • Were born prematurely.
  • Have not established a balanced solid diet.
  • You need to proceed with the formula based on your doctor’s recommendation. (For example, if your baby has food allergies or has trouble digesting food or absorbing nutrients.)

Health conditions that affect how long babies drink formula

Certain underlying health conditions can affect how long it takes your baby to drink formula. Babies may need to stay on the formula longer if they:

“And if your doctor has already told you that your baby may need to be on a special diet, talk to him or her before weaning your baby off the formula,” adds Dr. Prabhakaran added. “They can help you come up with a nutrition plan that will make the transition safer.”

How to wean your baby off formula

If your baby likes the taste of cow’s milk:

  1. Start giving them a 2 to 4 ounce serving of milk for every two or three servings of formula.
  2. For up to 10 days over the next week, increase the servings of milk as you decrease the servings of the formula.
  3. Stop giving milk as soon as you have drunk the milk without any problems.

If your baby prefers the taste of formula:

  1. Build the formula as usual. Do not add cow’s milk to the milk powder.
  2. Mix together 2 ounces of prepared formula and 2 ounces of cow’s milk so you have a 4-ounce drink for your baby.
  3. Feed your baby the mixture.
  4. Over the next week to 10 days, add more milk and less milk to the mixture until it is all cow’s milk.

Bottle or cup?

Get ready to say goodbye to the bottle. Dr. Prabhakaran says that drinking from a bottle is a no-go from the age of 1. “Bottle feeding can affect tooth growth and cause tooth decay.”

Instead, switch your little one to a swallow, straw, or regular cup at around 9 months of age. “When you’re feeling adventurous, wean her off the formula and the bottle at the same time.”

Does my baby still need milk when he wakes up at night?

Dr. Prabhakaran notes that most babies of this age do not need to eat when they wake up at night. “When babies have doubled their birth weight (which happens after about 4 to 6 months) and are eating solid foods regularly, they generally don’t need extra calories and can sleep through the night. So encourage her to go back to sleep. “

Babies of this age also have the most milk teeth, so drinking milk or formula at night can lead to dental problems. Night feeding can also make them too full to eat what they need during the day.

But as always there are exceptions. “If your baby is not gaining weight, your doctor can give you other advice. Breast-fed babies can also take a little longer because the breast milk is digested more quickly. “

When to apply the brakes when stopping the formula

Dr. Prabhakaran says the transition to cow’s milk should be even slower once babies start drinking milk and experience:

  • Dramatic change in her bowel movements.
  • Abundance.

If these symptoms persist or worsen, speak to your baby’s pediatrician about a possible milk allergy. If necessary, your doctor can recommend safe milk alternatives for young children.

Signs that your baby may not tolerate cow’s milk include:

  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Rash.
  • Vomit.

What is the best milk for a 1 year old?

Experts consider whole cow milk to be the best milk for 1-year-olds after weaning. “The general rule is whole milk until they’re 2 years old, unless there are special circumstances,” says Dr. Prabhakaran.

Your doctor may recommend 2% milk instead if your baby:

  • Is difficult for her size.
  • Drink more than the recommended amount of milk (16 to 24 ounces per day or 2 to 3 cups).
  • Is blocked.

Milk alternatives for toddlers

Unsweetened soy milk is one of the best cow milk alternatives for toddlers because it has a similar protein content. But soy milk has fewer calories – which babies need to thrive – than whole milk. The calorie content of unsweetened rice milk is slightly higher, but it contains less protein and more added sugar.

The best way to make a decision, says Dr. Prabhakaran, is to look at your child’s overall diet. “There are so many milk alternatives and the diets of babies are very different. It’s impossible to have a blanket rule of what’s okay. Some children eat a lot of yogurt and cheese. Some babies are vegan. Talk to your baby’s doctor about the best alternative to help your child with certain deficiencies and general nutrition. “

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