The benefits of probiotics is legendary. Probiotics are bacteria, which are essential to life. There are around 1,000 different strains of bacteria, yeasts, protazoa and various other micro-organisms that inhabit your body. This makes up around 2 kg/4lb of your
The majority live in your digestive system, but there are colonies all over your body, particularly so at every orifice.
The function of bacteria is to protect you against any invading bacteria, fungi or virus that is not part of your system. Your bacteria is part of your immune system. Over your life time, a healthy balance is established.
It is impossible to break down and utilise food without bacteria. Some vitamins, especially vitamin B12, is compromised without this bacteria.
Babies get their founding bacteria from a vaginal birth. Those babies born through a caesarian section miss out on this vital start to life.
Mother’s milk contains a variety if beneficial bacteria which they will not get when formula fed.
Babies will add to this healthy bacteria creation, by crawling around and putting things into their mouth. The presence of pets adds to this. The all too hygienic practice so common today, prevent the baby from creating a healthy bacteria foundation.
This opportunity occurs only once in your life. Once a child starts to eat and create strong stomach acid, the opportunity is lost.
The overuse of antibiotics has created havoc in the health of the population. This is especially true in babies and that of the digestive system. It can also lead to obesity, to candida, to inflammation and allows a serious infection to take hold because there is no competition.
Luckily, all is not completely lost. The benefits of probiotics include replacing much of the bacteria that is essential for a healthy body. Freshly picked, unwashed, raw fruit and veggies (preferably home grown or certified organic), with their natural bloom, contain a plentiful supply of beneficial bacteria.
You can purchase probiotics commercially, but you will probably benefit more if you make your own. It is quite simple to do so, is not expensive and can be stored easily.
Probiotic supplements tend to contain just two or three bacteria, rather than the wide diversity so necessary to life.
The common probiotics are sauerkraut, kefir, komboucha and rejuvelac. They come in various guises. For example, the common kefir is milk kefir. But water kefir is easy to make and avoids the use of dairy.
To make your own water kefir, you need:
- 1 2 litre (quart) glass/ceramic container with lid
- 1 litre (2 pints) filtered/rain water
- half a lemon, cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
- 4 tablespoon sugar (use rapadura, palm sugar, brown sugar, etc, rather than white sugar) DO NOT USE HONEY as it will kill the culture
- quarter to half a cup of kefir grains (starter) or if you have a friend with the culture, you can ask them for the next ‘baby’ it produces
- optional extras – one fig cut up, quarter cup apple juice or 2 cm/1 inch sliced banana
Combine the ingredients. Depending on the ambient temperature, the culture will take 2 – 5 days to mature. The best range is within 18 – 28C (65 – 82F). Outside this temperature range, some microorganisms will die off.
Taste the culture. When it is ready, it will not taste sweet. Rather it will have a slightly sour taste, with just a hint of sweetness. It may taste a little like wine. It should smell yeasty, earthy, fruity, vinegary and pleasant.
Strain the kefir, retaining the culture for the next batch you make. It will remain dormant in a glass jar of water in the fridge for a considerable time.
Bottle the kefir. It will ferment after bottling, so release the cap periodically, until you have the hang of this process. Kefir will store for years, like wine, if you can keep it that long.
Bacteria is essential to life. Use antibiotics sparingly. There are far healthier options to health care. The aim should not be to kill organisms that are interfering with your life. The aim should be to create a healthier immune system so the organism cannot gain a foothold in your body. Homeopathy offers you that.
The benefits of probiotics include rebalancing your natural bacteria for a healthier body.
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