The Ultimate Social Network: Our Bodies, Bacteria and Kombucha
In your body, bacteria cells out number your own cells by a factor of 10 to 1. Some of these 100+ trillion bacteria possess genes that encode for beneficial compounds that the body cannot make on it’s own. Beneficial bacteria help with digestion, help our bodies make and absorb vitamins, and also help support a strong immune system. Other bacteria train the immune system not to overreact to outside threats and play a crucial role in the development and operation of your digestive tract. They also aid in the production of antibodies, proteins produced by the immune system to detect harmful substances, called antigens.
Therefore it is important to create an ecosystem in our body so beneficial bacteria can thrive and keep us healthy and strong. Beneficial bacteria are probiotics and more than 200 studies show probiotics can be helpful for over 170 diseases and conditions, including:
- Celiac Disease & IBS
- Chronic Fatique
- Heart Disease
- Skin Rashes
- Depression & Mood
- Common Colds & Flu
- Food Sensitivity
- Diabetes & Insulin Resistance
What reduces beneficial bacteria? The modern diet high in refined grains, sugars and alcohol that cause acidity in our gut, long term use of antibiotics, over-the-counter drugs, and stress feed bad bacteria, yeast and fungi in your gut. When you reduce beneficial bacteria (such as bifobacteria and lactobacillus acidophilus) you reduce the ideal balance between 85% good bacteria and 15% bad bacteria (such as h pylori, known to cause ulcers and clostridium difficile, that causes diarrhea). What are the symptoms of an unbalanced gut?
- Gas & Bloating
- Sugar Cravings
There are more than 100 trillion bacteria in your body. How can you reseed your body and increase your good bacteria to bad bacteria ratio? You need to eat naturally fermented foods like miso, kimchi, raw sauerkraut, raw cheese, yogurt and unsweetened kefir, olives, pickled vegetables and ginger and kombucha. Naturally fermented, “live” foods teeming with beneficial bacteria have been around since the beginning of humankind. Fermentation is the culturing of foods for the intentional growth of bacteria, yeast or mold. Modern pasteurization of foods, such as milk, yogurt and cheese, kills both good and bad bacteria created by the fermentation process.
Your diet is largely responsible for your gut health, and when you feed your body the fuel it’s designed for, your gut flora will be able to maintain optimal balance, which then supports optimal physical and mental health. Kombucha is an effervescent fermentation of sweetened tea that is celebrated for its probiotic benefits. The kombucha culture is actually a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). The actual bacteria of kombucha depends on many factors, including the culture you begin with, the type of tea used, the type of sugar used, the strength of the tea, the type of water, the length of time brewing, the temperature at which it is cultured, and more.
Brewing Kombucha is EASY! I used Kombucha Brooklyn. I followed the directions on the package and it made an incredibly effervescent and refreshing elixir enjoyed by my whole family! Our favorite was flavored with fresh ginger and lemon. Taste and health can coexist!