Quick Eats: Fermented Foods

nashville food ferments

Our next cooking adventure will take you along the yellow brick road to fermented foods! Continuing our theme of easy eats, this class will show you simple recipes and demonstrate ways to incorporate fermented foods into your diet. Fermented foods improve digestion and immune health. Join us, June 26, at 6:00 pm for demonstrations, samples, and options to purchase the featured ferments! Please RSVP to let us know you are coming. The cost is $12.50 and will be held at the LFA gym: 1200 Villa place. suite 406.


Life Fitness Academy is now carrying Amasai. Amasai is a cultured milk beverage from Beyond Organic. Before you dismiss it because the word milk was mentioned, hang around and see why this product is different.

Traditionally this fermented milk has been known as amasi or maas–and has been a staple for many in Africa. For traditional societies that have little refrigeration, fermented foods are necessary for preservation. These naturally fermented foods are loaded with excellent probiotics and have been shown to inhibit pathogenic bacteria (or the waste cleaning bacteria).

Regular intake of probiotic rich foods greatly aids in enhancing digestion, increasing assimilation of nutrients, replacing healthy intestinal flora (especially after antibiotics), and protecting from pathogenic bacteria. These probiotic foods which have lactic acid producing bacteria (lactobacillus) are a missing component in much of modern diets–diets which have led to an imbalance of healthy stomach and gut bacteria.

Amasai may contain any number of different strains of healthy bacteria depending on the region and environment in which is it cultured. As Life Fitness Academy is now distributing Amasai from Beyond Organic it contains the following benefits:

1. The milk is from grass-fed (greenfed!) cows. The cows are never fed any grains! Being grass-fed the cows milk has the most nutrients, including CLA and omega-3’s.

2. The milk is whole–never skimmed and always loaded with good, healthy fats and fat soluble vitamins.

3. The milk is cultured with over 30 probiotics. Being rich in this many probiotics makes this drink very easy to digest, even for those who might have lactose intolerance. Also, amasai contains twice as much healthy strains as most kefir.

Amasai comes in three flavors: Plain, Milk and Honey, and Raspberry.

Life Fitness Academy is an independent marketer of Beyond Organic products. Come into the gym to try some products or contact us with any questions you may have or to order products on a regular basis.

The Most Common Food Pathogens In The U.S.

Of the most common food borne infections, half are found in poultry, pork, beef, and other meat products. A study, as noted by the Washington Post, showed the pathogens that have the greatest burden on society as a whole.

In order of ranking, the study found that the greatest burden economically was from campylobacter in poultry which sickens approximately 600,000 people per year and costs $1.3 billion. In second place was toxoplasma in pork, a nasty parasite that costs an approximate $1.2 billion per year. Third ranked was listeria in deli meats at a cool $1.1 billion a year. All told, the top ten pathogens tied to specific foods cost society approximately $8.1 billion in one year.

The most disease and distress was caused by salmonella, but it was not tied to one specific food as salmonella can be found in produce, eggs, poultry, and other foods. Overall salmonella cost society $3 billion.

One of the best ways to avoid food borne pathogens is to seek out high quality food! Look for pastured poultry and grass-fed beef, find out where your produce is from and look for local farms that you are able to see how they grow their food.

If you do get foodborne illness, some of the things that can greatly help are lots of probiotics, raw apple cider vinegar, and depending on the situation, activated charcoal. Hopefully you never have to deal with foodborne illness, but judging from its prevalance, you may just face it someday. Now go fight!

Probiotics: The untold truth

About 80% of your immune system lives in the pit of your gut.

To get on the track toward building a solid foundation for your best health, I believe the best place to start is where good health begins – in your digestive tract.*

And the best way I’ve found is by introducing billions of tiny microflora (good bacteria) into your digestive system through the use of high quality probiotics.*But some probiotics don‚Äôt survive your stomach‚Äôs acidity and
others get damaged in the manufacturing process.*What happens is that the good bacteria go to work keeping your entire digestive system working at its peak while boosting the health of your immune system in the process.*

How do I know? Because scientific research shows that 80% of your immune system actually lives right in your digestive tract.

Amazing, isn’t it?
But that’s not all…
A healthy and happy digestive system may also help regulate your weight, keeping your waistline slim and trim.*
That’s where high quality probiotics come in.

Recent scientific studies† also show that supplementing with probiotics may help reduce fat.*
In fact, if you’re pregnant or just had a baby, taking a probiotic supplement during your pregnancy – or starting soon after giving birth –  may help you drop that extra weight you might have gained.†


Eating Right Is The Best Way To Optimize Good Bacteria In Your Gut?

Healthy eating, not supplements, is the best way to keep the good bacteria in your gut healthy, says a dietitian and researcher. As with vitamins, it’s best to get the bacteria you need from healthy food rather than taking often expensive and potentially ineffective supplements, says Gail Cresci, Medical College of Georgia, dietitian and researcher. She equates the good bacterium in your gastrointestinal tract to another living being inside that helps keeps you healthy.”If you do good by your bacteria, they will do good by you,” Ms. Cresci says.

There is even mounting evidence that a healthy gut microbiota helps maintain a healthy weight. Studies have shown, for example, that when bacteria from a genetically fat mouse are placed in a lean germ-free mouse, it gains weight without changing its food intake.

Unfortunately poor diets are hurting the bacteria in many of us and the overuse of antibiotics is taking its toll as well, particularly the common, broad-spectrum antibiotics that wipe out anything in their path, good and bad bacteria included.

Cresci cites inadequate fiber and excess unhealthful fats as contributing to the problem, and states that a good daily diet has adequate high-quality protein, fiber, healthy fats and fresh fruits and vegetables.

ScienceDaily October 22, 2009
2009 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, Denver, CO, October 17-20, 2009

Although this is beneficial information, I do not entirely agree. There are some great supplements out there that are really pure and that offer more than just on species or strand of good bacteria.

Primal defense is one of those, the high concentration is great for your gut and will help build the tree of life in your gut. Couple this with the right diet of mostly raw, clean, naturally fermented and organic foods you will encourage growth of the good bacteria and not adding into your gut bad and dead bacteria

Some of the best food that pack a high good bacteria punch are:
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

It is important to note that traditionally fermented foods are not the equivalent of the same foods in commercially processed form. The best way to ensure you’re consuming the real thing is to prepare your own fermented foods at home, and Sally Fallon‚Äôs cookbook Nourishing Traditions is an excellent guide on how to do this.

Eat well and your body will restore itself to it’s natural weight with great side effects of feeling more energetic, a super immune system, better skin, etc. The list is longer than I have time to type it.

Probiotics may help women regain their figures after pregnancy

By Stephen Daniells, 07-May-2009

Related topics: Probiotics, Research, Probiotics and prebiotics, Maternal & infant health, Weight management

Probiotic supplements during the first trimester of pregnancy may help women lose weight after the infant’s birth, say new findings presented today at the European Congress on Obesity.

Finnish researchers report that supplements containing Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium were associated with less central obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more or a waist circumference over 80 centimetres.

“The results of our study, the first to demonstrate the impact of probiotics-supplemented dietary counselling on adiposity, were encouraging,” said researcher Kirsi Laitinen from the University of Turku in Finland. “The women who got the probiotics fared best. One year after childbirth, they had the lowest levels of central obesity as well as the lowest body fat percentage.”

“Central obesity, where overall obesity is combined with a particularly fat belly, is considered especially unhealthy,” added Laitinen. “We found it in 25 per cent of the women who had received the probiotics along with dietary counselling, compared with 43 per cent in the women who received diet advice alone.”

According the FAO/WHO, probiotics are defined as “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”.

The researchers used Lactobacillus LGG (provided by Valio) and Bifidobacterium lactis (provided by Chr Hansen). Neither company provided funds for the study, with financial support coming from the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, the Academy of Finland and the Sigrid Juselius Foundation, a Finnish medical research charity.

Study details

Laitinen told attendees that 256 women were randomly divided into three groups during the first trimester of pregnancy. Two of the groups received dietary counselling consistent with current recommendations. One of those groups also received the daily probiotic capsules, while the other group received dummy capsules. The third group received placebo capsules and no dietary counselling. Supplementation continued until the women stopped exclusive breastfeeding, up to 6 months.

At the end of the study, central obesity was recorded in 18 per cent fewer women in the probiotic group than in women who received placebo plus dietary counselling, and 15 per cent fewer women in the control group.

Average body fat percentage was 28 per cent in the probiotic group, compared to 29 and 30 per cent in the diet advice only group and the control group, respectively.

Laitinen told NutraIngredients.com that future research will follow the women and their babies to see whether giving probiotics during pregnancy has any influence on health outcomes in the children.

“Based on previous experiments, we hypothesise that the maternal diet may influence both glucose metabolism and weight in the children,” she said.

Gut health and body weight

A breakthrough paper published in Nature in December 2006 reported that microbial populations in the gut are different between obese and lean people, and that when the obese people lost weight their microflora reverted back to that observed in a lean person, suggesting that obesity may have a microbial component.

At a scientific symposium organised by the Beneo Group last year, Dr. Kieran Touhy from the University of Reading noted that obese animals have significantly lower bifidobacteria levels than their lean counterparts, which suggests potential for prebiotic fibres since the growth of these bacteria is selectively promoted by inulin and fructooligosaccharides.

Dr. Nathalie Delzenne from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and Dr. Robert Welch from the University of Ulster presented results from animal and human studies, respectively, which indicated the potential of prebiotic supplementation to regulated food intake.

A study involving scientists from Nestle, the Catholic University of Louvain, and the Institute of Molecular Medicine Rangueil in Toulouse, reported last year that direct modulation of the gut microflora using could directly affect metabolism, as well as influencing the maintenance of whole body glucose equilibrium, independent of food intake or obesity (FASEB Journal, doi:10.1096/fj.07-102723).

“The advantage of studying pregnant women to investigate the potential link between probiotics and obesity is that it allows us to see the effects not only in the women, but also in their children,” said Laitinen. “Particularly during pregnancy, the impacts of obesity can be immense, with the effects seen both in the mother and the child.

“Bacteria are passed from mother to child through the birth canal, as well as through breast milk and research indicates that early nutrition may influence the risk of obesity later in life. There is growing evidence that this approach might open a new angle on the fight against obesity, either through prevention or treatment.”

Source: European Congress on Obesity
Thursday, 7 May 2009
Kirsi Laitinen et al.