One of the debilitating side effects of undergoing chemotherapy is the loss of taste sensation, making it difficult to muster an appetite at a time when essenti…
One of the most essential elements of an anti-cancer diet is making sure we eat to feed and balance our gut microbiome. Beneficial bacteria are every person’s own insurance policy to ensuring that our immune system is supported at every level.
I remember going into my German grandmother’s musty smelling basement in her over 500 year old house and watching her retrieve a jar of home-made sauerkraut. Making your own fermented foods was a necessary food preservation method in those days. I had no idea then that I would one day be teaching cancer patients about the potent health food contained in that jar.
Today most of us are familiar with store-bought probiotics that can cost you quite a bit if you wish to get a quality product. There is an easier way of obtaining a healthy dose of a variety of lactobacilli bacteria – ferment your own veggies! When you ferment vegetables, the bacteria that are naturally present on the surface of vegetables undergo a process of lacto-fermentation, converting the natural sugars present into lactic acid, one of the most natural preservatives you can find.
Fermented foods are a cancer warrior’s best friend! They provide you with a variety of different strains of beneficial lactobacilli bacteria that:
While you may think making your own ferments is a complicated process, think again! All you need to get started is:
The process is easy!
Keep the jars at room temperature for the first few days, ideally around 70 degrees F for 2-4 days. More time is required if the temperature is cooler, and less time if the room is warmer. Burp daily to release excess pressure, visible with the bulging lid. A sour smell is normal.
Then place the jars on the top shelf of your fridge. They will keep for a few months. The tart, slightly sour flavor increases with time, but the veggies can be eaten immediately. Use them as a daily condiment, not a side dish, in other words eat small quantities. If the veggies get bubbly or display little foamy spots on top, just scoop them off with a clean spoon, this is normal.
Fallon, Sally, “Nourishing Traditions” (2001) New Trends Publishing
Gates, Donna, “The Body Ecology Diet” (2011), Hay House Publishing
Health benefits of fermented foods: microbiota and beyond, Marco ML, Heeney D, Binda S, Cifelli CJ, Cotter PD, Foligné B, Gänzle M, Kort R, Pasin G, Pihlanto A, Smid EJ, Hutkins R. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2016 Dec 17;44:94-102. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2016.11.010.
Health benefits of kimchi (Korean fermented vegetables) as a probiotic food, Park KY, Jeong JK, Lee YE, Daily JW 3rd, J Med Food. 2014 Jan;17(1):6-20. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2013.3083.
Functional properties of Lactobacillus strains isolated from kimchi, Lee H, Yoon H, Ji Y, Kim H, Park H, Lee J, Shin H, Holzapfel W., Int J Food Microbiol. 2011 Jan 31;145(1):155-61. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2010.12.003.
Kirstin, received her Holistic Nutrition, Exercise and Mental Health Certification at the Institute for Naturopathic Health in Munich, Germany and is board certified by the American Association of Nutrition Consultants, accredited as a Holistic Health Coach by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and is a member of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.
She is passionate about and has specialized in empowering her clients to strengthen and support the body’s immune system from the inside out. After being diagnosed with breast cancer twice within 3 years, she learned first hand the importance of an integrative approach to one’s health, acknowledging the dynamic interdependency of body, mind and soul to facilitate true healing.
Kirstin is the founder of Eat Holistic, LLC where she offers cancer-fighting nutrition and lifestyle modifications through personalized coaching, talks and interactive programs such as the online Beyond Cancer Program. Kirstin also heads the cancer support program at Valley Integrative Pharmacy in Bedminster, NJ. Kirstin features regularly on the “Holistic Around Hunterdon” Internet Radio Show and is a contributing author of Sybil Magazine – For the Spirit and Soul.
Born in Switzerland, raised in Germany and South Africa, she now lives in NJ with her husband and two teenage children.
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