The Importance of Digestion: Kitchen Probiotic Recipes

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system.

We know that most of our friends at Root are well read about healthy practices like eating right, exercising and meditation. But as healthy minded people, we sometimes need some 'ammunition' to help our kids and our partners be on the same page. Holistsic nutritionist Alex McMahon upholds that bringing fun into cooking with the family (as opposed to for your family) not only promotes better digestive health for your family, but creates the environment for some quality bonding time. And when we feel warm, happy and secure, we digest our meals better too!

Another member of Root's nutrition team, Brittany Sandoval, says “You could be eating a beautiful and colourful diet, but if you are not assimilating the nutrients being offered ... your body may not benefit.”

That is where the amazing world of probiotics comes in. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called "good" or "helpful" bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.

“Consuming fermented and cultured foods is important for digestion and providing proper balance to your body...Fermented foods go through a process called lactofermentation. This is what happens when bacteria feeds off sugars and starches, creating lactic acid. Not only does this process preserve the food, but it also enhances the bioavailability of nutrients in the food, creates enzymes, B vitamins and various strains of probiotics. Traditionally fermented foods have been enjoyed in cultures throughout the world. In Germany there is sauerkraut, in Korea there is kimchi, and in Russia there is beet kvass.” says Brittany.

Click here for Root's favourite kraut recipe.

Better than 'sea monkeys'

Kat Lui, meditation practitioner, has recently discovered the joys of making her own kefir water, an easy to make and tasty drink that is full of beneficial probiotics that boost digestion. “I am pleasantly surprised at how satisfying it feels to make my own kefir water. I simply nurture these humble kefir grains with sugar and fruits and watch them grow, transforming plain water into something that has life and gives back to me.” Taking Alex's lead on the joy of cooking with children, Kat is excited to teach this simple practice of growing kefir grains with the young and young at heart during the holidays. “It's like growing sea monkeys, but better, and easier. I love drinking it straight, adding it to my smoothies, and I can see how you can even make it your secret ingredient in your New Years' cocktails. It's like a yummy and healthy home-grown tonic spritzer”.

Click here for Root's favourite kefir water recipe.