Probiotics (meaning 'for life') are fermented foods cultured by beneficial microorganisms. Probiotic foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut are the most familiar. There are many more, enjoyed for centuries in different parts of the world, but largely unknown in the United States. It is time to become acquainted with these probiotic foods and to use them for their benefits. Fermented foods have values beyond their original states. Fermentation increases some nutrients, gives foods a tasty zing, and keeps them well without preservatives. Fermented foods support the immune system. The probiotic bacteria in fermented foods help keep the digestive tract healthy and protect against virulent pathogens that cause foodborne illnesses. The typical American diet makes the body vulnerable to these infections. The problem is compounded by our over-reliance on antibiotics and our increasing resistance to them. Unfortunately, antibiotics kill the beneficial microorganisms along with the pathogens. Probiotic foods can prevent or alleviate many health disorders ranging from allergy and asthma to yeast infection and heart diseasethat result from foodborne infections and antibiotic resistance.In Probiotic Foods for Good Health,you will learn about the special nutritional and therapeutic features of traditional probiotic foods. You will learn about the special contributions of yogurt and other fermented milk products. You will become an enlightened consumer, able to choose wisely among these food products that, through commercialization, have undergone extreme modifications. You will learn about fermented foods based on vegetables, beans, and cereal grains. Yes, there are vegetables other than cabbage that can be fermented! Although probiotic supplements may be useful, this book focuses mainly on probiotic foods and discusses in detail more than forty types of fermented foods. It provides you with practical information about reliable sources for fermented foods, at-home starter cultures, and shopping tips. Fermented foods are nutritious, add variety, and can fit easily into your daily diet. Above all, they are health promoting.
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