Top 12 Fermented Foods With Miso And Kefir
Foods that Heal – Foods that Maintain Weight Loss
Today: I never realized Miso wasn’t just a Sushi soup. Nor that sour Caucasian milk, Kefir, could be so tasty.
This traditional Japanese “seasoning” is as old as old Japan, and as modern as modern Japan. Made by fermenting rice, barley, and soy, it is widely used in many different forms in Japan as a seasoning.
It is high in protein, rich in minerals and vitamins, it has been popular since feudal days, but has been around since the earliest days of Japanese culture. The Chinese are sure to say they introduced it to Japan over two millennia ago, but, wherever it came form, it is a unique treat.
Most Americans only know miso as a “bean curd” found in “miso soup” served as an appetizer at Japanese restaurants. But that is to profoundly understate its true value to nourish and fortify your body.
There are many varieties of Miso, white, red, mixed, yellow, dark, light, and versions made with an amazing assortment of basic ingredients. What they all have in common is a delicious taste.
A fermented food full of active probotics, it is a truly “living food,” so it needs to be refrigerated before use, and only added in at the very end of the cooking process for heated foods. It is best if not cooked at all.
Miso is high in vitamin B12, plus a host of other vitamins and nutritive ingredients. It was highly regarded for its protective effects on those suffering from radiation poisoning in Japan at the end of the war there, and after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine. It is thought to protects against radiation due to dipilocolonic acid, an alkaloid that chelates heavy metals and discharges them from the body.
It is a detoxifier, rich in enzymes, and contains all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It strengthens the immune system, and helps to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. High in antioxidants, it protects against free radicals.
My frequent trips to Japan had me wondering how the locals could eat regular meals at the exceptionally expensive restaurants in Tokyo. The answer, I learned, was they don’t. They either bring their lunch with them from home, or mob the legion of street vendors. But whether in a bento, or at a street vendor, the consistent staple was miso in all its wondrous varieties.
Miso, I learned, is not just a soup ingredient. It is a side dish, a condiment, a dip, and a sauce, and much more. It supplies many of the nutrients your body must have to heal and lose weight. Miso can become a staple in your daily efforts to keep your weight off. Weight loss, and weight maintenance are not rocket science. It is just common sense to understand that you can’t eat the same way that made you gain weight. Miso, and all of these Top 12 Fermented Foods can supply your body what it has been missing for many years, what it needs to rebuild, and what it requires to maintain your reduced weight long term.
Miso is truly a “healing food.” Read more about Miso here.
A fermented milk drink, has its origins in the North Caucasus Mountains. It is prepared by introducing kefir grains into cow, goat, or sheep milk. In the old ways, a bag of it was hung in a doorway so that persons passing by would give it a hit, thus keeping the milk and kefir grains well-mixed.
Kefir grains are a combination of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts in a matrix of proteins, lipids, and sugars. This symbiotic matrix forms “grains” that resemble cauliflower. For this reason, a complex and highly variable community of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts can be found in these grains. This makes it perfect for fermentation of an excellent and healthy drink.
Because of the type of organisms that ferment Kefir, nearly all of the lactose from milk remains, making it available for many who are otherwise lactose intolerant. My own lactose intolerance is rather severe — I can’t even eat a spoonful of ice cream. But I can easily drink a full glass of Kefir.
Popular in Eastern and Northern Europe, it can be found in the dairy case at your local food store (you might have to look a little, but it will be there). Full of calcium and tryptophan, protein, B vitamins, and phosphorus, it is a very good aid to digestion.
Especially full of probiotics, Kefir has a strong influence on your immune system, boosts gut health, and improves the strength of bones. It is, in every sense of the word, a true superfood. Whatever benefits you expect from
eating a good yogurt, you will get in spades with Kefir.
The commercial brands of Kefir come with flavored and unflavored varieties , but the flavored ones usually have more calories. Choose a brand that lists at least 12 different probiotics on the label.
While Kefir is often used in food recipes, be aware that cooking it will kill all the beneficial bacteria, although other benefits may remain.
A goof friend with relatives from the Ukraine introduced me to Kefir a dozen years ago. It seemed like watered down yogurt to me, so I declined to really give it try. Then one night, raiding the fridge, I realized I was out of my favorite yogurt. I made a hasty trip to the store, saw the Kefir, and decided to give it a go. I’ve never quit drinking it since. I prefer the unflavored kind because it is lower in calories. And, now I eat quite a lot of fermented foods (I’m holding off the 60 pounds I lost 10+ years ago), I find it not only refreshing, but the probiotics are great for my intestinal track health. I love good Kefir, and I think you will too.
Remember, I too am on a mission not to regain my lost weight. I have found that Kefir is one of my best allies in doing that. I rely on its rich assortment of probiotics (one commercial brand has 12 different beneficial strains) to keep me healthy. But it is more than that. It satisfies my body’s cravings for protein and calcium, which keeps me from over-snacking. If you are trying to lose weight and keep those lost pounds from reappearing, Kefir can be your weight loss ally, too.
Tomorrow: We finish the Top 12 Fermented Foods with fermented cabbage (#2) and fermented tea (1).
Top 12 Fermented Foods
Foods that Heal – Foods that Maintain Weight Loss
Here’s a List to the Top 12 Fermented Foods Admired Throughout the World
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