Tomatoes are SuperFoods!
What kind of food plan do you follow?
I have a diverse group of people who subscribe and are members of my site. They have very different diets but all are adding cultured foods to enhance what they're doing. I've discovered that consuming cultured foods is one of the keys to living an incredibly healthy life. Not only have I experienced this, but others are recognizing this as well.
Check out this latest Testimonial on my Lives Touched Page from Irene Bernstein
"I have been ill for 30 years - terrible fatigue, brain fog, food allergies, and chemical sensitivities. I had been to many, many practitioners, mostly natural. The only thing that helped was homeopathy, which controlled my symptoms to a degree. Almost a year ago I started kefir and listening to Donna’s podcasts, and read two of her books, and then a couple of months later started making sauerkraut. At the age of 70, I wasn’t expecting much. But amazingly, my brain fog and depression were gone, my memory got better, I no longer needed the homeopathy, my blood sugar improved (I used to get ravenous between meals), my sleep got way better – instead of insomnia most nights, now I sleep through the night most nights, my dry rough skin became soft and moist, I went from feeling anxious and in emotional turmoil much of the time to feeling balanced and stable and much calmer. I no longer urgently need to urinate in the middle of the night. I still am pretty low energy and have the chemical sensitivities. In the past month or so, there was a problem with the local raw milk I was buying, and the kefir grains weren’t working well. I began to go back to my old symptoms. So I learned from that, that I need to make sure to have the kefir and sauerkraut every day, that I am dependent on them to stay in this better health. But I have to say that this has been nothing short of MIRACULOUS for me. Nothing I have ever tried – and I tried A LOT – has given me this gift of health and well-being. I listen every week to Donna, and have learned from her videos how to make these cultured foods. I so appreciate her determination to understand the human body and what it needs and her ability to be of so much help to people. Also, I forgot to mention one other major way the kefir and sauerkraut have helped me – I was having diarrhea more and more often at unexpected times, probably IBS. That simply is not happening anymore unless I eat something that is terrifically allergenic to my system. That happens only very seldom. I’m sure I’ve left out other ways my life has changed with this miracle. I took bottles and bottles of good quality probiotics over the years, but they didn’t do much of anything for me."
I have stacks and stacks of books in my house on health and wellness. For years and years, I was on a never-ending search to find the key to positive health and wellness. I researched and experimented with literally every diet out there. Many years ago, I remembered reading that the Japanese had a very high life expectancy and were one of the healthiest groups of people. I tried to replicate their diet with disastrous results. I didn't understand the key components. I thought it was the soy in their diet and started consuming tons of it. Soy milk, soy proteins, and soy legumes. Soy foods contain natural plant compounds (called isoflavones) that appear to work as hormones, and what I found during those few months I was consuming soy was that my thyroid slowed down. When I eliminated the soy, my thyroid returned to its normal state. Years later, I found out that the Japanese mostly eat fermented soy. This eliminates all of the problems in un-fermented soy. After years of study and trying so many different diets, I discovered that if I ate real, whole foods and added cultured foods to my diet, everything got better. We are all so different - I never want to tell someone that they have to eat exactly as I do, but I am happy to tell you that cultured foods fit into any diet. It can be raw, keto, vegan, Paleo, vegetarian, you name it. These foods can help everybody by enhancing any diet.
Michael Pollan, who has written many wonderful books on food and diet, suggested that a lack of fermented foods is one of the most notable differences between the Western diet and all other successful diets throughout history. This is something I, too, have found. Throughout many of the healthy diets in the world, cultured foods were a must and consumed every day. These diets were diverse, but each of them has had their own unique cultured foods, often being consumed at every meal. I consume cultured foods every day and have found that if I don't, I suffer from food cravings, digestion problems, addictions, joint pain, and I just don't feel like myself. Cultured foods are my personal trainers. They have taught me what to eat and how to experience wellness from day to day. I have also found that if I eat The Trilogy (kefir, kombucha, and cultured vegetables) as a meal, I can go many, many hours and not be hungry. It's like putting high octane fuel in my tank and it seems to work incredibly well for me. Most days I do this before noon, and it is one of my secrets for being more productive and more energetic every day.
You can make all kinds of cultured foods to add to your diet, but what I eat quite often is cultured tomato dishes. The dish that follows is super easy and one I serve a lot at my cultured food classes. Tomatoes are super foods all by themselves, but when you ferment them, they become a Biotic Superfood - times ten!
Tomatoes Can Be Probiotic Too!
There is a cultured Green Tomato dish on the market, made by Bubbies pickles, that is fermented. Bubbies makes some of my favorite-tasting pickles but they won't have nearly the probiotic count that you would get if you made them yourself. They had their products analyzed for probiotics and they sent the results to me when I asked. Here is what they said;
"Bubbies Pure Kosher Dills, Dill Relish, Pickled Green Tomatoes, and Sauerkraut are all made using a lacto-fermentation process and contain no vinegar, preservatives, colorings or any chemical additives whatsoever; we're simply all natural. The Pure Kosher Dills, Dill Relish and Pickled Green Tomatoes are 100% raw; the Sauerkraut in the jars has been flash heated but not pasteurized.
We were forced to begin heating our jarred Sauerkraut to calm the cultures inside because they were causing the kraut to continue to ferment too much causing a buildup of gas that then causes the brine to leak all over distributor's and retailer's equipment and shelving. When we heat our jarred Sauerkraut, it is quickly raised to about 135-140 degrees and then sealed in the jars. The goal here is not to eliminate all the beneficial cultures, but rather to stifle them so they won't cause the jars to leak.
If you are a numbers person the jarred Sauerkraut has approximately 360,000 active bacteria per 2oz serving size compared to 400,000 for the raw Sauerkraut. The Pure Kosher Dills have approximately 15,000,000 active bacteria per 1oz serving and the Pickled Green Tomatoes 65,000,000 per 1oz serving."
These tomatoes aren't always available in every location so I encourage you to make your own cultured tomatoes and reap even more benefits. They also don't use added cultures like Cutting Edge Cultures as I do, which means that my cultured tomatoes have significantly more probiotics than their cultured tomatoes. My dish has at least this many, and possibly millions to billions more, probiotics. I have seen the science behind the Cutting Edge veggie starter culture that cultures my veggies, and it is pretty amazing. Using this starter culture will add billions of probiotics to your cultured foods. Cultured food is always more effective than probiotic pills because the food gives the probiotics a protective halo that helps them survive the harsh stomach acids. To read more about this, you can go here: Cultured Foods Stronger Than Supplements
Billion and Trillions of Probiotics
Dr. Mercola, from Mercola.com, stated, "Fermented foods not only give you a wider variety of beneficial bacteria, they also give you far more of them, so it’s a much more cost-effective alternative. Here’s a case in point: It’s unusual to find a probiotic supplement containing more than 10 billion colony-forming units. But when my team actually tested fermented vegetables produced by probiotic starter cultures, they had 10 trillion colony-forming units of bacteria. Literally, one serving of vegetables was equal to an entire bottle of a high potency probiotic! So clearly, you’re far better off using fermented foods."
Adding just a spoonful of tomatoes at a meal will help you digest your meal and you'll receive more nutrients from the foods you consume with it. You will receive a lot of benefits from a couple of spoonfuls - this is how cultured foods work. They have billions of probiotics in them and they are anxious to do their job. They'll help you receive more benefits from your food than you would ever have without them. You can't see these little microbes, but they know what to do and they are mighty, all the many billions of them!
"It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato." Lewis Grizzard