Tuesday, October 6, 2009

7 Health Benefits of Yogurt

Do you like yogurt? Sometimes spelled yoghurt, this fermented milk product has been around for thousands of years. In fact, it is believed that it originated in Bulgaria. From the Gaelic people to the Mongolians, yogurt has been a staple food for many traditional cultures. These cultures had no heart disease and lived on diets chiefly of fermented milk products and meats! The key was their milk was raw, not pasteurized. Pasteurization destroys many helpful enzymes in the yogurt and other cultured milk products.

Here are just a few of the health benefits you will receive from including yogurt in your daily diet:

• It’s loaded with friendly bacteria called lactobacillus acidophilus that is tolerated and assimilated better by those with allergies.

• Vitamins B and C are increased when raw milk is fermented into yogurt and other products, like kefir and raw cheeses .

• It protects you from bone loss.

• Fermenting milk breaks down difficult to digest milk proteins, so those that are lactose intolerant can usually enjoy the healthy benefits of yogurt.

• Lactase is an enzyme in fermented milk that breaks down the lactose in the digestive system, so yogurt improves your digestion.

• Yogurt is very beneficial for young nursing mothers, children, the elderly and those that are ill.

• Yogurt helps you fight infectious diseases.

Yogurt is easy to make at home and can be used in many different recipes. Smoothies are delicious when yogurt is added to the recipe. Also you can use it to make yogurt cheese, or a drink with lime juice and honey, herbal breads and dough for tart shells. Soak fresh ground wheat in water and a little yogurt overnight to neutralize the phytic acid in the wheat that inhibits digestion. It gives a wonderful sour flavor to breads!
©2009 Shanna Ohmes

Thursday, October 1, 2009

"Grub" ideas for an urban organic kitchen

I have been reading a book called "Grub" by Anna Lappe`.  The author calls grub "organic and sustainably raised whole and locally grown foods, produced with fairness from seed to table, and is good for our bodies, our communities, and our environment."  I am about half way through the book and am amazed at the research she did.  She talks about how the chemical companies are indifferent to and twist research that shows how the pesticides and other chemicals affect our health.

One interesting chapter is on the organic brands and what companies actually own them.  For instance, Kashi, Morningstar Farms and Natural Touch are owned by Kellogg.  Celestial Seasonings, Arrowhead Mills, and Garden of Eatin' are owned by Heinz.  And the list goes on.  It makes me wonder when I buy organic, who am I really supporting?

She talks about trends in food.  One is the variety--or I should say lack of variety of fruits and vegetables that we actually consume.  In 2000, only 3 veggies were half of the servings in our nation's diet--iceberg lettuce, potatoes as frozen, fresh and potato chips, and canned tomatoes.  I watch what people put in their shopping carts at the store and I would believe that statistic.  I was one of those statistics at one time.

And then I came across this quote that I put on my newsletter blog:  "Every time you spend money on food, you are voting for the world you want."  That was by John Kinsman, an organic dairy farmer and the founder of Family Farm Defenders.

I am enjoying the book and looking forward to the recipe section and trying them out.