I love all things fermented and this is partly because I know how important gut health is to ones overall health. Probiotics are especially important during pregnancy as quality probiotics:
- Help ensure that baby will get a good dose of beneficial bacteria during a normal vaginal delivery, which can reduce risk of ear infection and illness in the first few years.
- Probiotics also help mom avoid illness and constipation during pregnancy and boost the immune system
- They can also reduce the risk of Group B strep overgrowth.
- Sourdough bread contains the bacteria Lactobacillus in a higher proportion to yeast than do other breads. More Lactobacillus means higher production of lactic acid, which means less of the potentially dangerous phytic acid. And what does that mean? More mineral availability (particularly k, p, Mg, Zn) and easier digestion!
- Easier digestion is made even more possible by the bacteria-yeast combo working to predigest the starches in the grains. Predigestion by sourdough = less digestion for you.
- Lactic acid bacteria (LAB – including those commonly found in sourdough bread) produce beneficial compounds: antioxidants, the cancer-preventive peptide lunasin, and anti-allergenic substances, some of which may help in the treatment of auto-immune diseases.
I have been in a fermentation frenzy this past month and wanted to share a little about it. I started my own kombucha S.C.O.B.Y from one store bought bottle, made sauerkraut, and have continued my sourdough bread journey :) All of these fermented foods increase the probiotics in your system and are so very essential in any pregnant mamas daily regimen especially when they are home made and fresh.
Lets start with the sourdough starter: I loved the idea that I could create my own sourdough starter from just 2 simple ingredients: flour and water. The rest is the magic of natural bacteria in the air, how cool is that!
There was so many options and ways to go about beginning the sourdough starter I finally chose to follow this recipe: www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/sourdough/how-to-obtain-sourdough-starter/
Here's what you need: Mason jar or any glass jar, pyrex spatula, measuring cups, rye flour & all purpose flour (or any flour you choose, I chose rye because it is a hardier flour and is less easy to mess up), and filtered room temperature water.
SOURDOUGH STARTER RECIPE
- Combine ¾ cup flour and ½ cup warm water in a glass or plastic container. Make sure the container can hold about 2 quarts, to avoid overflow.
- Stir vigorously to incorporate air; cover with a breathable lid.
- Leave in a warm place, 70-85°F, for 12-24 hours. Feeding every 12 hours will increase the rate at which your sourdough starter is multiplying its organisms; feeding every 24 hours will take a bit longer, but may be more sustainable depending on your time commitment.
- At the 12 or 24 hour mark you may begin to see some bubbles, indicating that organisms are present. Repeat the feeding with ½ cup warm water and ¾ cup flour.
- Stir vigorously, cover, and wait another 12-24 hours.
- Repeat feedings every 12-24 hours by removing half of the starter before every feeding and discarding it. Feed with ½ cup warm water and ¾ cup flour.
- After about 5-7 days the sourdough starter should have enough yeasts and bacteria to be used for baking.
Overall, consuming probiotics is a benefit to your health and the health of your baby, however you can get them. I personally think getting them from home made sources is the best way so I will continue to write about the different methods of fermenting here on my blog, for your viewing pleasures...