Due to a medication I am on for severe depression (MAOI), I cannot eat many fermented foods (there is a life-threatening reaction with the medication) which include kombucha, sauerkraut, and kefir.
I'm new to Paleo eating, and have seen mention of supplementing a regular diet with them, so as to get probiotics.
I'm not sure of the role of probiotics in a healthy diet. Is it necessary to supplement your diet this way, and if so, are there Paleo-friendly ways to do so that don't involve fermented foods?
Very small quantities of yogurt are allowed with my medication and I found this product: http://www.skyr.com/probiotics.html, but if supplementing with probiotics isn't necessary, I would prefer not to eat any dairy.
asked bybluedutch (10)
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on April 23, 2013
at 03:22 AM
Fermented foods are not necessary. But probiotics are important. If your gut gets out of whack, you'll have all sorts of digestive problems, overgrowths of bad bacteria/fungi/etc. Like the others say, check with your doctor on regular probiotic pills. There are plenty of non-dairy ones out there.
on April 23, 2013
at 01:07 AM
There are two things you get from fermented foods:
Certain vitamins, primarily Vitamins K2 and C (from veggies). You can get those from other sources (grass fed butter for K2, but mind that some grass fed butters are CULTURED--read labels carefully).
Support for gut flora. That one is a little more problematic. Can you take probiotic capsules? That's a good question for a pharmacist (you can ask the pharmacist that fills your prescriptions--be sure to ask for a consult with the pharmacist, not a tech.). It might be a good idea if you can. Otherwise, be extra careful to avoid harm to your existing gut flora--avoid grains assiduously, minimize toxins by eating organic, grass fed, and only take antibiotics if it's absolutely necessary.
Most SAD people never touch fermented foods with the exception of alcohol or overly sweetened yogurt and they survive. You will, too.
on May 29, 2013
at 05:40 PM
I use probiotic pills. I abhor the taste of fermented food, apart from sauerkraut, which I've been too lazy to make for many years.
I bought the $50 a month dose, refrigerated kind for several years (from Whole Foods or local health food store). Now I buy Costco's cheapest/best version for the price/dose.
I've never found a difference in the way I look, perform, bowel movements, skin, etc. However, I still use probiotic pills (I've down-scaled PRICE over the years with my own experimentation -- I'm not saying my cheaper answer is right for others!).
Recently, I've re-added sauerkraut and will be making 'salty brine' pickles this summer when cukes are coming in from the garden. With THESE fermented foods, I get a 1-2 day turnaround in feeling! I'm sorry you cannot have this option now.
Perhaps when your guts heal and all the resultant health benefits kick in, you'll eventually be able to get off meds, too!
Here's the GAPS page, briefly outlining that further protocol, which may help you. SCA is another if you aren't familiar (of course, don't do fermented with your meds and after going 100% paleo clean for a month or so, you can experiment -- with doctor supervision).
on April 30, 2013
at 05:02 AM
I can not eat cultured/fermented foods due to an allergy. I haven't had fermented food in about a year and have no adverse effects. In fact, I feel better!
on April 23, 2013
at 03:20 AM
Yes, fermented foods do have probiotics, but you eat easily supplement your diet with probiotics to get the benefit if not MORE of the benefit because eating a spoonful of say sauerkraut won't give you as many benefits as taking probiotics in supplement form.
on April 22, 2013
at 06:58 PM
I wouldn't worry about it. If you eat paleo for a month or so, and notice digestive issues, you may want to consider adding in probiotics. Personally I have extreme distaste for fermented foods (it's not just paleo either - I've never liked pickles, or even relish ... even sour cream and yogurt are kind of borderline. I just don't like that "cultured" taste).
There's the "ideal" diet, and then there's what we actually eat. :) Make it work for you - that's the most important part.