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6 Traditional Foods For Outstanding Vitality

As we begin to look forward to resuming some routine after our snowy detours, please consider these traditional foods that can be incorporated into our diets.  Slightly modified, the following is a combination of information from the Hungry For Change Blog and Nourished Kitchen Website.



Oftentimes, the simplest solution to avoiding health problems can be found in the past – namely, time-honored foods that are rooted in tradition and wisdom. Long-established cultures, through observation and a close connection with the land and its people, developed exceptionally nourishing food staples. A modern revival of these most basic, yet remarkable, foods is on the upswing – with the following five edibles leading the way.

Traditional Foods For Outstanding Vitality

1. Cod Liver Oil

Scandinavian vikings had drums of cod livers fermenting by the doors of their homes. Likewise, Roman soldiers used cod liver oil daily. Historically, the oil was used to keep populations strong and disease-free. Standard Process Cod Liver Oil (carried at ANHC) addresses vitamin A deficiency and vitamin D deficiency while supporting the body’s healthy immune response function. Careful processing ensures this cod liver oil maintains its natural profile of vitamin A, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and a small amount of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).


2. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut combines the health benefits offered by all cruciferous vegetables (a category which includes cauliflowers and brussel sprouts as well as cabbage) with the probiotic advantages derived from the fermentation process.

Cabbage offers a host of health benefits. It is high in vitamins A and C. Studies have shown the cruciferous vegetables can help lower cholesterol levels. Cab

bage also provides a rich source of phytonutrient antioxidants. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties, and some studies indicate it may help combat some cancers. However, this already helpful vegetable becomes a superfood when it is pickled.

In periods and cultures when natural healing methods fell into disuse, people consumed fewer fermented foods and were subject to more illness. Scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) killed many British sailors during the 1700s, especially on longer voyages. In the late 1770s, Captain James Cook circumnavigated the world without losing a single sailor to scurvy, thanks to the foods his ship carried, including sixty barrels of sauerkraut.

Mainstream health experts began to pay renewed attention to sauerkraut after a study published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2002. Finnish researchers reported that in laboratory studies, a substance produced by fermented cabbage, isothiocyanates, helped prevent the growth of cancer.

Ask Dr. Hurd about how he makes his kraut the next time you’re in.  You can do this in your own kitchen or find quality products that keep the traditions in the preparation.  A popular brand that you can find in many retail stores is Bubbies Sauerkraut.


3. Bone Broth

The age-old custom of eating chicken soup for curing a cold isn’t simply a ‘wives’ tale; traditional cultures sensed the healing wisdom behind the practice. Brimming with essential nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium, along with collagen, gelatin, hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate, a slow-simmered bone broth is an important addition to a healthful diet. It alleviates inflammation, heals a leaky gut and fortifies against bacterial and viral infections.

Bone broth also strengthens the teeth, joints, bones, skin and hair. Just be sure to use only pastured, grass-fed animals, or wild game, to avoid toxins.

Know that Jenny is planning an evening event to share the methods she has experimented with.  Details coming soon.  Expect to learn about broths as well as…


4. Beet Kvass

A deeply cleansing brew, with an exceptional antioxidant profile, beet kvass may not be well-known, but it’s certainly a potent tonic for health. Kvass is said to soothe systemic inflammation (which effectively reduces the risk of diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease), boost immunity and enhance digestion.

5. Kefir

Long-used in the Caucasus Mountain region of Eastern Europe, kefir employs between 10 and 20 varieties of bacteria and yeast during culturing, thereby creating a richer probiotic profile than yogurt, which only utilizes a few strains. Moreover, kefir supplies generous amounts of calcium, phosphorus, B vitamins and protein.

It’s also a significant source of tryptophan (think relaxation and sound sleep) as well as kefiran, which has been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure in test animals. Learn how to make your own kefir HERE.  Lisa and Jenny can both share their experiences making Kefir and can share grains if you decide you’re ready.


6. Kombucha

Have you heard of Kombucha, the beverage the ancient Chinese called the “Immortal Health Elixir?” It’s been around for more than 2,000 years and has a rich anecdotal history of health benefits like preventing and fighting cancer, arthritis, and other degenerative diseases.  Jenny will have samples and share her experiences with Kombucha at her evening event “coming soon”. 

Made from sweetened tea that’s been fermented by a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (a SCOBY, a.k.a. “mother” because of its ability to reproduce, or “mushroom” because of its appearance), Kombucha didn’t gain prominence in the West until recently.  Benefits include: Detoxification, Joint Care, Aids Digestion and Gut Health and is Immune Boosting

In the first half of the 20th century, extensive scientific research was done on Kombucha’s health benefits in Russia and Germany, mostly because of a push to find a cure for rising cancer rates. Russian scientists discovered that entire regions of their vast country were seemingly immune to cancer and hypothesized that the kombucha, called “tea kvass” there, was the support.  They began a series of experiments which not only verified the hypothesis, but began to pinpoint exactly what it is within kombucha which was so beneficial.  In the U.S., no major medical studies are being done on Kombucha because no one in the drug industry stands to profit from researching a beverage that the average consumer can make for as little as 50 cents a gallon.

Kombucha is extraordinarily anti-oxidant rich, and you all know the benefits of anti-oxidants for boosting your immune system and energy levels.

You can usually find a bottle of kombucha in your local health food store.  If you’re interested in exploring making your own kombucha at home visit HERE for a “user friendly” look at how you might begin and watch for the details of Jenny’s “In The Kitchen” event coming soon.


Do You Have Any Traditional Foods That You And Your Family Eat For Exceptional Health?  Tell us, we’d like to know. 


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