GUT SUPPORTIVE BEET KVASS

  1. Beet kvass is fermented beetroot juice with a treasure trove of goodness, loaded with probiotics and immune and neurological supportive B vitamins as well as naturally occurring betaine to help reduce inflammation whilst protecting our cells from oxidative stress and free radical damage. Beets can be high in natural sugars but once fermented these sugars are gobbled up through the fermentation process whilst enhancing the nutrient profile of the beets. Traditionally, beet kvass has been used to support immune function, cleanse the blood, combat fatigue and chemical sensitivities, allergies and digestive problems, and is especially good for those suffering from constipation or sluggish liver. If you are prone to floaty, pale stools then beet kvass may be really helpful. Recent animal research confirms the gastrointestinal benefits of beet kvass, showing it helps to improve the gut ecosystem and metabolic activity. Beet kvass tastes slightly salty and tangy and has a little fizz to it. This is a very powerful drink so treat it with respect. Start with a tablespoon and build it up slowly to a cup or more a day. If you only take one probiotic drink then make sure it is beet kvass. In this recipe, I have used a kefir starter from Body Ecology but you can use 1/4 cup of whey (this is water that is released from your yoghurt) or 1/4 cup of sauerkraut juice. You can miss the starter altogether but you would then need to increase the salt from 1/2 tsp per 750mls to 2 tsp per 750mls. The end results is a much saltier drink.
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HOW TO MAKE

  1. Chop the beetroot into 1cm chunks and place in a large 1-litre glass bottle or mason jar.
  2. Place the water, salt and kefir starter or any other starter you are using in a jug and stir until fully dissolved.
  3. Pour the prepared water into the bottle over the beetroot chunks and seal the lid. Place the sealed bottle on the kitchen counter for 48 to 72 hours. Once fully fermented place the bottle in the fridge where it will keep for several months.

THE SCIENCE BIT

An animal study carried out in 2015 by Elżbieta Klewicka et al showed that supplementing the diet of the rats with the lactofermented beetroot juice reduced the level of ammonia by 17% in the group treated with N-nitroso-N-methyl urea. The positive modulation of the gut microflora and its metabolic activity was observed in groups of rats fed with the diet supplemented with the fermented beetroot juice. A concomitant decrease in the β-glucuronidase activity was a consequence of the gut epithelium microbiota modulation. The antioxidant capacity of blood serum aqueous fraction was increased by about 69% in the group of rats treated N-nitroso-N-methyl urea mixed with the fermented beetroot juice and N-nitroso-N-methyl urea versus to the N-nitroso-N-methyl urea treatment, whereas the antioxidant parameters of the blood serum lipid fraction, kidneys, and liver remained unchanged.