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The 5:2 Lab

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This paper might have prompted the BBC article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23671105

And I think the fibre they talk of is indeed inulin:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21883787
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From wikipedia:

Plants that contain high concentrations of inulin include:
Agave (Agave spp.)
Banana
Burdock (Arctium lappa)
Camas (Camassia spp.)
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Coneflower (Echinacea spp.)
Costus Saussurea lappa
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Elecampane (Inula helenium)
Garlic (Allium sativum)
Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus)
Jicama (Pachyrhizus erosus)
Leopard's-bane (Arnica montana)
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
Onion (Allium cepa)
Wild yam (Dioscorea spp.)
Yacón (Smallanthus sonchifolius spp.)

But don't go mad... too much inulin can cause nasty gastrointestinal effects (flatulence, diarrohea, griping pains)!
@carorees: I haven't yet reached the stage of 'liking' kefir exactly, but it's perfectly okay and hopefully it will grow on me (or in me indeed...)

Re akkermansia muciniphila, I'm reading that there are two types of probiotic so to cover both bases you need the short-chain and long-chain, these can come from oligofructose (short-chain - for right-side first part of colon) and inulin (long-chain - for left-side rest of the colon). It seems they occur in quite a lot of fresh and processed foods. Lots more nerdy info here. And a more approachable discussion, including a list of suitable foods to boost your probiotic intake, here.

Doesn't seem easy to find oligofructose as a supplement for sale to UK, I found some from Germany on eBay if you feel you need the supplement.
Try fermenting the kefir in the fridge...it is less sour and more creamy that way (but takes longer). If you can get enough culture to last you a few days then you can use that while the new batch is developing in the fridge.

I note the article on prebiotics says to eat the foods raw for maximum effect...mmm raw garlic and onions...my friends will love me! ;-) Better stick to bananas!
carorees wrote: @dominic: glad you like the kefir. I am planning on starting a new culture but am thinking of waiting until after my 3-week holiday to Sweden as that is how I lost the last culture...the frozen emergency one did not survive nor did the one in the fridge. I guess it is a bit much to ask the neighbours to look after the kefir culture as well as the cats, fish, chickens, horse and vegetable garden!!!

I love kefir with home-made granola...milk tastes wishy-washy on it in comparison!

Mmm..me too. By the way, as a fil aficionado (dunno if you can use aficionada in engelska)
you would probably like Trader Joe's kefir (plain)...the closest thing I've found in the US to Swedish variety. (Somewhat tarter perhaps but so much better than all the sickeningly sweet or chemically thickened varieties.)
Any others loving kefir? I have been using it in all sorts of recipes and love how versatile it is. I sometimes strain it to make a curd cheese and last night had a big dollop of it in a pork goulash -delish! The bonus is my digestion is trouble free and all in good working order. I love my little grains, pure magic! Does anyone know anything about natto - I feel curious about it, but has anyone on here actually tasted it?
I'm still having my kefir dhana, but not as adventurous as you! I now make it in the fridge and have 3 pots on the go, but it is only used with oats/granola/linseed meal for my breakfast. I am quite liking it though now - as Caroline suggested, it is slower from the fridge but much milder. Have yet to persuade other members of the family to try it! Anyone know if kefir from cows milk is okay if you are lactose-intolerant (my OH's situation)?
So you didn't manage to kill the wee creatures then :grin: :grin: ?! I don't know what happens to the lactose in the fermentation process, but I would think it makes it easier to digest? It makes a lovely salad dressing, just add mint, flatleaf parsley, basil etc. your fave, and a mashed avocado and it lifts the plainest salad! The avocado version I usually omit the oil, but if I don't have an avocado I add a glug of olive oil to the kefir and herbs.
I was away for 24 days and took my Kefir with me in a plastic bottle. I just strained the Kefir each morning with a fork at the breakfast table and topped up with the milk from the breakfast bar. It survived a 1500 mile drive each way and 2 weeks in a fridge in the sun.
As a precaution though I had put some Kefir grains in 2 pints of milk in the fridge at home. It survived quite nicely.
I really must get some more. Being on the 5:2 threw my routine out of Kefir for breakfast and I ended up forgetting about it and killing it off. I do have a friend fairly local to me who got her starter culture from the same source so I will pinch some of her excess and get going again.

If anyone fancies some Kefir to try, buy the live culture, it looks like mini cauliflower heads. The dried kefir just doesn't thrive and usually dies in a month or so, whereas the live just carries on growing.
dhana, I've been eating natto a few times a week lately and plan to continue doing so.

I find it highly digestible and have no issues with the smell or texture, at least not with the brands I've bought. In all cases the fragrance and the taste have been rather mild, making the addition of the soy sauce and mustard which is usually packed with it necessary. (I like to add wasabi and pickled radish, and eat it straight or with rice). The stickiness and stringy-ness seem to vary from brand to brand. The stickier, stringier versions can be rather messy to eat, which is something I have yet to master.

I've been consuming kefir for some time (alas, made with powder because I don't have ready access to grains). It's a bit overwhelming for my system, so I only take a small amount at a time. Natto, on the other hand, has always been easy for me to digest. I encourage you to give it a try.
dominic wrote: Anyone know if kefir from cows milk is okay if you are lactose-intolerant (my OH's situation)?


The live cultures will digest the lactose in the milk, so the stronger/more fermented it is, the less lactose the kefir will contain.

I am mildly lactose intolerant - too much milk will upset my digestion but I can tolerate a small amount. I've found I do very well with fermented milk and with cheese. Unless your OH has milk allergy or is completely lactose intolerant, I would give it a try!

I felt strong revulsion towards milk for years, but now I love my acidophilus milk and get cravings for it if I don't have it often enough. I only just finished a large cool mug of A38 milk mixed with sweetened vanilla-flavored soy drink. It tastes just like koldskål, a traditional Danish buttermilk soup eaten cold in the summertime topped with crunchy cookies.
After reading http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23671105 , perhaps thanks to carorees, and finding we were never going to eat sufficient leeks or onion to get the daily prebiotic requirement, I found a prebiotic supplement for a reasonable price - about 10p/day. It tastes sweet and is no problem to sprinkle on food. I've always been suspicious about how survival of probiotics through the digestive system so this seems a better idea.
natto. shudder. it's one of the few things I won't eat. It is slimy. I can't deal with the texture. If I close my eyes, I can eat it. The taste is ok. My worst nightmare food-wise is natto mixed with okra, a popular dish in Japan. bleck.
carorees wrote: From wikipedia:

Plants that contain high concentrations of inulin include:
Agave (Agave spp.)

But don't go mad... too much inulin can cause nasty gastrointestinal effects (flatulence, diarrohea, griping pains)!

:?: Perhaps this is why I don't have constipation problems after a night with a few shots of processed blue agave ?(tequila :dazed: ) :grin:
The article was an interesting read. I am a little surprised by the orange juice thing. I bet it works equally well with lemon, though. In fact, many people drink hot lemon water in the morning to detox. Lemon has all the natural citrus fruit benefits and the Vitamin C; but without the sugar. I wonder if taking water with lemon (hot or cold) along with a meal would similarly reduce inflamation?! Very interesting.
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