31 Days of Slightly Crunchy

October 2, 2015

Today's topic - Fermented Foods and Lactose Intolerance

I wanted to scrunch it into the title but it just wouldn't fit up there.

I feel like I should start this off with saying that I'm lactose intolerant.

It's been years of suffering when I accidentally had full fat milk that I learned just what fermented foods and probiotics did for my digestive system.

Except for a small stint of nursing a baby who didn't like me having any form of dairy, luckily we've moved past that stage, I've been a big yogurt, kombucha, and kefir consumer.

For myself I've found that it works just as well (consuming fermented & high probiotic foods) as taking lactose intolerant medicine, which I'm not a fan of having to take.

I recently found an article by Chris Kresser that seems to back up what I've been doing over the years, by complete chance did I find this out initially... I wasn't some fermented foods expert. I just knew I felt better consuming them. (you can click here to get to the article)

In the article Kresser says, "Studies have shown that supplementation of probiotics, in addition to consuming yogurt that has been enhanced with certain types of bacteria, can alleviate symptoms of lactose intolerance by modifying the metabolic activity of microrbiota in the colon. These bacteria may even product their own lactase enzyme, and consuming lactose from dairy products can promote the growth of these bacteria in the colon. Over time, these effects can lead to greater lactase content in the gut, improved lactose digestion, and eventually the elimination of intolerance symptoms"

Essentially, it helps build up your ability to process the lactose in dairy.

Since we eat a mainly Paleo type diet there isn't just a ton of dairy in my diet. I do keep a bottle of kefir in the fridge because I find that it is more helpful with my digestion than just plain yogurt. Especially since it is mostly lactose free in and of itself.

Whenever possible I do like to treat myself to water kefir or kombucha. Synergy is my favorite kombucha brand, and I can attest to trying a ton of brands over the years. I'll just about drink any Synergy flavor you throw out in from of me though.

I'm a huge ice cream person and I've found that I can get my ice cream desires met and still feel good by making kefir ice cream. A few months ago I posted a recipe for Strawberry Kefir Ice Cream if you want to check it out.

So to wrap it up today, I waited too late it the day to type... I'm totally fried...

If you suffer from lactose intolerance try adding in some fermented foods and foods high in probiotics into your existing diet. Don't start chugging the stuff, I'd hate for you to get sick from over doing it to start out, but gradually add it in and see if you start to tolerate dairy a bit better.

I still am not a whole milk person, but I can tolerate a spoonful of half & half in my coffee. I just have to make sure when ordering something with diary (like a latte at Starbucks) to ask for skim milk. For some reason skim doesn't bother me quite like full fat does.

talk to me

Have you had issues with lactose intolerance? If so how did you cope with them? Have you tried adding in fermented foods or probiotics before to cure it?