“I Started Eating More Fermented Food…”

Tucker Max, who got great results from flaxseed oil, wondered what would happen if he ate more fermented food. He emailed me:

I have been reading your posts about bacteria in food, so I decided to try it on my own. I HATE Roquefort and other stinky cheeses, and I am not about to eat fermented meat, so the best thing I could find in Whole Foods was Kombucha tea. It is basically normal tea, with bacteria cultures growing in it. Sounds weird I know, but it actually tastes pretty good, especially the ones with natural fruit juices added. It has a sparkly, almost champagne-like taste feel in your mouth. It takes a little getting used to, but I really like it now. I like GT’s brand the best, but I think there are others.

Anyway, after a week of drinking two bottles a day, I have noticed
these changes:

  1. My stool is…well, better. In every way. More regular, more solid, and something else very unusual–I only have to wipe once. For most of my life, I have to wipe twice, or sometimes three times, which I assumed was normal. But this week, the stool comes out and leaves virtually nothing behind. At least nothing that is showing up on the toilet paper. I am not sure what this means as I am not a poop expert, but I think it means my stool is “healthier” for lack of a better word.
  2. I have more energy. Aside from subjectively feeling it, I can see the difference in my workout logs, just in this past week I’ve gone up more weight on exercises than I normally do.
  3. I am feeling overall better. This could very well be placebo effect/confirmation bias as it is a very subjective measurement, but I just feel better. I feel generally healthier, if that makes sense.
  4. But, I am having trouble sleeping. I feel like I am getting less sleep, not much, maybe 30 minutes less. I don’t know if this is due to increased energy because it might be anxiety –we are about to sell my movie, and it’s an anxious time in my life, so the cause may have nothing to do with the tea.

Right now, I think kombucha tea greatly improves my health and I am
going to keep taking it to see if there are anymore changes or if this
persists. This stuff I buy is not cheap, like $4 a bottle [$3/bottle in one Berkeley store], but I am going to keep drinking at least two a day, I like it that much. Plus, once you get used to the taste and texture, it’s really delicious.

The brand he bought is GT’S. I’ll comment on this in a later post — but I’ll say now that eating much more fermented food didn’t have any noticeable effect on my sleep.

3 Replies to ““I Started Eating More Fermented Food…””

  1. I’ve noticed generally the same effects after incorporating goat-milk kefir, yogurt, and raw-milk cheeses into my daily diet. I also tend to feel less sleepy at night time. I used to feel the need to turn the light out and go to sleep by about 10:30pm and wake up at around 6:30-7:15am (I don’t use an alarm clock; I just let myself naturally awaken). Since I started using the lactofermented foods, I find I don’t feel sleepy enough to go to sleep until between 11-11:30pm, but I still wake up at about the same time and feel refreshed and rested (usually, since my 6-month old still sleeps in our room, I’m sometimes awakened at 2-3am by her and have difficulty falling back to sleep afterward). Let’s just say that babies are NOT conducive to regular peaceful sleep!

  2. I wonder about consuming lots of the same thing over time. I started eating yogurt (with live bacteria…White Mountain Bulgarian) and noticed improvements in my ability to digest dairy. I was eating a quart a week, perhaps too much, especially given my sensitivity to dairy. After a few months, I started developing a rash. It occurred to me that the new element in my diet was the yogurt, so I stopped and the rash started to subside. I’ll give it a little longer and will probably start eating yogurt again with a little more moderation. I may also try rotating various fermented foods.

  3. While I can’t attest for sure to the exact cause, I do get the same “clean as a whistle” effect from, I believe, organic brown rice. Now I know how dogs feel when — after taking care of business — they scratch the dirt, then trot off all frisky-like.

    It seems to me that this is the way Nature intended it. She’s not known for inelegant designs.

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