Religions and Nutrition

Believers of different religions have different food traditions and follow different dietary restrictions. The most widespread religions in the world are Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism.
Buddhists follow the teachings of Buddha – „The Awakened One“ – and adhere to certain dietary laws. Five ethical teachings define Buddhist dietary practices. The first one forbids taking the life of a person or an animal. Some Buddhists interpret this as a ban on eating animals. Buddhists with this intepretaion follow lacto-vegetarian diet – they eat dairy products but exclude eggs, poultry, fish and meat from their diet. According to the second teaching some Buddhists eat meat and animal products if the animals are not slaughtered specifically for them. The third teaching of Buddhism forbids the consumption of alcohol because it clouds the mind. According to the fourth teaching some Buddhists do not consume strong-smelling plants and spices such as garlic, onions, shallots, etc., because strong smells can greatly hieghten emotions. According to the fifth teaching Buddhists practice total intermittent fasting, abstaining from food from noon until dawn the next day to practice self-control. Given that Buddhist diet is primarily plant-based and can lead to deficiencies in vitamin В12, minerals and iron.
Adhering to Islam, Muslims eat Halal foods. Halal is an Arabic word which means „legal“ or „permissible“. The opposite of Halal is Haram which means „illegal“ or „forbidden“. All pure things and foods are considered Halal. Halal is a food standard for all Muslims. The following foods and drinks are forbidden, ie. Haram, in Islam: pork and its by-products; animals that have been improperly slaughtered or died before slaughter; animals which are not slaughtered in the name of God (Allah); alcohol and drugs; predators, raptors and reptiles; blood and secondary blood products; food contaminated with any of the above products. Last year an EU Regulation allowed the inclusion of locust meal in a wide range of food products. According to Islam, locusts are Haram, that is, these foods are not pure, so they are forbidden for Muslims. All foods that are permissible for Muslims are subject to certification and have the Halal certification organization logo on the label.
In Judaism, believers consume Kosher foods. The word „kosher“ in Hebrew means „suitable, convenient“. Kosher foods are: cloven-hoofed ruminant mammals – cattle, sheep, goat, deer, bison, gazelle, giraffe, etc.; poultry – chicken, hen, duck, goose, pigeon, etc.; fish – only those that have fins and scales – carp, mackerel, cod, herring, salmon, etc.; milk and milk products from kosher animals; caviar from kosher fish; eggs from kosher birds. All animals must be ritually slaughtered to reduce their suffering. Alcohol consumption is permitted in Judaism. The Torah (the holy book of the Jews) forbids the consumption of animal blood, fat and tendons. The basic principle of Kashrut (food diet in Judaism) is the separation of milk food from meat both during eating and during food preparation. Some of the Jews observe a very strict diet called pareve. Anything that is not dairy or meat and has not been prepared with dairy or meat is considered pareve – fish, eggs, fruit, vegetables, cereals, etc. Kashrut diet prohibits the consumption of locusts and other insects. In Judaism, Kosher food is also subject to certification and have on the label the logo of the Rabbi who carried out the certification.
There are no specific requirements in the Christian religion for the purity of food products and a certain food diet to be followed constantly by the believers. According to the dogmas of Christianity fasting is about two hundred days a year, ie. Christians fast on these days. Lent is a period associated with prayer and repentance, abstinence from passions and vices, and a certain diet is followed for the purpose of spiritual and physical purification. Fasts have six degrees of severity. The first one allows everything without meat, the next one forbids fish. The next fasts prohibit hot food with vegetable fat. The stricter fasting also forbid cold food without fat and hot drinks. The strictest fast recommends complete abstinence from food. Usually, strict fasting means that the faithful are allowed to eat only vegetable food without oil. According to Christianity there are four long fasting periods – Easter fasts (from Slavic Carnivals to Easter); St. Peter’s fast (two weeks before St. Peter’s Day); Virgin Fast (two weeks before Assumption); Christmas Lent (40 days before Christmas). Fasting days are also every Wednesday and Friday. There is no certification of food in Christian religion, also there are no official statements regarding the use of foods containing locusts, insects, etc.
There are millions of people around the world who, regardless of their religion, eat Halal or Kosher foods. Some of them eat such food because of their religious beliefs, and others to make sure that the food they consume is pure, under constant control and does not contain ingredients that they don’t want. Halal and Kosher foods are often associated with the concept of healthy eating.
Laktera probiotics are suitable for all types of religious diets. They have Halal and Kosher certificates. Especially Laktera Vegan that contains the unique Bulgarian strain of water origin Lactobacillus bulgaricus DWT1, multiplied on completely plant-based medium. Laktera Vegan takes care of immunity and gastrointestinal balance and is suitable for different types of diets and the most strict dogmas in nutrition of various religions.

Stay healthy with Laktera!

Laktera - proven psychobiotic!

American and Bulgarian scientists have proven that

the good Bulgarian bacterium improves our mental health

More recently, scientists from the Medical University in the US state of Virginia through experimental study on mice found that the good Bulgarian bacterium Lactobacillus bulgaricus prevents mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. During that study, rodents that generally don’t have Lactobacillus bulgaricus in their guts showed increased anxiety responses and lower levels of interferon gamma, which is involved in regulation of the immune response to high stress.

Dr. Bankole Johnson from Miami summarizes that this study highlights the role of the gut microbiome in regulating stress and anxiety and shows how nutrition affects our mental well-being.

Renowned American nutritionist Sas Parsad emphasizes that this research provides valuable insights into the connection between gut health and our mental state. What’s more, Lactobacillus bulgaricus contributes to reducing inflammation in the gut, which can further contribute to improving our mental health. “These findings could lead to a revolution in the treatment of mental disorders, as they suggest that the inclusion of lactobacilli-rich foods may become an additional strategy to deal with stress, depression and anxiety” – believes Dr. Parsad.

In practice, American scientists proved experimentally on rats that Lactobacillus bulgaricus is a psychobiotic, that is by controlling inflammations and dysbacteriosis in the large intestine it improves our mental health. The good Bulgarian bacterium regulates the dialogue between the intestines and the central nervous system by influencing the production of neurotransmitters and especially serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid – both of these substances are essential for mood control.

In Bulgaria, the gut-brain axis was talked about already in the 19th century by the Master Dunov. He wrote that our gut is our second brain and both immunity and overall health depend on it.

Laktera’s team proved the claim of the American scientists not by studies on mice, but on humans. Laktera, containing the first in the world strain of water origin Lactobacillus bulgaricus DWT1, travelled on the board of RSV 421 St. St. Cyril and Methodius – our ship that carried out the 31st expedition to Antarctica in 2022-2023. The 20 crew members of the ship were the subject of the clinical study. They were divided into two groups – half of them were taking the probiotic Laktera Nature, and the others – did not.

Standardized psychological studies have proven that sailors and officers who were taking Lactera during the Antarctic expedition, which lasted about 150 days and saturated with extreme physical and mental stress, were more mentally stable with lower levels of depression, anxiety and absence of burn-out syndrome. The project was carried out in collaboration with specialists from the Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy, Sofia University Kliment Ohridski and Medical University Varna. Also the sailors who were taking Laktera got sick less than the control group. This clinical study unequivocally proves the effect of Lactobacillus bulgaricus DWT1 of water origin as a psychobiotic and its importance in improving human mental health. Laktera again travels to Antarctica and the studies with the crew of our ship RSV 421 St. St. Cyril and Methodius continue during their 32nd expedition to Antarctica in 2023-2024.


Stay healthy with Laktera!