Fermented food is the perfect partner for getting your gut in shape and healing your body. Along the way, doing so might turn your life around to one of physical strength, great health, happiness and joy. There may be no easier or more cost effective way to get your daily dose of beneficial vitamins, minerals, enzymes and probiotics than with fermented foods like lactic acid fermented vegetables. They actually taste delicious and are so much cheaper than costly supplements.
The variety of pickled vegetables that can be made is endless; from traditional dill pickles, sauerkraut and kim chi to pickled radishes, beets, carrots, okra, parsnips, corn, celery, squash, garlic, peppers, brussel sprouts, pumpkin, apples, beans, etc. Add to that your choices of an endless variety of spices, and as you can see, the sky is the limit.
Does the chart below remind you of your own chronic auto-immune illness? Now is a good time to rethink the food you habitually shop for, cook and eat. Maybe it’s time to do things differently.
Lacto-fermentation. Not a sexy word. And not a very sexy process.
Lacto-fermentation, or lactic acid fermentation, is a process where vegetables are submerged in water with salt over a period of time stimulating bacteria to produce lactic acid that preserves the vegetables and converts them into probiotics. There are many health benefits of fermented foods. Making fermented foods is incredibly easy. After the cleaning and chopping, the only thing you need to do is not forget to check in, give ‘em a taste and put them in the fridge when they’re done.
Nutrition is more easily available and digestible in lacto-fermented foods
Health benefits of lacto-fermented foods:
- Contain lacto-bacillus (Acidophilus)
- Promote good intestinal bacteria populations
- Contain living, dense enzymes
- Easier on digestion system
- Used by many people in healing and overcoming serious illness
- Fermented vegetables do not cause flatulence like raw, unfermented vegetables
- Strengthens acidity of stomach
- Prevents Constipation
- Stimulates Peristaltic movement intestines
- Re-establishes healthy intestinal flora after antibiotics
- Improves blood circulation
- Helps cleanse the blood
- Supports natural resistance against infections
- Strengthens body’s immune system
- Rids body of parasites
- Lowers sugar in blood and urine
- Controls craving for sweets
Fermented foods you are most likely to be familiar with:
- Fish Sauce
- Bean Curd
- Salami & Pepperoni
If you purchase the above at your local grocery store – the value is less to your health. The commercial makers of fermented food pasteurize today. For the sake of mass consumption and shelf longevity pasteurization is the norm and it kills all beneficial flora. The result for us is poor health. We buy it, chew it, swallow it and give our digestive system unnecessary abuse. Not intentional of course but, in this case, the cost is great – our health suffers. We must take it from here and learn maybe for the first time the ancient art of preserving food through fermentation.
A shelf full of summer vegetables will provide you with meals full of protective probiotics for the next winter. You can expect these results once you begin including fermented food into your daily meal plan.
Friendly bacteria are fundamental to good health:
- Protect the integrity of the intestinal lining.
- Maintain immunity, since around half of the body’s immune cells are in the intestines.
- Manufacture B vitamins (useful for vegans).
- Manufacture essential fatty acids.
- Extract calcium from dairy products.
- Aid absorption of vitamins and minerals.
- Produce enzymes to break down foods.
- Produce butyric acid, required for building colon cells.
- Produce anti-tumour substances.
- Produce antiviral substances.
- Produce anti-fungal substances.
- Prevent candida overgrowth.
- Destroy e coli, shigella, and salmonella by making the intestinal tract more acidic and by releasing substances such as lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and selective antibiotics.
- Neutralize endotoxins produced in the body.
- Neutralize potentially carcinogenic nitrites in the digestive tract.
- Aid peristalsis (the movement of the gut muscles for stool elimination) to prevent constipation.
- Get rid of excess cholesterol by breaking down bile.
- Regulate cytokines so as to reduce inflammation.
- Produce anti-cancer isothiocyanates, such as sulfurophane and indol-3-carbinol from foods.
I’ll leave you with this because you’ve got some research in front of you if you don’t use fermented foods right now. Fermented foods expert Sally Fallon asks in Nourishing Traditions, with the proliferation of all these new mysterious viruses, intestinal parasites and chronic health problems, despite ubiquitous sanitation,
“Could it be that by abandoning the ancient practice of lacto-fermentation, and insisting on a diet in which everything has been pasteurized, we have compromised the health of our intestinal flora and made ourselves vulnerable to legions of pathogenic microorganisims?”
It makes sense to me. I wish you a grand adventure adding fermented foods to your daily meal plan and all the fun of discovering for yourself that you can get well, feel better and not be dependent on pharmaceuticals and doctor visits.
Interesting web sites to visit:
Thank you for your interest in the article Fermented Food – Get Your Gut in Shape. . .