Fermenting foods has been around for thousands of years. It serves two primary purposes: 1. To help preserve foods and 2. To make foods more nutritious and digestible. Societies and cultures throughout time, continuing today, use these practices. Without fermentation we would be without wine, beer, cheese, and bread to name a few staples in our world today. With the advent of packaging, refrigerators, irradiation, and other food distorting techniques this art is nearly becoming lost. Over the last 20 years we have seen a huge introduction of yogurt and yogurt products in the supermarkets but these products are suboptimal at best. They are filled with sugars, artificial sweetners, and other products that all but negate any positive benefits. It’s time to make your own! My hope is to ignite a spark inside you to investigate this ancient practice a little more. In the process you will be preserving a part of our culture, others culture and at the same time you will be increasing the level of your health and well being.
A few benefits of fermented foods:
- There are more microbes in our gut then cells in our body. Eating fermented foods help to restore your digestive tract with the proper microflora. This improves the function of your immune system, digestion, and your brain.
- Fermented foods are easily digested, rich in enzymes, and through this process vitamins and antioxidants are actually created and increased. For example; Vitamin K2 a potent cancer fighter and bone builder is increase when making kefir or fermented soy products such as natto. Another example is Vitamin C which is increased when cabbage is fermented to make sauerkraut or kimchi.
- Cancer causing compounds like acrylamide and nutrient depleting compounds like phytates are reduced through the process of culturing foods. This in turn as stated before makes foods more nutritious and more digestible.
- Fermentation increases the lifespan of foods allowing you to enjoy local and raw foods throughout the winter.
- Studies have shown that fermented foods can reduce the risk of cancer, obesity, and metabolic syndrome and other diseases associated with this!
- As you restore the integrity of your digestive system you in turn will increase the function of your central nervous system primarily your BRAIN!