Fabulous fermented food is a subject close to my heart because I feel it is one of the major pieces of the puzzle not only missing in our modern diets but also unknown. Click this link to find out more about a modern day healthy diet pyramid. Of course, back in the day before refrigeration, fermenting foods was the main way foods were preserved. Now days it is hardly consumed which is likely to be an issue for peoples health.
Beneficial bacteria is likely to be the first thing you think of when you think of fermented food. Did you know we have more yeast and bacteria in our body than our own cells. Getting this balance right may well be the answer to improving our overall health. I prefer fermented foods as a source of beneficial bacteria as opposed to probiotics in a jar as there are literally hundreds of beneficial yeast and bacteria in fermented foods. A probiotic capsule usually has anywhere from 1-7 types of beneficial yeast and bacteria. There really isn’t a comparison to be made. Each individual species usually has its own role to play. For example, there is one species for respiratory conditions. There is another species for IBS. So foods win hands down right. Fermented foods are fabulous just because of the variety of species they contain.
What disturbs our gut flora
As a naturopath I believe our gut health is a must to focus on for overall health. 90% of our immune system originates in our gut. If our gut health is out and we have more unbeneficial yeast and bacteria due to:
then we are in what is referred to as a dysbiotic state. If this occurs a naturopath will help you move from dysbiosis to a gut which contains a plethora of beneficial bacteria.
Healing the Gut
Many people refer to our gut as our first brain. Did you know the tissue cells that creates the digestive system is the same tissue cells that the brain evolves from. As a fetus it separates into 2 systems, the brain and the enteric system. It has its own network of neurons and has own feelings.
When were nervous we get butterfly’s in our stomach- that is coming from our first brain.
Sayings like- ‘I have a gut feeling’ or ‘I’m feeling like crap’ originate from the gut.
Our feelings originate from different parts of our body rather than our brain. It would make sense then, that when your gut is out of order so is your brain. Accordingly, we may be feeling down. Healing the gut with fabulous fermented foods and broth really is so important.
Benefits of Fabulous Fermented Foods
- They directly add beneficial yeast and bacteria to your gut improving your overall digestive system health.
- During the fermentation process nutrients will be created or synthesised in the food such as vitamin K2. This is important for our bone health.
- During the fermentation of saurkraut vitamin C in increased by 100%.
- Fermented food are easier to digest because they are already partly digested during the fermentation process. Therefore ,it is so much easier for your body to digest.
- Grains and legumes contain phytates. These may be very difficult to digest, but, when fermented they are easier as they are predigested.
Examples of Fermented Foods
- Sauerkraut is the most well known and traditional from Germany
- Different vegetable combinations of fermented vegetables available on the market
- Sourdough bread- although this has no beneficial micro organisms as they are killed the during cooking process
- Of course alcohol
Practicalities of Sourcing Fabulous Fermented Food
- Aim to avoid any type of fermented food that contains vinegar. This is not traditionally made and doesn’t contain any of the beneficial yeast and bacteria essential for good health. These are normally sold off the shelf rather than refrigerator.
- It’s best to source fermented foods which are refrigerated. They are easy to come by these days in health food stores and even supermarkets.
- So there you have it. Fabulous fermented foods are yum, once your taste buds adapt, easy to source, or make and healthy. Enjoy.
Working in the natural health industry for over 20 years. Suzie is a naturopath and kinesiologist and has a broad knowledge base and key healing tools to allow your body to heal itself. From testing nutritional status of your body and correcting deficiencies to releasing past trauma and emotions. These techniques are key to building you to your best possible version of yourself.