The thought of fermented foods may not conjure visions of tasty goodness, however fermented foods, along with being a natural Probiotic have enormous benefits for you and your immune system and can (I promise) taste really good!
Cultured – also known as fermented foods, have been a part of most cultures for many centuries and have significant healing properties. Over time, with the introduction of refrigeration, industrialization and our fast paced society, the tradition of consuming fermented foods and or making your own fermented foods, has become scarcer than having your milk delivered by the milk man.
Most of us know natural yoghurt has gone through a process of fermentation to become the wonderful Probiotic that it is, but wait- there’s more….
Cultured vegetables, Natto, Kombucha, and Kefir are also examples of fermented foods. Kefir actually means “feel good” in Turkish!
More than 80% of our immune system is in the lining of our gastro intestinal track- yes, in our guts! And a large proportion of how our immune system functions- how resilient we are, is dependent on us having a good balance of the different types of bacteria, fungi, viruses and microbes in our gastro intestinal tracks.
The friendly Bacteria known as “Lactobacilli” in fermented foods partially digests the food during the fermentation process, making the nutrients in it easier to absorb when we eat it- in other words, a part of the digesting has already been done for us before it even hits our belly! A good example of this would be the fermentation of Cabbage. Along with an increased absorption of all the other nutrients- you will absorb 100-300 times more Vitamin C from fermented cabbage than you will from raw or cooked cabbage! Up to 300 times more- that’s huge!
Having the right types and amounts of “good” bacteria is not only essential for optimal immune function, digestion and gut function., but having a healthy gastro intestinal track is going to ensure we can fight off viruses, keep natural fungi and bacteria in optimal proportion within our guts, protect us from auto immune disorders, allergies, asthma, eczema, ulcers of the stomach, small intestine and mouth and cancers to name just a few.
It’s a lack of good bacteria in our gastro intestinal track that is contributing to the massive rise in immune and chronic digestive disorders that we are seeing globally.
Why eat fermented foods?
Depending on the type of food you chose to ferment- ie, Milk, Coconut, Vegetables etc, will depend on the health benefits obtained- all have slightly different health benefits given the different nutrients they contain.
A brief list of just some of the health benefits gained from eating fermented foods are-
Controls sugar cravings
Improves digestion- particularly of proteins
Improves immune function
Re establishes healthy intestinal flora, assisting in treatment of dysbiosis
Alkalizing on the body
Cleansing, especially on the liver- GREAT for liver detoxification
Cleansing effect on the endocrine system- helps balance hormones
High in Minerals
High in Vitamins
And all of this without buying a single pro biotic- you can make them yourself!!