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Fermented Foods


PROBIOTICS + FERMENTED FOODS EQUAL A HEALTHY GUT! 1024 1024 Delphine Remy | Holistic Nutrition & Eating Psychology Coach

Over the past few weeks I’ve covered the digestive process in “Back to the Basics: Digestion for Dummies”, “How to Improve Digestion One Bite at a Time” and last week I delve into “Gut Microbiome” and the importance of gut health.
I think it’s safe to say one of the primary things good health can be attributed to is — a healthy gut. A poor immune system, digestive issues such as constipation or diarrhea, headaches, depression can all be symptoms of a leaky gut — so what are you waiting for! Let’s get to building some good bacterias! Last week we learned about the benefits of introducing Prebiotics and Probiotics into your diet but this week I want to cover something a little more exotic — fermented foods.

Sounds strange and potentially processed but quite the contrary, fermented foods are foods such as fruits and veggies that have gone through a process called Lactofermentation. This is a fancy scientific word that basically means you’ve let the fruits or veggies sit long enough (2-3 weeks) to let the natural bacteria in the food feed on the sugar and starch creating a lactic acid. This process not only preserves the food and nutrients but creates beneficial enzymes, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and Probiotics. Now — if that’s not a shortcut to health — I don’t know what is. 🙂

fermented foods

Top 5
Top 5 on the fermented foods list would have to be Kefir, Kombucha, Sauerkraut, Pickles and Miso. You most likely recognize most of the fermented foods mentioned and that’s because this is not a “food trend”. Cultures around the world have incorporated fermented veggies into their diets for hundreds of years. Kefir, for example, is a popular drink in Eastern and Northern Europe that has a tart yet refreshing flavor similar to a yogurt that introduce probiotics, a good bacteria, into your digestive system that helps prevent disease, improves bowel movement and immune system! Sauerkraut is traditionally prepared in Germany, and Pickles believe it or not, were brought to the “New World” by Christopher Columbus, who was known to cultivate cucumbers for the purposes of pickling.

Over the years, we have seen a sharp decline in the amount of probiotics ingested in the average diet. Not only fermentation a dying tradition but fermented foods available on the market have been replaced with a pseudo-fermentation process. The hype of probiotics, however, is growing and upscale markets such as Whole Foods and Central Market are doing their part to make fermented and Probiotic foods available again.

Even the much dreaded grains were safer to eat in earlier times since their preparation included soaking, sprouting and fermenting, which largely reduces the anti-nutrient content (the phytic acid) and makes them less harmful (I still didn’t say good!).

Eat Fermented Foods
Why? Besides the fact that they have amazing flavor and can be made at home, there are several great reasons to start eating fermented foods but I will limit it to a few:

Nutrient Absorbing Qualities. By eating fermented food you balance the gut bacteria and digestive enzymes that help you absorb more of the nutrients in the other foods you eat. Eating fermented foods on a daily basis will eliminate the need for artificial vitamins and supplements as you will be absorbing more of the live nutrients in the foods you eat day to day.

Budget Friendly. Amen to that! Eating healthy is typically synonymous with eating organic which can be expensive but this is not so true for fermented foods. You can literally make Kefir or Kombucha for pennies on the dollar.

Natural Food Preservation. Homemade dips and salsa tend to last the night before they become unappealing …but a homemade fermented salsa can last months! lactofermentation allow you to batch cook and save time during the week or plan for the weekends while retaining flavor and nutrients.

Bring on the Bacteria!
Stay tuned for next week’s blog recipe on how to make Sauerkraut and be sure to look out for future recipes on easy to make fermented drinks such as Kefir and Kombucha. Follow me on Facebook to catch my recipes in your feed. Recipes published weekly!


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