Fermented Foods


The consumption of fermented, probiotic foods has many benefits. The microflora that lives in fermented foods creates a protective lining in the intestines and shields it against pathogenic factors. Fermented foods lead to an increase of antibodies and a stronger immune system; plus, they regulate the appetite and reduce sugar and refined carb cravings. The fact is, most of that stuff is heat-processed and pasteurized, and if you really want the full gut benefits of good bacteria, you should try to make some of your own probiotics at home.

Here is what I have!

1. Kombucha

Kombucha is a fizzy, sweet-and-sour drink made with tea. Many people say it helps relieve or prevent a variety of health problems, everything from hair loss to cancer and AIDS. There’s little scientific evidence to back up the claims, but some elements of the drink may be good for you. After being fermented, kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, B-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic and lactic). There are reasons to drink kombucha every day because it improves digestion, helps with weight loss, increases energy, detoxes the body, supports the immune system, reduces joint pain and prevents cancer.

2. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is finely cut cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria. It has a long shelf life and a distinctive sour flavor, both of which result from the lactic acid that forms when the bacteria ferment the sugars in the cabbage. Fermented foods have a long history in many cultures, with sauerkraut being one of the most well-known instances of traditional fermented moist cabbage side dishes. It’s high in dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and B vitamins. It’s also a great source of iron, copper, calcium, sodium, manganese and magnesium. Sauerkraut is incredibly nutritious and healthy, and it contains many nutrients important for optimal health. Eating sauerkraut may help strengthen your immune system, improve your digestion, reduce your risk of certain diseases and maybe even help you lose weight. I make purple sauerkraut!!

3. Kefir

Kefir is all the rage in the natural health community. It is high in nutrients and probiotics, and is incredibly beneficial for digestion and gut health. Many people consider it to be a healthier and more powerful version of yogurt. Kefir is a fermented drink, traditionally made using cow's milk or goat's milk. Kefir contains a wide variety of bioactive compounds, including organic acids and peptides that contribute to its health benefits. It also boosts immunity, heals irritable bowel disease, builds bone density, fights allergies, kills candida and improves digestion. I make my own kefir from Goat milk.

4. Natto

Natto is a traditional Japanese dish consisting of fermented soybeans and characterized by a slimy, sticky and stringy texture. It contains the extremely powerful probiotics,  which have been proven to support the immune system and cardiovascular health.  Natto is an excellent non-meat source of protein. The bacteria introduced during soy fermentation helps break down these proteins into constituent amino acids. This fermented soybeans enhance the digestion of vitamin K2. In addition to these Natto benefits, it contains a powerful anti-inflammatory enzyme called nattokinase that has been proven to fight cancer.

5. Pickles

Pickling is a form of fermentation. When vegetables and fruits are fermented, healthy bacteria help to break down the hard-to-digest cellulose in foods, as well as some of the natural sugar. Pickles contain a ton and vitamins and minerals, plus antioxidants and gut-friendly bacteria. The natural antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables help in the fight against free radicals. Free radicals are unstable chemicals that are formed naturally in the body, and can lead to cell damage and problems such as heart disease and cancer. While cooking any food may break down some of the heat sensitive nutrients, preserving vegetables through pickling preserves their antioxidant power.

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