gut flora

Wellness

Fermentation


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20181202_111841Fermented drink has remained popular over the years.  Fermented food however has apparently less  appeal, however it has recently made a comeback.   Quite possibly it is due to the health benefits rather than the taste and convenience of these foods.    There is more interest in these foods and the impact on gut, brain and overall health.   Helpful bacteria are an important and essential part of our lives.  Every culture in the world includes traditional dishes that rely on bacteria for their preparation.   The diversity of bacteria in fermented foods has become more limited.    Industrialization has resulted in standardized productions using less bacterial species and heat and often vinegar in fermentation process doesn’t offer the same benefit potential.

Health benefits cited  involve every aspect of the body.   A highly functioning digestive system will enable the other bodily systems to optimize their performance as well.

Many of the fermented foods are plant based  and offer a good source of probiotics.  The process of fermenting allows a breaking down of the food particles and makes digestion easier.  In your gut they also help to keep the harmful bacteria from doing damage.

Fermented foods can include water based kefir, tea based kombucha,  dairy based foods such as yogurt, soybean based such as natto, tempeh, miso, vegetable based such as cabbage based sauerkraut, kimchi,  and other pickled vegetables.  There are fermented foods throughout history through different countries and cultures.  Different regions would use fermentation as a way of preserving the food for future use.

I have had success with simple recipes for yogurt, water kefir, sauerkraut, beet kvass, kimchi and assorted pickled vegetables and kombucha in the past.

My current favorite is kombucha – which involves using a “SCOBY”.  A Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast.   Kombucha’s health benefit is glucuronic acid which helps the body to detox by pulling out environmental and metabolic toxins.

You will need to follow instructions exactly as to the ingredients, amounts, equipment to use (glass not plastics etc.), and the temperature and time.

If you are just starting to add these foods to your diet, I suggest that you purchase the store bought plain versions first before you make them.  That way, you have an idea of what to expect from what you make.