Science and experience is proving to us that the traditional food preparation practice of fermentation not only leaves us with tasty food, it actually supports out entire body to be healthier and stronger.
The bacteria within fermented foods helps to heal and support a well digestive system, which in turn supports a strong immune system and increases the flow of happy hormones to our brains (the gut and brain connection) meaning that eating fermented foods actually makes us feel good.
Fermented foods improve digestion. The fermentation process begins to break down the fibre in the food used so is easier for our body’s to digest once we eat them. This gives our digestive system some slack to help the repair and healing of other parts of our body.
Fermented foods can be much more nutritious for us. Studies have shown that fermented foods such as fermented dairy from raw milk products is actually much more nutritious for our body and can even be more easily digested and safe for those with lactose intolerances to eat. Vegetables, fruits and grains can also become more nutritious when they’re fermented.
Fermentation helps makes typically inflammatory foods easier and gentler to eat. The fermentation process helps to release phytic acid from some nuts, seeds and grains such as wheat, oats and barley. For those who have digestive issues after eating some modern-milled grains such as wheat or who are gluten intolerant, fermented foods are actually much more gentle on the digestive system and me be able to be included in the diet of those who would otherwise need to leave them out.
Here is a list of my favourite fermented foods.
Sauerkraut is finely cut fermented cabbage that is packed with vitamins C, B and K. It also contains a ton of probiotics, including leuconostoc, pediococcus, and lactobacillus. If you’re buying sauerkraut at the store instead of making your own, make sure to choose unpasteurized brands (they should be in the refrigerator aisle.) Pasteurisation kills all the helpful bacteria.
Kimchi is a fermented Korean side dish that’s usually made with cabbage, radish or cucumber, fish sauce and some spices. It’s flavour packed, filled with vitamin C and carotene, and can be eaten on its own or incorporated into a ton of different dishes.
Made from fermented soybeans, miso is a very good source of manganese, zinc and antioxidants. It’s often used in soup recipes, but it can also add flavour to other dishes. I use white miso paste to add flavour to my stocks and to create a cheesy flavour in my blended pumpkin soups.
Coconut yogurt is packed with probiotics and healthy fats. Coconut yoghurt is suitable for those who are lactose intolerant and can be enjoyed on desserts and breakfasts alike. Coconut is antiviral, anti-fungal and antibacterial and is high in electrolytes, calcium, potassium and magnesium.
Video tutorials for how to make these foods are all going to be included in our next program ‘Love Your Guts’ which will be available for sale in in June 2015. You can download your free ‘Love Your Guts’ book here.