Fermented Foods Improve Gut Health
Healthy probiotics (good bacteria) in fermented foods improve gut health, keep your colon clean, improves the function of your colon and provides a place for these friendly bacteria to grow! The good news is that probiotic-rich fermented foods have been around for thousands of years and this is a traditional way to preserve food and beverages. These fermented foods are also referred to as cultured vegetables or cultured dairy products.
When I started making my own yogurt in the 1980’s, I was only familiar with the term “fermented” and I learned in 2002 that they are also referred to as cultured vegetables. Since becoming a Certified Body Ecologist through Donna Gates’ Body Ecology training, I have made thousands of quarts of cultured vegetables, coconut kefir and fermented coconut pudding using the Body Ecology culture starters. Learning how fermented foods improve gut health was a vital part of my healing process and it can be for you too!
Why Should You Consider Fermented Foods? Fermented foods, properly prepared, restore your gut bacteria to a healthy balance to improve your digestion. This in turn allows your body to absorb more nutrients from the foods you eat, and improves your overall mental and physical health. Good News About The Process of Fermentation These fermented or cultured foods have been through a process of lacto-fermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food. This process creates lactic acid which is a natural preservative that inhibits putrefying bacteria. It preserves the food and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics. Allowing bacteria to ferment in a sealed jar of vegetables over a period of time might not seem like the most appealing way to create a meal or side-dish. However, it is exciting to know how this healthy fermentation plays such an important role in balancing the bacteria in your gut. In future posts, I will review ways to make your own fermented foods. Until then, when talking about eating fermented foods for a healthy gut, remember… the lactic acid-based bacterium is the process to look for. It isn’t necessary for you to learn how to ferment your own food, although you do save a lot of money when you make your own. Fortunately, in today’s market, there are many options available to you in your local grocery store, however, you should…
USE CAUTION: Not all fermented foods are good for restoring balance to your gut bacteria. Unfortunately, many mass-produced fermented foods, may have little beneficial bacteria actual left in them. This is because of the preservatives, added sugars, colorings, or inexpensive vinegars used in place of a real fermentation process. Be on the safe side and look for fermented foods with organic ingredients and no sugar added. Check out this post on Improving Your Gut Health. Until next time, Experiment… try some fermented veggies or some yummy kombucha!
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