Amazing Benefits of Eating Fermented Foods
It’s no secret I love fermented foods! Ever since I started making and incorporating Sauerkraut into my daily diet years ago to heal Candida and Leaky Gut, did I realise the power that fermented foods have in the body.
How do they work?
The fermentation process enhances the vegetables vitamin and nutrient content considerably, and pre-digests the proteins, carbs, fats, making food easier for us to digest, therefore giving our digestive systems a break!
Plus the all important good bacteria is being introduced to your gut in the BILLIONS & TRILLIONS, just 1/2 cup Sauerkraut will provide about 10 trillion good bacteria.
Kombucha, a type of fermented drink contains approx 4 trillion per 100mL.
2 cups of sauerkraut is equal to eight bottles of probiotics!
All of which help colonise your gut with a wide range of different strains of beneficial bacteria and yeasts, repel bad bacteria, improve your moods and boost your immune system, and is superior to any lab produced product.
Here are just some of the many benefits of eating fermented foods:
- Heal the gut lining and protect the integrity of the gut lining
- Help detoxify the body of excess acids accumulated in the body due to toxins and lifestyle
- Manufacture B & K vitamins
- Enhance calcium absorption
- Enhance Indole-3-Carbinol absorption from foods – a potent anti-oxidant, detoxifier and anti-tumour compound
- Maintain the health of the immune cells residing in the intestines
- Manufacture EFA’s
- Aid absorption of minerals and vitamins
- Produce enzymes to break down food
- Produce butyric acid, required for building colon cells
- Produce anti-tumour, anti-viral, anti-fungal substances
- Prevent candida overgrowth
- Destroy E.Coli, Shigella and Salmonella
- Reduce gut inflammation
Tell me more!
Lacto-fermentation is name of the fermentation process and it takes nothing more than salt (or a starter or pro-biotic), vegetables or fruit, filtered water and a few mason jars.
This simple process works because of the lucky fact that bacteria that could be harmful to us can’t tolerate much salt, but there are healthy bacteria that can.
Let’s dive into the salt process here for an explanation:
Lacto-fermentation wipes out the bad guys in its first stage, then lets the good guys get to work during stage two. The good guys on the salt-tolerant team are called Lactobacillus. Several different species within this genre are used to produce fermented foods.
In stage one of lacto-fermentation, vegetables are submerged in a brine that is salty enough to kill off harmful bacteria. The Lactobacillus good guys survive this stage and begin stage two. In stage two of lacto-fermentation, the Lactobacillus organisms begin converting lactose and other sugars present in the food into lactic acid. This safely preserves the vegetables and gives lacto-fermented foods that classic tangy flavor.
Fermented Foods also last for ages, this was the traditional way of preserving food before the refrigerator was invented and it’s also fun to play around with various different ferment times to get different flavours and enhance the good bacteria content of the recipe too!
Fermented Foods for Good Moods
It’s no secret that the gut is often referred to as the 2nd brain. In fact in utero the gut & brain are formed as one unit, made from the same material & only separated as the vagus nerve is created.
This is why gut function extends well beyond the obvious roles in digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients. Gut health and the gut microbiota are involved in many physiological processes, diseases, and in the maintenance of overall health & mental health, aka moods!
Fermented foods contain neurotransmitters such as gamma-aminobutyric acid that are essential for good mental health. Also, fermented food contains prebiotics which are produced by the degradation of complex carbohydrates by bacterial enzymes. Prebiotics are food for probiotic bacteria and selectively stimulate the growth of these beneficial bacteria in gut. Prebiotics escape digestion in stomach and become a food source for the bacteria living in the colon.
Studies in animals show that administration of fermented foods reduces behaviours indicative of anxiety and depression.
Fermented foods contain many important physiological health benefits due to the probiotics, prebiotics and biogenics (bioactive bacterial metabolites) available.
And speaking from my personal experience, when I had Systemic Candida, which essentially means all of my good bacteria was wiped out, I was depressed, angry, had no joy for life and my sleep was terrible.
About two weeks into adding in fermented foods every day I noticed a shift in my sleeping patterns, my outlook on life was brighter and the fact that I could handle a stressful day without losing my marbles was much welcomed!
This also encouraged me to keep trying new fermented food recipes and adding more of them into my diet. As I did this, my health improved and so did my moods!
I have lots more fermented food recipes, instructions and guidance on how to get started, make and continue this incredible way of keeping you and your body healthy, in my 4 Week Gut Makeover Program and my Every Day Healthy Course.
Happy Fermenting! <3
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