New to the world of fermented foods? Learn about the benefits of these foods in your diet, how they effective they are at supporting digestion and immunity, and overall wellness and disease-resistance.
We all know that nutrition is critical for wound healing. Beyond the foods that we eat, however, is how we process these foods. Fermentation is an amazing process that can aid in digestion and produce nutritional benefits.
Why are fermented foods good for you? First, let’s talk about what fermented foods are: fermented foods are starches in basic foods that are broken down and changed by microorganisms like bacteria, molds and yeasts into tinier, often times more digestible foods (courtesy of BioGirl Health.) This results in “friendly” microorganisms that promote intestinal health.
What makes this beneficial? Fermentation aids hard-to-digest foods in addition to a number of other nutritional benefits listed below.
7 Reasons to Eat Fermented Foods
1. Fermented foods improve digestion. How?
Fermenting our foods before we eat them is like partially digesting them before we consume them. According to Joanne Slavin, a professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota, “…sometimes people who cannot tolerate milk can eat yogurt. That’s because the lactose (which is usually the part people can’t tolerate) in milk is broken down as the milk is fermented and turns into yogurt.”
2. Fermented foods restore the proper balance of bacteria in the gut.
Do you suffer from lactose intolerance? Gluten intolerance? Constipation? Irritable bowel syndrome? Yeast infections? Allergies? Asthma? All of these conditions have been linked to a lack of good bacteria in the gut.
3. Raw, fermented foods are rich in enzymes.
Your body needs enzymes to adequately digest, absorb, and utilize the nutrients in your food. As you age, your body’s supply of enzymes decreases.
4. Fermenting food actually increases the vitamin content.
Fermented dairy products show an increased level of folic acid which, for example, is critical to producing healthy babies.
5. Eating fermented food helps us to absorb the nutrients we’re consuming.
You can ingest huge amounts of nutrients, but unless you actually absorb them, they’re useless. When you improve digestion, you improve absorption.
6. Fermenting food helps to preserve it for longer periods of time.
Milk will sour in the refrigerator but kefir and yogurt last much longer. Sauerkraut, pickles and salsa will keep for months.
7. Fermenting food is inexpensive–you can do it yourself!
There’s nothing fancy required for this hobby. And many of the foods required to make these recipes are very inexpensive. For instance, cabbage can be used to make sauerkraut and tomatoes can be used to make salsa. See recipe below to get started!
1-2 Chili peppers
4 Medium fresh tomatoes
1 Medium white or yellow onion
2 Garlic cloves
3 Lemons or 3 limes
2 T Sea salt
1 bunch cilantro
1. Wearing rubber gloves, cut open the chiles and discard the stems and seeds. Set aside.
2. Peel and deseed tomatoes. Fill a large saucepan halfway with water, set on high heat and bring to a boil. Carefully set tomatoes in saucepan and let sit for 5-10 seconds and then remove with a slotted spoon or tongs. Cool and peel. Cut tomatoes in half and gently squeeze out the seeds, or scoop out with a spoon, and discard. Set aside.
3. Peel and quarter the onion and peel and smash or crush the garlic.
4. Rinse, dry and chop cilantro.
5. Place the peppers, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and the cilantro into a food processor.
6. Squeeze the 2 lemons or 3 limes, add the juice and add the sea salt.
7. Pulse several times and transfer to quart-sized mason jar. Add a little water if necessary, making sure to leave at least an inch of space from the top of the jar.
8. Cover and keep at room temperature for 2-3 days before transferring to the fridge. Salsa will keep for weeks or months in fridge.
Tags: bacteria, Diet, disease, Infection, mold, nutriton, yeast