Fermented Food Basics
"The problem with killing 99.9% of the bacteria is that most of them protect us from the few that make us sick." - Sandor Katz
Did you know that fermented foods have been produced by people all over the world for thousands of years?
— Egyptian tomb murals from 4000 years ago show the production of quark, a soft fermented cheese.
— Kefir grains used to ferment milk have been traced to the Caucasus Mountains 5000 years ago.
— In China, people were fermenting cabbage 6000 years ago.
By chance and deliberate action, people used fermentation as a way to preserve their food and then discovered the many health benefits of adding fermented foods to their diet.
Nutrition and digestion
In the process of fermentation, beneficial microorganisms feed on the sugars and starches, preserving the food and its nutrients, creating beneficial enzymes, B-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics. The food is broken into an easily digestible form with the follow on effect of being easily eliminated. Efficient elimination means your body is not retaining toxins.
Our digestive tract is the powerhouse of our immune system. About 80% of our immune response is in our gut. It is home to trillions of bacteria, both good and bad. These bacteria outnumber the cells of your body by at least 4 to one, and maintaining the ideal balance of good and bad bacteria forms the foundation for good health—physical, mental and emotional.
Did you know your gut produces more serotonin – feel good messages – than your brain does? So what you put into your gut matters!
Fermented food is an ideal vehicle to add beneficial microorganisms to your gut.
Antibiotics, alcohol, stress and poor diet choices can upset the balance. Adding a few serves of fermented food and drink to your daily diet can increase the good bacteria in your gut and normalise your blood sugar, reducing your cravings for sugar. If you’ve ever experienced the mid-afternoon munchies you know what we mean!