Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Health Benefits of Lacto-Fermented Foods

The benefits of fermented foods are extensive. Because of how processed most of today's food is, the good bacteria in our guts are in pretty sorry shape. I think it's safe to say that everyone here in America could benefit from eating more fermented foods. Now while that may be true, I for one am not a fan of things like sauerkraut. That's where this new series of mine comes in. It's going to all be on making homemade fermented soda pop using a ginger bug. Sound too good to be true? I promise it's not. But I'm not gonna lie. There definitely is some work involved to get started! It's a science, an art, and a chemistry experiment all in one. 

Please note that my findings on the health aspect of fermented foods are based on ALL fermented foods, not solely the fermented ginger bug. I was not able to find specific information as most fermented foods are all lumped together.

Here is a lovely little excerpt that explains some of the benefits of lacto-fermenting: 

To best explain how fermented foods work in the body, I will share another small portion from the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

"The ancient Greeks understood that important chemical changes took place during this type of fermentation. Their name for this change was "alchemy." Like the fermentation of dairy products, preservation of vegetables and fruits by the process of lacto-fermentation has numerous advantages beyond those of simple preservation. The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. Their main main by-product, lactic, acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine. Other alchemical by-products include hydrogen peroxide and small amounts of benzoic acid." 
"The digestive process has two distinct features: one is the breaking down of ingested foods; the other is the building up of nutrients needed by the body. If the breaking down is incomplete, the building up cannot proceed correctly. In reality we nourish ourselves not by what we eat but by what we are capable of breaking down and transforming into nutrients the body can use...."
"...What is astonishing is that lactic acid contributes to both processes--that of decomposition and that of reconstruction." 
"Lacto-fermented foods normalize the acidity of the stomach. If stomach acidity is insufficient, it stimulates the acid producing glands of the stomach, and in cases where acidity is too high it has the inverse effect. Lactic acid helps break down proteins and thus aids in their assimilation by the body. It also aid the assimilation of iron."

Wow. Pretty crazy, huh?? So many people these days seem to have lots of issues with digestion and it's really no wonder why. Most of the food we eat is not living. Alot of it has been genetically modified. A vast majority of it has been sprayed with pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. Then there's all the added hormones. Not to mention depleted soil levels which result in less nutritious foods. Our diets need some help!!!

In a nutshell:

Benefits of Fermented Foods:
  • Very high in beneficial probiotics specifically lactobacilli. 
  • Lactobacilli is essential for digestion
  • Wonderfully hydrating to the body
  • Extremely supportive to the intestinal eco system
  • Detoxifying
  • Produces lactic acid which keeps food in a state of perfect preservation 
  • Boosts your immune system by upping the good bacteria which are necessary to fight off the bad guys
  • The yeast that grows during this process is full of b vitamins

1 comment:

  1. Yay for the new series! Looking forward to more of your fun ginger ale recipes. I have a batch of peach ginger ale brewing right now. Yum!


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