Fermenting for Health
So what’s the big buzz about fermenting?
Fermented foods have been eaten for hundreds of thousands years and have played a staple part of diets for many cultures. However if we look at our modern day Western diet we would probably find a substantial lack of good quality fermented foods (and I am not talking about the slice of pickle in the average take out hamburger here!) despite their fantastic health benefits.
Fermented foods not only offer an abundance of healthy probiotics to benefit and heal the digestive and immune system they also render many common foods much safer to eat.
When we ferment bread (as in a good quality long- fermented sourdough) substances in the grain that usually cause digestive problems such as lectins, gluten, and phytates can be greatly reduced making the bread much safer and easier to digest.
Dairy is much easier to digest due to the fermentation process breaking down the milk sugar or lactose. This also literally cuts the carb content in half (the pre fermented carb content will be shown on the package so do not go by this) which is great news if you are watching your carbs.
Soy is another food to benefit from fermentation. Traditional forms of fermented soy including natto, miso, tempeh and tamari, are much safer to eat as the phytate and anti-nutrient (goitrogens, estrogens, oxalates etc..) levels are greatly reduced. Fermented soy also offers vitamin K2 essential for bone and brain health and cancer protection.
Eating fermented food not only makes us feel better and makes food safer to consume it also helps increase nutrient absorption via a healthier digestive system. Fermenting foods also concentrates the nutrients and renders them more available for absorption. Aim to eat at least one serve of fermented food per day.
Some easy to get hold of fermented foods include organic kefir yoghurt, soured cream and aged cheeses, sauerkraut, pickled vegetables or kimchi, natto, miso, tamari, tempeh, kombucha tea, pickled fish, pickles, preserved fruits, sourdough bread, and coconut yoghurt, but the list goes on…