Eating fermented food might sound really gross, but many foods that we enjoy on a daily basis are actually fermented. However, most of these are pasteurized, and as a result they have lost most of their goodness. For example, we eat yoghurt without flinching, but yoghurt is really just fermented milk! Many delicacies from around the world are based on the principle of fermentation. Nowadays we have refrigeration to keep food fresh, so why should we use fermentation?
Scientists are discovering that fermented foods are a nutritional power house, but the good bacteria that drive the fermentation process have to be kept alive or we lose the benefits. That means making your own fermented food at home is the only option!
Lactic Acid Fermentation
In lactic acid fermentation, starch and sugar are transformed into lactic acid by ‘good’ bacteria. What are the benefits in this? Let’s take a look.
1) Your nutrients become more digestible
Many complex molecules are too big to be absorbed, fermentation breaks them down into a more absorbable format. For example, many people are lactose intolerant, but the same people are able to enjoy foods rich in lactic acid – the broken down form of lactose. Many proteins are too complex for the human body to utilize, but when they are broken down into their component amino acids, they become both useful and healthful.
2) Fermentation produces new nutrients
This is particularly true of vitamin B nutrients such as folic acid, riboflavin and thiamine. Vitamin B is a major source of vitality and health. Have you ever had a vitamin B shot when your system is feeling low? It’s like getting a shot of instant energy!
3) The products of fermentation are antioxidants
You know the theory: our metabolic processes cause oxidation which produces toxins. These will accelerate aging and impair our metabolism – but antioxidants clear up the toxins helping our systems to function more efficiently.
4) Fermentation removes certain toxins from food
An example of this is the presence of phytic acid, particularly in grains. This compound impairs the absorption of important minerals from food. Fermentation destroys phytic acid making these nutrients available.
5) Probiotics promote intestinal health
Your intestines need to have a healthy population of lactobacillus bacteria in order to keep your digestive system in good health. Guess where you can get the full selection of flora for intestinal health? Fermented foods have all the good flora you need for digestive health.
6) Get more nutrition for your money
What if you could make ordinary foods more nutritious? Fermentation does exactly that! Everyone benefits, and you get to save on supplements!
7) It tastes great!
Make traditional delicacies at home. If you thought yoghurt tasted nice, you’ll find that fermentation opens up new culinary horizons. Taste real, unpasteurized sour pickles, real sauerkraut and exotic delicacies like Moroccan preserved lemons. It’s all about getting fermentation exactly right, and its easier than you might think!
So what are you waiting for?
Fermented foods add a new dimension to healthy eating – and they taste great! It’s time to get back to your roots. Fermented foods aren’t’ just healthy, they’re delicious!