Let’s face it, we’re scared. We’re scared of the word ferment.
Why? Why does the modern diet fear fermented foods so much? Why do I fear fermented foods? Why do you?
Until 5 months ago, I don’t know that I ever ate anything (besides kimchi, and I’m not even sure that was true kimchi & store-bought kombucha) that was traditionally soured. So when I really dove into the Paleo lifestyle, I vowed I would make/try ferments. Yes, we drank kombucha, but we needed more.
What are fermented foods?
They are foods that contain necessary microorganisms, and are preserved by creating lactic acid that sour the foods. Fermentation is the process of converting sugar to ethanol.
Why do we need to eat them?
1. modern diet voids our bodies of necessary bacteria to digest our foods—> 2. we need to replace bacteria—> 3. when we replace bacteria, we improve digestion—> 4. when we improve digestion, we improve absorption—> 5. when we improve absorption, we improve micronutrient sufficiency—> 6. when we are micronutrient sufficient, we have optimal health.
1. We have unhealthy guts. Our diets are high in processed foods, refined sugars and carbs and lack foods with microorganisms. These foods strip our gut of the proper bacteria to break down the food and digest properly. When we cannot digest foods, it creates digestive disrupts (constipation, diarrhea, stomach cramps, IBS, leaky gut), improper absorption, micronutrient deficiency, etc.
2. We need to take out the foods that are stripping our guts of what it needs, and add foods traditionally soured; ex. sauerkraut, kimchi, other fermented vegetables, kombucha, yogurt, etc. These foods feed our guts and repair our gut flora.
3. When are gut flora is improved, are absorption is improved. How? 1) Our healthy gut can break down foods properly, 2) fermented foods are partially “digested”, and 3) fermented foods make micronutrients more readily available.
4. When foods are broken down properly, our bodies are able to absorb the nutrients in that food. If we can’t absorb the nutrients, there’s no point in eating it anyways. When you ferment, you break down the food. When you break down the food prior to eating it, the work your body would normally be doing to prepare to absorb the nutrients is already done. This allows for the micronutrients in the food to be digested more readily and quickly. Fermenting foods like beans and grains also breaks down the “anti-nutrients” that keep your body from digesting them, allowing your body to absorb the micronutrients from those otherwise useless food sources.
5. We are absorbing a whole lot more nutrients than we normally would be by eating fermented foods. These leads us to becoming micronutrient sufficient.
6. When we are micronutrient sufficient we have optimal health. We expierence weight loss (if over weight and overfed) or weight gain (if underweight and malnourished), improved vision, skin and hair, lower our cancer rates, lower our risk of diseases, we have improved immunity, our bodies function properly, and we can cure certain diseases. Just to name a few.
So again, why are we so scared?