If the idea of eating fermented foods freaks you out, start by thinking of these common foods made by the process of fermentation: vinegar, beer, wine, cider olives and cheese. Not so bad, right?
Humans have been using the process of fermentation to preserve food since at least 7000 BC. Fermented foods are made with the help of microorganisms (bacteria and yeasts) that turn carbohydrates into alcohol, organic acids and carbon dioxide. The process can actually make the food more nutritious than it was originally.
The truth is, that a healthy human digestive system contains about as many, if not more, microbial cells as human cells. There’s a whole eco-system in there! This eco-system is called your microbiome. We’re just beginning to discover the ways the health of our microbiome effects our overall health. It’s very promising for all areas of health, medicine and nutrition.
One way to support the health of your microbiome is to eat fermented foods that contain probiotics, which are...
Honestly, the first time I made sauerkraut I was a little scared. I knew all about the health benefits and wanted them, but the idea of something fermented by bacteria sounded gross and like it might give me food poisoning. What it took for me to get over that fear was the knowledge of how it worked, and then just going for it.
Cabbage, and many other foods, can be preserved and made more nutritious by the process of lacto-fermentation. A strain of bacteria, named Lactobacillus, lives on plants and in a healthy human digestive tract. During the lacto-fermentation process, Lactobacillus turn the carbohydrates in the food into lactic acid, a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. Salt also preserves and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.
Now that I make fermented foods regularly I'm not afraid anymore. I think it's an amazing process that preserves our food, is delicious AND benefits our health. It's a win, win, win.