(NaturalHealth365) Fermented foods offer a delicious way to help improve digestion; strengthen the cardiovascular system and enhance immunity. This ancient food preparation technique has seen a huge rise in its popularity as people are waking up to the many health benefits associated with these truly functional foods.
In a world of pasteurized and sterilized (de-natured) foods – fermented products would be a great addition to your diet.
Fermentation is a process where starches and proteins in vegetables and fruits are converted into lactic acid; this produces bacteria, which enhances digestion; increases vitamin levels, and promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestines.
Boost your nutrition with fermented foods
Fermented dairy products have increased levels of pyridine and the B vitamins including folic acid, riboflavin and biotin. Fermenting vegetables and fruits increase the bioavailability of amino acids, especially lysine and methionine, while the anaerobic environment preserves the vitamin C content of these foods.
When grains are fermented, the activity of phytic acid is decreased; this acid has anti-nutrient activity, as it binds minerals such as zinc, calcium, iron and magnesium – preventing their absorption.
Natural cures for colitis, IBS and Crohn’s disease
When suffering from any of these conditions – fermented foods can dramatically improve intestinal health. By supplying the good bacteria or probiotics such as lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, it helps maintain and increase the number of beneficial microorganism in the intestines. At the same time, it prevents colonization of pathogenic organisms.
Fermented foods are crucial to digestive health and have the unique ability to protect the stomach and intestinal linings. They ease digestive distress and discomfort related to having too much or too little stomach acid. When the production of hydrochloric acid is too low, fermented foods help increase the acidity of gastric juices, and when they are too high the fermented foods help protect both the stomach and intestines.
Stimulate your bowels to remove unwanted waste products
Traditionally produced fermented foods help with the production of acetylcholine. This is a neurotransmitter, which facilitates the transmission of nerve impulses. And we all know, better nerve impulses equal better bowel movements. If you suffer from constipation – try eating some traditionally-fermented pickles or sauerkraut. (yummy!)
By also helping with releasing digestive juices and enzymes from the stomach, pancreas, and the gallbladder – fermented food becomes a potent digestive aid. Most importantly, the beneficial bacteria create a short chain fatty acid, which becomes a source of fuel that enables intestinal cells to grow healthy intestinal tissue.
Diabetics find a great way to balance blood sugar
Fermented foods improve pancreatic function; the lactic acid-fermented foods are already broken down or pre-digested, so it is easy on the pancreas. Traditional fermented foods will help lower glucose levels by slowing down the speed with which the stomach empties.
In one study, the glycemic index of sourdough bread, which is fermented grain bread, turned out to be 68 on the glycemic index, while non-sourdough bread is 100 – on the glycemic index table.
More recently, German scientists were working with a strain of lactic acid bacteria found in sourdough bread, and found it to be more effective in killing microbes, which were resistant to most antibiotics.
Early civilizations knew that to preserve food – fermentation was a necessity. Today, we know that the concept of using naturally occurring good bacteria will help eliminate harmful types. This is why we find a diet that includes fermented foods helps eliminate candida; lowers the risk of certain cancers, and supports overall health.
Traditional fermented foods include, miso, a paste made of fermented soy beans; sauerkraut; sourdough bread; kefir, a fermented drink made from milk; yogurt, the kind that includes probiotics; natto, from fermented soybeans; tempeh and just about any vegetable can be fermented.
Another great idea is to try some “home pickling” – there are plenty of books available on the subject. If you have a favorite fermented food story or recipe – post your comments below.
About the author: Blanche Levine has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She has the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in natural healing including Naturopaths, scientist and energy healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.
SUBSCRIBE TODAY! Click here to join the NaturalNews Inner Circle – a monthly (online) subscription offering exclusive audio interviews, video events, natural health product discounts, free gifts plus much more!