If you are a watcher of FatGuy on YouTube, you have noticed many times in our farm hauls we purchase sauerkraut. In the past we’ve also gotten fermented foods like ketchup, beets, and kimchi. I know you were thinking “wow, they love aged food!”, but there is actually a method to our madness.
Proponents of eating fermented foods like the GAPS diet or Dr. Mercola point to the many health benefits of a gut that is loaded with healthy bacteria. Unfortunately, in our American diet of processed, pasteurized, and unnatural foods, we no longer eat foods that help gut flora to flourish.
Fermented foods are ones that have been produced or preserved by microorganisms. The food is exposed to natural bacteria like yeast which feed on the sugars and starch in the food. This process allows the food to be preserved and produces helpful probiotics and other enzymes.
Why Eat Fermented Foods
1. They make other foods easier to digest, enabling you to get more nutrients from your meals. This improved digestion has helped many common stomach ailments.
2. The gut is the largest part of our immune system. By ensuring it is full of helpful bacteria, it helps overall health. There have been reports of people whose health have been restored from auto-immune illnesses, obesity, diabetes, and allergies, to name a few. By having a healthy immune system, or bodies are much more equipped to fight off the many ailments we face today.
3. Fermented foods save us money in a couple ways. First, it is inexpensive to do at home. With some instructions, and inexpensive ingredients like sea salt, and milk for whey, you can save tons by making some time to prepare things yourself. You also save money because fermented foods last for months instead of days! You will no longer be wasting lots of food because you haven’t eaten it in a few days.
Common and Convenient Fermented Foods
With the growth of health food stores and the popularity of farms, it is a lot easier to purchase properly fermented foods if you can not always make your own. Here are a few common ones that you can incorporate into your diet.
4. Sourdough Bread
I have been trying to have something raw and fermented on my plate with every meal. It definitely takes a lot of effort. But like everything else we are trying to do to improve our lives, the effort now is worth the benefit of not struggling to stave off illnesses later.
Have you tried any fermented foods? Do you make your own? Are you afraid to eat like this?
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