Fermented foods are essential for gut health. A look at traditional cultures shows that all included a variety of fermented foods in their diet to ensure optimal health. These cultures understood the importance of fermenting their food for both nutrition and storage benefits. Three top fermented foods which provide an essential variety of probiotics, vitamins and nutrients for health are kefir, kombucha and fermented vegetables. These three fermented foods, consumed on a daily basis, have been responsible for reversing and healing many diseases. They also are responsible for preventing disease and maintaining excellent health. Including fermented foods with each meal aids in digestion, while also providing added nutrients.
Kefir is a fermented probiotic drink, which provides up to 56 types of probiotics, especially if made from live, raw whole milk. It is a superfood in itself and has been claimed to partially heal some serious digestive conditions, including life threatening Crohn’s disease. It is quite simple to make at home, and inexpensive as well. To learn more about kefir’s health benefits and find a simple recipe see Kefir: The Queen of Fermented Foods. It can also be purchased at stores, although pasteurized kefir contains a smaller number of probiotic organisms. Kefir made with whole milk and no added sugar is the healthiest.
Kombucha is becoming a popular fermented drink and is available at many grocery stores. This drink contains B vitamins, detoxifying glucuronic acid and probiotics. It is fairly easy and inexpensive to make at home and its flavor and sweetness can be adjusted to preferred taste. See The Joys and Adventures of Home Brewed Kombucha Tea to learn more about making your own kombucha.
Fermented vegetables are made through a process known as lacto-fermentation, which increases the C vitamins, while also creating healthy probiotics. Fermenting vegetables allows for prolonged storage up to 9 months in the refrigerator. Popular fermented vegetables include sauerkraut, salsa, and cucumbers (pickles). These can easily be made at home, or purchased in health food stores, including Whole Foods and Trader Joes.
By adding these three fermented foods to your diet on a daily basis, you are taking a huge step toward improved health. The process can be easy and fun. It is also quite rewarding to begin making some of these delicious, healthy food items on your own.
Resources for this article include:
Rubin, Jordan, Patient Heal Thyself
Schwenk, Donna, Cultured Food for Life
Fallon, Sally, Nourishing Traditions
Written by Michelle, Holistic Health to Go