Did you know that our bodies have more bacteria than human cells? We are a walking bacteria – kind of. The human body is amazing and we have ONE of them to live in forever. Why not take care of the one home you have for your whole life? Fermentation has been in practice for hundreds of years. It was very useful for preserving food when we didn’t have freezers and fridges. Little did people know, these fermented foods were feeding our gut bacteria. (Remember: A healthy gut = healthy human)
Gut Bacteria & Why It’s Important
Our gut bacteria starts to develop the day we are born. We get it from going through the mom’s birth canal, breastfeeding, skin to skin, etc. Our gut bacteria is SO important because it’s one of the first lines of defense in our immune system. It can reduce the risk of cancers, heart disease, mental illnesses, and more. It helps the absorption of nutrients and proper digestive functioning. This study in the Journal of Applied Microbiology confirms about the health benefits that comes with a healthy gut. So many diseases are linked in the gut – Crohn’s, IBS, eczema, depression, allergies, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, even type 1 diabetes, and more! A study showed a correlation between the mice’s gut microbiome and the metabolic changes that happened, which were increased fat, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
This study showed how the microbiome can influence how you store fat. When your microbiome is out of whack, obesity can happen. There are so many factors that can damage this gut lining of good bacteria, some are processed foods, feeding kids solid food too early, environmental factors, Round-up that is sprayed on conventional produce and foods, and stress. The standard American diet constantly leaves us inflamed, sick, stressed(on a chemical level) and tired. It shows because indigenous people that are exposed to the standard American diet develops diseases that they never had. Taking care of our gut bacteria is essential for living a life full of energy, health, and happiness. Eating fermented foods is one of the best ways to do just that!
Why Are Fermented Foods Good?
Fermented foods are full of probiotics. These probiotics are essential to keeping your gut bacteria in check (good bacteria outweighs the bad bacteria). I can’t express enough that keeping a healthy immune system in the gut is essential for optimal healthy living. A study showed that taking probiotics will help restore the composition of the gut microbiome. This study even stated that negative changes in your gut can increase your chance of getting different disease phenotypes. The Journal of Applied Microbiology states,
“Recent scientific investigation has supported the important role of probiotics as a part of a healthy diet for human as well as for animals and may be an avenue to provide a safe, cost effective, and ‘natural’ approach that adds a barrier against microbial infection.”
Fermented foods naturally have digestive enzymes to help you digest food easier and make the nutrients more bioavailable at same time. See how everything works together? It builds your immune system, helps produce certain vitamins (like the B vitamins), and help to naturally detoxify.
What Fermented Foods Should I Eat?
Fermented foods are vegetables that are soaked in a brine (salt and water or celery juice) with a ‘starter’ pack you can get online or a health food store and left in room temperature, so the bacteria will feed off the sugar and starch in foods. This creates the lactic acid, probiotics, and other awesome goodies.
The most common fermented foods are kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, tempeh, kombucha, and kefir. You can make any vegetables by fermentation though. You can make fermented carrots, fermented cucumbers, fermented broccoli, the list goes on. Just get it in your diet! No matter if you ferment foods yourself or if you buy fermented foods at Whole Foods. Look for raw, unpasteurized products to make sure all the nutrients and probiotics are still intact, since heat can kill this natural goodness.
I hope you feel encouraged to take back your gut health & start implementing these fermented foods in your diet.
Many blessings & all the love I can give,