The benefits of fermented food for your gut are powerful.
I think many people have no idea what fermented food is. Maybe they consume them every day without knowing.
In earlier times, it was pretty normal to ferment food as a manner to store food. The process of fermentation is very beneficial. Fermented foods are rich in probiotic bacteria, so by consuming fermented food, we add bacteria and enzymes to our intestinal flora, increasing the health of our gut microbiome and digestive system. Our immune system gets stronger.
The most well-known fermented food is Yoghurt. The yogurt in the supermarket is very often pasteurized, so there are no health benefits to it. If we have the best yogurts, it is always better to buy organic or make them yourself. It is straightforward. The good thing with fermentation is that you don’t have lactose anymore, to which people very often react allergically. Kefir is another fermented food, like yogurt. I make yogurt and kefir by myself; they taste so delicious. Mt husband doesn’t like any bought products anymore.
You can ferment vegetables as well. Cabbage is a vegetable that they eat in many cultures as a fermented food.
The most well-known is Sauerkraut, fermented cabbage made in Germany. I am from Germany, but I don’t like cooked Sauerkraut, only raw. Cooking destroys beneficial bacterias.
What is Fermentation?
Fermentation is a process where microorganisms like yeast and bacteria convert carbohydrates into alcohol or acids. It is the starch and sugar ( starch is also sugar) which are converted. Through the fermentation process, grow beneficial bacterias, called probiotics. These microbes ferment particular food because they need the energy to grow and divide; it is the sugar that they convert in an oxygen-free environment.
You will know fermentation from beer, wine, bread, vegetables, yogurt. It is the ancient processing of food and is used in many cultures. Beer and wine are made of fermenting yeasts like Saccharomyces cerevisiae( you heard of them for sure in school). What comes out is alcohol.
Yogurt and sauerkraut are going through the same process, but different bacteria are involved in this fermentation process. These bacterias are called Lactobacillus and Streptococcus. They convert lactose into lactic acids. Cheese is also a fermented product in this category of fermenting lactose.
Yogurt is fermented by using the bacteria as a starter culture to start the process. Yogurt is used in many different cultures and is very healthy for the gut.
Through this fermentation process, these foods are containing lots of beneficial bacterias. These bacterias convert fiber(starch is a fiber and multiple forms of sugar) and sugar to an end product. They use energy, and we use the end product.
Why is Fermentation so important?
Including fermented food like sauerkraut and yogurt into your diet is the best you could do.
Do you remember my blog about “Healthy food”? I already have mentioned that the gut is the port to death or health. Most diseases start in the gut. It is essential to include fermented food into your diet to help your gut create a healthy environment. The gut is also the organ where fermentation takes place. Our food goes through the stomach to the intestines, where the same fermentation process starts.
If we are healthy, we will have lots of microbes in the gut. They help us digest our food. The more diverse our bacterial environment is, also called “ecosystem, the better for our health. We will get our vitamins and nutrients in our body, and the waste will be deleted smoothly.
Unfortunately, many people have a damaged gut with too many ill-making bacteria. They overgrow our gut tissue. Suppose the tissue is not strong enough to keep the harmful bacteria, fungi, and waste particles from getting into our blood system. In that case, this is called “Leaky Gut,” you get lots of inflammation processes in your body. It lowers your defense system, your immune system. It gets weak and burns out. So the harmful bacterias can do all kinds of damage to your body.
The disease starts to develop; many autoimmune diseases start that way. It is true what Hippocrates has said: “All disease starts in the gut!” Our immune system desperately needs microbes.
But our hygiene standards make us ill. Our industrialized diet is not the food that our body needs. It is chemically and physically damaged food. The body can’t recognize it as food anymore, and it is more a burden to our body, which he tries to get rid of.
It goes well for a specific time if you are young, but finally, you might develop a disease or cancer. The body destroys its tissue and cells. This is why our body very often reacts to harmless components and even to its tissue. It recognizes the tissue as an enemy that our body tries to eliminate, a condition that is called autoimmune disease.
Nowadays, we experience increased food allergies in our world, lung diseases, asthma, and skin diseases.
Eczema is one of the most developed skin reactions in the world. Our hygiene standards and the use of antibiotics have become such a problem in our world.
We need to rethink and stop using it so lightly for everything, even for preventing surgery infection. Our body needs a robust immune system.
Benefits of Fermented Food
To keep your gut healthy, it is very beneficial to start eating fermented food. If you don’t have an allergy to casein, a protein in milk products, you could eat some yogurt and kefir. Fermented foods have many nutrients. Microbes produce vitamins, such as Vitamin B12. The vitamin is essential for lots of functions in our body, making new blood cells, energy-yielding metabolism, normal homocysteine metabolism, and a well-functioning nervous system, among other parts. The fermenting microbes break down food substances that are not easily digestible for us, and they bind potential toxins. They belong to our defense system.
Actually, fermentation was used to preserve food and drinks before the days of refrigeration.
The health benefits are these probiotics. The gut is populated by trillions of bacteria, which keep the body healthy. We know already that probiotics are living organisms found in all fermented food; they prevent harmful bacteria from settling in the gut. These probiotics need non-digestible carbohydrates, which are not digested by the body. They are called prebiotics.
If you eat many vegetables and fruits raw, you receive much prebiotics in your body through your diet. This is a fermentable fiber the microbes in our body are using to ferment. Prebiotics is essential for our gut as well as the probiotics. If you have a healthy gut lining, your body is healthy and strong and will not so quickly be overtaken by harmful bacteria, making the body ill through inflammation. Our defense system will be strong enough to fight intruders like viruses, fungi, and bacteria.
All kinds of bowel diseases will improve and heal. It is the first thing to stop eating food that makes them more ill for the people who have Crohn’s, inflamed bowels, and other bowel diseases. And to include fermented food, like yogurt and kefir, into their diet. In the Netherlands, the Crohn’s organization, advises consuming much yogurt.
So they will extinguish the fire in their gut, stopping the inflammation. When the gut is healed, their body is healing, and diseases are improving and under control. But they have to stick to a healthy diet, lots of vegetables and fruits. Otherwise, the microbes in their gut will not multiply. And that is the plan.
How to include Fermented Food into your diet?
This is very easy. If you are still at the beginning of your healing journey, you could better take probiotics in capsules that will not break through the stomach acid. There are good probiotics on the market, and it is always better to have a mix of several strains of different bacteria. When your healing is already in progress, you could easily eat Yoghurts and kefir.
I make yogurt myself. And you only need a good yogurt maker, some spoons of organic full-fat yogurt, and milk. I use raw milk. You bring the milk and the yogurt together and connect it with electricity because the fermentation process needs a specific temperature, between 36-42 degrees( 97-107F). The yogurt maker uses a temperature of 37( 98,6 F) degrees. You wait 24 hours, and, voila, you have your yogurt. Please put it in a bowl in your fridge and consume it within a week. If you do it every day, you get quite an amount of probiotics into your body.
But also, sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables are a real healthy bomb for your body. Try it out! If you have milk allergies, an allergy against casein, milk protein, you shouldn’t eat any yogurt or cheese made from milk. Instead, you could make yogurt from coconut, almonds, or cashew milk. That works in the same way. You even can make cheese from cashew nuts.
But you will see when your gut heals; you most likely will have no allergies anymore. That is a fact! We have an excellent immune system!
If the gut is damaged, we get all kinds of illnesses. Therefore it is vital to healing the intestines. One critical step to do so is to include fermented food into our diet. This way, the gut lining will heal through healthy microbes. Including many prebiotics from vegetables and fruits will help them grow and divide faster, multiply, and cover linen. The leaky gut starts to heal; inflammation in the body will stop.
The immune system will become stronger and is able again to fight off infections. This is the usual way for the body to be able to protect us. We don’t need to take antibiotics so quickly. They should be the exception. Do your body good and start to include fermented food into your diet.
I would love to hear what your thoughts are about fermented food. And what are your experiences?
To your health!