Fermented foods have recently come into the spotlight for their healing properties. However, ferments have actually been around for thousands of years! Our ancestors had it right by eating live, probiotic rich foods, and we should be following in their footsteps.
Fermented foods introduce good bacteria to our gut, which makes our gut happy. In fact, our bodies are made up of more bacteria than it is cells, and with numbers like that, it’s crucial to keep that bacteria healthy. Bacteria lives in our gut, and governs more of our body then you may think! A balanced gut can:
- Maintain a healthy immune system – about 80% of your immune system is based on your gut health. If unhealthy bacteria starts to overwhelm the gut, it can begin spreading into the bloodstream, which causes inflammation in the body. Healthy bacteria = healthy gut, and that good bacteria will be translated throughout the entire body.
- Promote healthy skin – when toxic bacteria is no longer the focus in your body, your body is able to heal itself. This includes repairing connective tissue, and allows the skin to glow from the inside out.
- Sustain a healthy gastrointestinal tract – digestion is strengthened, which allows for the excretion of toxic waste through the bowels.
- Support mood and brain function – many dysfunctions of the brain are directly connected to an unhealthy gut environment. Introducing probiotics can clear the mind, and allow for sharper thinking and boosted moods
- Increase weight loss – fermented foods stabilize blood sugar, so they create a balanced appetite, and lower the body’s tendency to store fat
Fermented foods also allow our bodies to better absorb vitamins and minerals from other foods that we eat. If probiotic rich foods are not being introduced to your body, this can cause stress in the gut. This can lead to weight gain, brain fog, weak immune system and IBS.
Fermented foods can be purchased, or even made at home! Our favorites include sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, miso, coconut yogurt, and kefir. We enjoy making our own at home because it’s just so simple, but please keep in mind that pickling and fermenting foods are not equal. Fermented foods require patience and create good bacteria, while foods can be pickled with just water and vinegar, and do not ferment. Here are some of our favorite recipes:
Kombucha is a refreshing and bubbly drink that should be enjoyed on a daily basis is possible. You can most likely find a few different brands of kombucha in your local grocery store, however, we always like homemade best!
Yes, we know the dangers that soy can present, however, miso is entirely different. As miso is fermented soy beans (usually fermented 6 months or longer), this soy product turns into an entirely beneficial food! Miso can be purchased in most Asian supermarkets and used to make a deeply nourishing broth, which is great to sip on as the seasons change.
Coconut yogurt is a great dairy free alternative to conventional dairy yogurt, and can be used in all of the same ways. You just simply combine two ingredients, then wait…. for 24 hours. But once it is done, you have delicious, tangy and probiotic rich (not to mention dairy free) yogurt!
Sauerkraut is equally as simple to make, but does require a bit more patience. It still only includes two ingredients, but the waiting time is bumped up to 1 week (or longer!) However, we know that once you taste your first batch of homemade kraut, you will be hooked!
Kimchi is one of the most beloved Korean accompaniments to just about every dish, and we are huge fans of it! Although it requires many ingredients and a few more steps than the recipes above, we promise it’s worth it.
Now, you may not all be a fan of the tangy, fermented taste of probiotic rich food. But have no fear, we have something for you as well! Probiotic pills work just as well as eating fermented foods. Talk to your doctor or health professional about which brand and strains are the best for your body.