One traditional food that has all but disappeared from the American diet is fermented foods, and we’re paying the price with our health.
While humans have eaten fermented foods for thousands of years, the relatively recent advent of refrigeration and other modern food preservation methods has meant a decline in the use of fermentation as a way to keep food fresh and edible. It has also deprived us of the beneficial bacteria that these foods contain, which has serious ramifications for our health.
Some cultures still consume fermented foods on a regular basis, but the American diet is all but devoid of them now, with the exception of yogurt – probably the only fermented food that is still a common item in our homes today (along with beverages like beer and wine).
A resurgence of popularity in “trendy” foods like kefir and kombucha has brought fermentation back into favor lately, and the home fermentation movement is also picking up steam. Other good fermented foods to try include sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, miso, and natto. You can also ferment a variety of vegetables with tasty and healthy results.
Fermenting your own foods is actually quite easy (and safe, in most cases), and it can provide a number of health benefits. Here are just a few reasons why you might want to try it:
1. Fermented Foods Help Balance Stomach Acid
Fermented foods can help ease digestive discomfort, whether your discomfort is related to having too much or too little stomach acid. As you age, your ability to produce digestive enzymes decreases. Fermented foods can help correct this issue.
If you are dealing with a limited amount of hydrochloric acid in your stomach (as in the case of acid reflux), fermented foods can increase the the production of gastric juices for better digestion. At the same time, if your stomach produces too much acid, the food helps protect the stomach and intestinal lining.
2. Fermented Foods Prevent Over-Population Of Unhealthy Bacteria
Fermented foods help destroy and prevent the growth of unhealthy bacteria. In fact, consuming certain fermented foods can be more effective than antibiotics at killing unwanted bacteria. Additionally, probiotics found in fermented foods result in the production of healthy gut bacteria, while antibiotics simply kill all bacteria—good and bad.
3. Increase Nutrient Absorption
When you eat food, it takes a while to absorb the nutrients that it contains. Depending on the health of your digestive system, you may not fully benefit from the food you consume.
Having a healthy balance of bacteria in your stomach will powerfully improve nutrient absorption. This allows your body to absorb more of the nutrients from the food that you eat.
4. Fermented Foods Last Longer
The process of fermentation has been used in various cultures for thousands of years as a way to preserve food. The fact that this results in beneficial probiotics and provides a range of health benefits is an added bonus. Most fermented foods have a longer shelf life, remaining fresh for a couple of months.
For more ideas for including fermented foods in your diet, visit JuicingForHealth.com…