Bloating. Heart burn. Indigestion. Constipation.
For an unfortunate many, these symptoms are a nagging and frequent experience, all of which stem from an imbalanced and over-burdened digestive system.
The answer to these modern digestive complaints may be found in studying the eating habits of diverse cultures from other parts of the world. These cultures regularly consume foods that have been “fermented” through a variety of natural processes. This fermentation of foods contributes to enzymatic activity – the breaking down of complex substances into smaller parts – thus easing the burden on our digestive tract. In addition, during the fermentation process naturally occurring beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, both enrich and preserve the food.
It’s very recent that cultured foods have begun to disappear from our plates. Modern pickles and sauerkraut are made with vinegar instead of the traditional method of lacto-fermentation using salt and natural fermentation processes. Bread and pasta are made with commercial yeast instead of being naturally leavened with wild yeast (sourdough). Milk, yogurt and cheeses are being pasteurized with heat, which kills off all the friendly bacteria we so desperately need to maintain health.
Fermentation precedes human history, but since ancient times people all over the world have been controlling the fermentation process. There is evidence that people were making fermenting beverages in Babylon around 5000 BC, there is evidence of leavened bread in ancient Egypt dating back to 1500 BC and of milk fermentation in Babylon circa 3000 BC.
Traditionally people wouldn’t have to think twice about replenishing the bacteria that allow us to digest food. But we live in a “war on Bacteria” world with products like; antibiotic drugs, chlorinated water and antibacterial soap that kill not only harmful bacteria but friendly bacteria and if we fail to replenish the friendly bacteria we won’t effectively get nutrients from the food we eat.
There are many advantages to going back to the traditional ways of our ancestors.
Top 5 Reasons to Eat Fermented Foods
1. Improved absorption and digestion.
2. Restore the proper balance of bacteria in the gut.
3. Rich in enzymes to help breakdown the food you eat.
4. Preserves the vitamin and mineral content in the food.