7 Reasons I Will Never Stop Eating Fermented Foods

VegetablesOften people ask me why I eat fermented foods. Off the top of my head I can come up with 7 reasons. You will be surprised by everything that lacto-fermented foods can do for you; increased digestion, strengthened immune system, balancing blood sugar, protecting from stress, and tasting great. Let me share them with you and you may never want to be without lacto-fermented foods again.

Nutrition is Boosted

During the process of fermenting, these lacto-fermented foods have their enzyme and vitamin levels boosted… and we are not talking just by a little bit.  Did you know that lacto-fermented sauerkraut has 20 times higher levels of bio-available vitamin C than the fresh cabbage it consists of?! Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride explains that before lacto-fermentation these vitamins are bound in the cellulose structure of the vegetables and pass through our system without even being digested. Once the cabbage is lacto-fermened it releases this vitamin C in the sauerkraut making it usable by the body.

Guess what! It does not stop with cabbage! All laco-fermented foods have their vitamins converted into forms that the body can utilize. This is great since you can lacto-ferment just about all vegetables. This opens a big window of foods from salsas and dips, to pickles and garlic. Maybe just not in that combination!

Increase Digestion of Cooked Foods

These lacto-fermented foods are hydrophilic. This is a good thing! It means they attract digestive juices, so they digest faster. Now if along the way you ate some cooked meats with these lacto-fermented foods they get the same treatment from the digestive juices. Yes, the cooked meats you eat with the fermented foods will digest better too! Now that is great news, since I don’t want to eat everything raw. Add to this that the enzymes aiding in digestion are increased by fermentation and you have a one-two punch. Of the many people I work with nutritionally, it is very common to see them eat less food but yet feel full with lots of energy.

Builds My Immune System

Doctors tell us 80% of our immune system is in our digestive tract. Eating lacto-fermented foods which are high in probiotics can help to strengthen your gut. These great foods supply lactobacilli and bifidobacteria to the gut in great supply. This can help to increase the number of these necessary bacteria in the intestines and can also help to prevent colonization of pathogenic organisms. These fermented foods can contain more than 100 times more helpful organisms per serving than probiotic pills, says Dr. Mercola. I don’t know about you but I would rather eat these yummy foods, rather than take a bunch of pills.

Keeps Colon Clean – Constipation Away

Ever heard of acetylcholine? Your body uses it all the time! It is a neurotransmitter, which facilitates the transmission of nerve impulses. What does that have to do with keeping your colon clean and constipation at bay? A big issue in constipation is the disruption of the stimulation of the bowels to move the solids through the colon. True fermented foods aid in the production of acetycholine and as we learned it helps your nerves to send the correct signals to the bowels so they can operate correctly, helping to keep constipation out of your life. I think you would agree this is a good thing!

Balances Blood Sugar

Remember how we discussed fermented foods being easier to digest? This ease of digestion reduces the load on the pancreas allowing insulin levels to stay flatter helping to avoid spikes in blood sugar. Yes, this can help diabetics, but everyone can benefit from this action. Think about that 10am and 2pm energy crash most people experience. That is actually a sign of low blood sugar. Since fermented foods help with blood sugar you can avoid that daily crash.

Sourdough bread is a fermented grain, which has the same blood sugar aiding factor that lacto-fermented vegetables give. Studies have shown that sourdough baked items can lower the normal blood sugar spike of traditionally prepared grains by more than 30 to 40%. We often hear from people that eat sourdough items, that they are full longer while avoiding the harsh crash caused by regular breads. Did you know that most all grain based foods can be made from sourdough and you can even take out the sour taste if you want! Mmmmm… I can taste that delicious Sourdough Chocolate Cake now!

Protects My Gut During Stress

As we mentioned before, fermented foods are key to aiding digestion. They also have the ability to protect the stomach and intestinal linings. How does this help? When we are under stress the body tends to release more stomach acid. How many times have you experienced that upset feeling in your gut when stressful events happen? More than once I bet. Fermented foods help increase the acidity of gastric juices when stomach acids are low and protect when high volumes of stomach acids are present. Sort of sounds like stomach insurance to me.

Great Taste

What can I say about the taste?! I know it is cliche, but you have to taste it to believe it. Sauerkraut made at home using traditional methods is so different than store bought. Many of our students tell us they hate store bought sauerkraut, but love their homemade. How about pickles? Fresh pickles made at the height of the season have no comparison. And since you can lacto-ferment most vegetables, this great benefit of taste carries across the board.

What IS Lacto-fermentation?

After hearing all these great reasons for eating fermented foods, I bet you are asking What is this lacto-fermentation and where can I get some of these foods?” It is very simple! In nature all organic fruits and vegetables, our soils and all plants are populated with lactobacilli. So your organic vegetables at your market are covered in lactobacilli all you have to do is culture it. As the lactobacillus grows in number it produces lactic acid, the most powerful preservative found in nature. This lactic acid is also one of the most powerful antiseptics. All this combines to result in foods that last a long time. Sauerkraut can keep easily for over a year without spoiling or rotting, as long as it is covered by its own juice.

We have heard the saying “If you want something done right you will have to do it yourself.” This is true with lacto-fermenting. You really can’t buy these foods. Making them is easy. You just need to gather some know how. I would suggest starting to read more about lacto-fermenting here on our site. We also offer a great eCourse, Lacto-fermentaion Book, and Lacto-fermentation Kit.

Please Note: This post may contain sponsor, affiliate, and/or referral links.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

About Jeff

Jeff Pearce is a board certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant and has coached hundreds of people in the Dallas/Fort Worth to help them achieve their health goals. If you would like more information about his services view the Health Consultations section. For those not in the physical area Distance Coaching is an option. A 15 minute "No Cost" informational consult is available, by phone, to chat and answer questions about services. To schedule your no cost informational consultation please contact us .

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