Updated: Feb 3, 2020
What are Fermented Foods?
Fermented foods may likely be one of the planet’s most healthiest food to eat! Also called probiotic foods, these cultured delights are part of every traditional diet around the globe. They are naturally fermented, like yogurt or sauerkraut. The fermentation process causes the production of lactic acid bacteria which are good for us. Eating traditional lacto-fermented foods regularly is a key to optimal health. Preserving foods naturally by fermentation maintains freshness while adding flavor, texture and aroma.
Traditional Fermented Foods
Dairy Products: Yogurt, Kefir, Raw Cheeses, Cottage Cheese, Crème Fraiche, Buttermilk
Vegetables: Sauerkraut, Pickles, Olives, Kimchi, Salsas, and Fermented Vegetables
Fruits: Chutneys, Fruit Preserves, Cider, Vinegars
Soybeans: Natto, Tempeh, Miso, Tamari
Meats: Sausage, Salami, Bologna, Jerky, Wurst
Breads and Grains: Sourdough Bread, Porridge, Sprouted Grains
Beverages: Kombucha, Kefir, Kvass, Fermented Sodas, Mead, Wine, Beer
5 Tips for Eating More Live Cultured Foods:
Add yogurt to breakfast cereals
Drink kefir and/or yogurt fruit smoothies
Drink kombucha, ginger sodas & beet kvass
Include pieces of tempeh in stir fry or stews
Enjoy side dishes of fermented fruits and vegetables with each meal
20 Potential Health Benefits of Fermented Foods:
Aids in Digestion
Increases Absorption and Bio-availability of Nutrients and Minerals
Synthesizes Nutrients (folic acid, B vitamins, & K2)
Helps with Protein Digestion
Enhances Calcium Metabolism (prevents osteoporosis)
Helps Prevent Skin Problems (acne, eczema, thrush)
Helps Maintain pH Balance
Keeps Pathogenic Bacteria in Check
Prevents and Control Diarrhea
Alleviates Lactose Intolerance
Improves/Prevents Irritable Bowel Syndrome & Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Helps Heliobacter pylori Infections (ulcers)
Reduces Intestinal Inflammation
Stimulates Immune System Function
Reduces Allergic Symptoms
Anti-Cancer and Anti-Tumor Effects
Helps Normalize Serum Cholesterol and Triglycerides
Assists Liver Function and Detoxification
How much do you need?
Begin slowly with 1-2 tablespoons per meal. Then build to small amounts (1/2 cup) of high quality live cultured foods and beverages at least 2 to 3 times per day. Preferably eat or drink some probiotic foods with each meal to gain health benefits. Consider probiotic supplements if you are not getting enough live cultured or fermented foods.
Tips: Always eat lacto-fermented foods and drinks uncooked to retain enzymes and vitamins.
Consider making your own fermented foods at home like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, garden vegetables and pickles. It is easy and nutritious. You can save money and making your own cultured food guarantees quality and will help you eat local year round. These classes have been available at The Lamb Shoppe in the past. This is an amazing learning opportunity from Connie Karstens who did her thesis for her master’s degree on this subject. Here is an easy recipe for Fermented Vegetables.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.