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Fermented Foods

Updated: Feb 2, 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:

  1. Add yogurt to breakfast cereals

  2. Drink kefir and/or yogurt fruit smoothies

  3. Drink kombucha, ginger sodas & beet kvass

  4. Include pieces of tempeh in stir fry or stews

  5. 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

  • Relieves Constipation

  • Alleviates Lactose Intolerance

  • Helps Colitis

  • 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.

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