Balancing the Bacteria In Your Gut ~
The healthy probiotics (good bacteria) in fermented foods and beverages help to keep your colon clean, improves the function of your colon and provides a place for these friendly bacteria to grow!
The good news is that probiotic-rich fermented foods and beverages have been around for thousands of years and this is a traditional way to preserve food and beverages.
Fermented foods are also referred to as cultured vegetables or cultured dairy products. I started making my own yogurt in the 1980’s and did not learn about cultured vegetables until 2002 when I had the opportunity to become a Certified Body Ecology Coach through Donna Gates’ Body Ecology training. Since then I have made thousands of quarts of cultured vegetables, coconut kefir and fermented coconut pudding using the Body Ecology culture starters. Learning about fermented foods was a vital part of my healing process and it can be for you too!
Why Should You Consider Fermented Foods and Beverages?
Fermented foods, properly prepared, restore your gut bacteria to a good balance so that your digestion improves. Then your body can absorb more nutrients from the foods you eat, and you improve your overall mental and physical health.
These fermented (cultured) foods have been through a process of lacto-fermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid which is a natural preservative that inhibits putrefying bacteria.
This process preserves the food and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics. Allowing this healthy bacteria to form in a sealed jar of vegetables over a period of time might not seem like the most appealing way to create a meal or side-dish, but this healthy fermentation plays an important role in balancing the bacteria in your gut.
In future posts, I will be writing about the many benefits of fermented foods. Until then, when talking about eating fermented foods for a healthy gut, the lactic acid-based bacterium is the process to look for. It isn’t necessary for you to learn how to ferment your own food, although you do save a lot of money creating your own plus they are often referred to as “survival foods”. In the past, my daughter and grandchildren helped, and we could put up two dozen quarts in an afternoon, plus we had a lot of fun family time making them.
Fortunately, in today’s market, there are many options available to you in your local grocery store, however…
Not all fermented foods are good for restoring balance to your gut bacteria, and they are usually quite expensive. Unfortunately, many mass-produced fermented foods, may have little actual fermentation left in them (beneficial bacteria). This is because of the preservatives, added sugars, colorings, or inexpensive vinegars used in place of a real fermentation process.
Be on the safe side and look for fermented foods with organic ingredients and no sugar added.