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Fermented Foods and Why They are good for You
What are fermented foods?
Modern companies have found ways to cut down on the fermentation process by use of chemicals and vinegars, thus removing the beneficial factors of fermented foods. Olives are now treated with a lye solution then packed in a salt solution when canned instead of going through the fermentation process. So even if you are eating pickles on your hamburger, you probably aren’t getting the added benefits (besides commercial pickles usually have added preservatives) . Yogurt is usually low fat and loaded with sugar (two things that make it a very unhealthy option).
What are the benefits of fermentation?
By eating fermented foods we are naturally adding good bacterial into our system – a traditional probiotic. I have mentioned before the added benefits of probiotics for strengthening our immune systems and keeping our gut healthy.
Eating fermented foods improves digestion, helps decrease the phytates in foods that prevent nutrients from being absorbed (soaking grains anyone?), adds nutrients to the food, helps us absorb more nutrients from the other foods eaten with it.
And a little goes a long way with fermented foods! You can use them as a condiment and get the beneficial properties.
Since most commercial brands are speeding up the process of fermentation, look for all natural brands or make it yourself! My sister has made homemade pickles before and both of us have made our own yogurt using a crockpot.
It is pretty neat when you can make something at home that you thought you could only buy.
At our local farmer’s market the drink Bonte is sold which is a homemade kombucha drink sold in a ton of tasty sounding flavors.
What are your favorite fermented foods and how are you eating them?
Leave a comment – I love hearing from you!