Fermented foods are once more gaining popularity, which is a great thing considering the myriad of digestive disorders that plague our modern day societies. These foods are supportive of a healthy digestive ecosystem & Immunity. Did you know that an estimated 80 % of your immune system is located in your gut?
When I mention fermented foods to my patients, the first word that comes to their mind is generally, Pickles! Which although tasty are not necessarily the same thing. keep in mind “All ferments are pickled, but not all pickles are fermented!”. The Vinegar based “quick pickles”, rely on the acidic medium and have little probiotic and enzymatic value in comparison to traditional brine LAB (lactic acid bacteria) fermented vegetables.
Aside from being very delicious and nutritious, LAB fermented foods are also more digestible. This is due to the fact that the fermentation process pre-digests the food, making it more bio available. In some cases the process also adds additional nutrients , or removes anti nutrients (toxins). A good example of a food that combines all these benefits is Tempeh.
Here is a quick overview of how the fermentation process affects the Soy beans:
- LAB is a potent producer of several B vitamins. Thus the food will be more nutritious.
- Its phytic acid (anti nutrient) content is also significantly reduced.
- The mould predigests a significant portion of the protein, converting them into amino acids which makes for easier digestion.
I have been consuming and producing different fermented foods for years and ever since incorporating them into my life, I have never felt better. This article’s picture is in fact a batch of my home made organic chick pea tempeh.
I highly recommend experimenting with fermented vegetables, but if you prefer to purchase, one can opt for authentic Kosher pickles. This variety is made without vinegar using the traditional LAB method.
Try to consume a wide variety of fermented foods as a regular part of your diet, and you will get a much wider variety of beneficial gut healing bacteria than any supplement, and at a much cheaper cost!