Last Modified on Nov 17, 2014
While most food experts purport fresh food as the healthiest choice, research suggests that trend may be shifting at least slightly. While fresh food is among the healthiest, a new group of foods has been identified as equally beneficial – fermented foods. Fermentation is a process that allows foods to steep, converting natural sugars and carbs into bacteria-boosting agents with a variety of health benefits.
What are Fermented Foods?
Fermentation is considered one of the oldest forms of food preservation; however, this process does more than preserve food. During the process, food is exposed to bacteria and yeast that stimulate the growth of microorganisms. This exposure allows the beneficial microorganisms to overtake the harmful ones, resulting in a nutrient rich food.
The process often results in interesting flavors, textures and smells, but the benefits of these foods far outweigh these differences. Common fermented foods include sauerkraut, kefir, pickles, yogurt, misa, kimchi and others.
Common Fermented Foods
Almost any food can be fermented to render healthful benefits; however, some foods are used more often than others. Kombucha, sauerkraut and yogurt are among the most common and most healthful fermented foods. These foods render specific health benefits and should be incorporated into the daily diet.
Kombucha is a carbonated or fizzy, fermented black tea. This beverage offers a variety of healthful properties and is considered one of the most powerful fermented foods. As it contains between four and seven microorganisms in each bottle, kombucha helps build an especially strong gut and immune system.
More than just a New Year’s tradition, sauerkraut should be a part of the regular diet. In essence, the common topping is fermented cabbage that has a strong effect on overall health. Regular consumption of sauerkraut has been tied to increased brain health and diminished depression and anxiety, likely because a tremendous connection exists between the health of the brain and the gut.
Basically any form of yogurt is considered a fermented food; however, not all yogurt is created equal. Greek and regular yogurt are dairy forms, which makes them more acidic and harder to digest. Coconut yogurt is likely one of the best forms to consume regularly, but yogurt in any form delivers a powerful punch of enzymes and probiotics to the diet.
While few realize it, the gut is actually the center of the immune system. As such, consuming fermented foods directly improves health and readily treats a wide range of conditions.
[YEA] Hi, just wanted to comment on cabbage juice and gas. If you read Sally Fallon's book "Nourishing Traditions" you will see that she advocates fermenting cabbage juice for a couple of days before consumption. I tried this and while the smell was not pleasant, I had no gas at all. You will need to use whey in the process but it's easy to produce. I would urge you all to start eating fermented vegetables regularly for intestinal flora too - highly beneficial.
After many yrs of abuse, the use of an alcoholic beverage such as wine, beer or even liquors like brandy, rum, bourbon have seemed to be almost completely erased by conventional medicine and now our many other natural remedies. The Apostle Paul recommended "from now on drink a little wine for your frequent ailments". The Scottish Christian writer George MacDonald dramatized the medicinal use of wine as a daily beverage and the use of Scotch or Bourbon for emergency use as in shock or coma in his novels.
Perhaps Vinegar is the one step further not only in distillation, but also health benefits. Anyway this is a good topic starter.
Personal testimony. When I was not quite 16 yrs, my brother and I elected to help a farmer harvest hundreds of bales of hay. It was the middle of summer with temps soaring in proly low-to-mid 90's. We (plus several other lads) began probably around 4:00 PM and worked hard until just before dark and farmer grilled up a bunch of burgers and we woofed em down and went back to work much refreshed. We "hauled hay" until almost 11:PM enduring the extreme exhaustion of the intense labor. The ride home was like comatose; the loss of electrolytes, lactic acid build-up and extreme fatigue was to the point of barely able to stretch a leg or clasp the hand. But the group was young & daring and not ready to go home on a Friday night, so we headed to the border for some packaged Beer. (I cannot recall exactly, but this was at least one of the first, if not the first time I had drank a full can of beer. ) The thirst and exhaustion was such that I downed 2 cans of beer in about a short 20 minutes drive back home. When I got out of the car, BOOM! I was a new man. No longer sore or exhausted, I felt like I could haul a few hundred more bails of hay or hang out late in the night. It was a feeling as profound as the losing of sexual virginity.
Historically we know that alcohol has strong adaptogenic properties, but unfortunately, the medicinal use has all but disappeared in modern western world. Perhaps there are some good articles or books on this subject.
Any positive testimonies from Earth Clinic members???
Hi Gavin, my ginger beer is doing well! This time I left it fermenting for almost a week, like they advise on a recipe from the Reunion Island. Then they say one should filter it and let ferment for another two days. Is that correct? After that I will cool it but how much time can I keep it? Does it go off? A few days ago I opened it after shaking and oh boy, it almost exploded! I did it because nothing seemed to be happening inside of the bottle but yes..... A lot was going on!
Replied by Gavin
Manganui, Northland, New Zealand