Improving health through cultured foods

Inside our body, deep into our intestines is a world of living organisms, the bacteria of our gut.

We are so used to hearing about bad bacteria and how it relates to many diseases and disorders that we face but we forget about the good bacteria, why we need it and what it does to keep our bodies healthy.

Good bacteria protects our body from disease, supplies us with vitamins, breaks down sugars and proteins and then produces short chain fatty acids. This is necessary for us to feel optimal health, full of energy and vitality. Without this process, we are simply not utilizing food the way we are meant to.

Eating foods and beverages that contain this live good bacteria is necessary for colonization and continued health or to improve health. Bacteria helps synthesize hormones and vitamin precursors, and helps the body in producing vitamin B12.

Do you feel sick and sluggish all the time? Do you have digestion troubles and don’t know what to do anymore? Trying cultured, or fermented foods is necessary to improve your health.

I remember the look on the grocer manager’s face years ago when I begged for the store to start carrying kombucha, a fermented beverage that I call the miracle drink for gut health. One case was ordered and I sent all of my clients to pick up a bottle. Nowadays they can’t keep them stocked they are so popular. What is kombucha? My daughter and her friend recently did their science fair project on kombucha because it is so simple to make yourself. It is a fermented tea that is fizzy (perfect for people weaning themselves from soda or beer). It comes in many flavours as tea does, and the live bacteria eat the sugars in the tea and what’s left is a bubbly fermented drink that anyone can consume.

Kombucha isn’t the only fermented food to try!

Here is a list of wonderful fermented food you can buy (or even better, make) that you can consume every day, even multiple times per day. Research online or visit the library for more info and ways to make some of these at home!

Dairy kefir: like a drinkable yogurt

Water kefir: basically made like kombucha, except you are fermenting water or coconut water instead of a tea. You can use juice, too.

Yogurt: Full fat, (skim milk anything is not healthy for us!) and free of sugar. You can add your own raw honey to plain full fat organic yogurt and add your own fruit. You can make yogurt so easily! You can make it out of coconut milk, or nut milks as well. Goat or sheep derived yogurt is the very best if you can find it!

Sauerkraut: fermented cabbage

Miso: fermented soybeans or brown rice

Tempeh: fermented soy in a cake-like form.

Kimchi: just like sauerkraut, mixed with yummy Korean spices and seasoning.

Explore with fermented foods. If you have children, include them in the process and show them the science involved with fermentation. It is super exciting and, I promise, is a very tasty process! Make a record about how you feel and what your energy levels are like. It is so important that fermenting becomes a normal household practice again!

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