I have just returned from a Holiday which has truly ignited and excited me.
After having the privilege of being reintroduced to Poland by a native, a country I visited 21 years ago, I feel a huge gratitude that fermented foods are part of my life.
It is wonderful to witness a Culture which holds on strong to its traditions, sometimes unaware as to why. However oddly, there is just an overall sense that these foods are good for you, without really understanding why.
Sauerkraut and the traditional pickled cucumbers are available everywhere from the local shop to the market place and I certainly enjoyed their abundance. It was in some respect a busman’s holiday, as ferments are often a challenge when I leave the comfort of my own home.
One surprise was sauerkraut juice, sold by the bottle in your local supermarket. A surprising fizzy, salty indulgence.
This has remained me to revise and detail exactly why we should be fermenting our foods and making sure we get our daily dose, as they do in Eastern Europe and beyond!
Consuming traditionally fermented foods provides you a number of benefits, including:
- Important nutrients. Some fermented foods are outstanding sources of essential nutrients such as vitamin K2, which help prevent arterial plaque buildup and heart disease. For instance, cheese curd is an excellent source of both probiotics and vitamin K2. Fermented food is also a potent producer of many B vitamins.
- Optimizing your immune system. An estimated 80 percent of your immune system is actually located in your gut. Probiotics play a crucial role in the development and operation of the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract, and aid in the production of antibodies to pathogens. This makes a healthy gut a major factor in maintaining optimal health, as a robust immune system is your top defense system against all disease.
- Detoxification. Fermented foods are some of the best chelators available. The beneficial bacteria in these foods are highly potent detoxifiers, capable of drawing out a wide range of toxins and heavy metals.
- Cost-effectiveness. Adding a small amount of fermented food to each meal is home economics at its finest. Why? Because they can contain 100 times more probiotics than a supplement!
- Natural variety of microflora. As long as you vary the fermented and cultured foods you eat, you’ll get a much wider variety of beneficial bacteria than you could ever get from a supplement.