Why I Ferment and So Should You
Fermented foods saved my health and I have a gut feeling they can help you too... pun intended. 😛
If you deal with chronic gas, bloating, intestinal discomfort, acid reflux, constipation or diarrhea ... even autoimmune disease, skin problems, brain fog or anxiety… THIS IS NOT NORMAL!
This is NOT something you should take pills for to make you go, or make it stop. This is your body sending signals and asking for help. 🚦🚧 Whether your body is whispering with discomfort or screaming with something more serious, it’s time to listen, get to the root cause and take back control. 💪
My case was extremely evident. I was treated very aggressively with antibiotics in the early 2000's to fight Lyme's disease. The treatment helped me, let me rephrase that, the treatment saved me.
The antibiotics rid the advanced symptoms of Lyme’s and I wouldn't have done it any differently. If it weren’t for modern medicine I would have been gone off this earth by age 11, so thank you scientists and thank you doctors! 🙏 🔬💊But, the negative side… I WAS left with 10 years of digestive health issues which I am finally now back in control..
It’s funny (not funny) because I didn’t connect the digestive issues to the antibiotics. It happened so slowly, like the frog in water, so I never really thought something was “wrong”. I accepted it as how I am and learned to deal with it as it worsened.
But, antibiotics aren’t the only culprit here…
Our bodies are made of 10x more bacteria cells than we are human cells and many of them live in our gut. These bacteria are the front line of our immune systems, battling against viruses and toxins. They are crucial to our digestion, well being and are even in direct contact with our thoughts and feelings.
Don’t believe me?… What happens when you are stressed or nervous? Maybe you feel nauseous, like you are going to vomit? Or maybe you have to urgently run to the bathroom? Right?
There is a very high number of nerve endings in the gut, so stress levels from the brain will communicate (through hormone production) and effect the gut instantaneously. That’s how amazingly connected, intricate and intelligent our body is.
The past decade or so we have spent so much effort killing these bugs. From antibacterial soaps, hand sanitizers, sanitizer wipes, food pasteurization/ sterilization AND (big AND) overuse of antibiotics - not just by prescription, but also indirectly as they are given to the animals we eat (if consuming conventional meat). Other factors that negatively affect our microbiome are stress, sleep deprivation, alcohol and food preservatives.
Do you see where I am going with this? Whether you currently have digestive issues or not, we all need a little help in today's world.
First off, it’s time to get off processed food and all the sugar that comes along for the ride. But that’s a whole other blog post, so I will stop there.
Next, it is time to introduce fermented foods into your daily routine.
If all the factors listed above were not in play and we were living life in old world utopia, our bodies would have the capability to flourish the right balance of flora within our body. We would be following the rhythm of nature, eating seasonally and resting more. Our environment would be less toxic and soil would be rich with microbes that we would ingest as we pulled our food straight from the ground. In order to not waste good food, we would preserve our harvest by adding salt… aka fermenting.
In this process, while consuming our fermented foods we would naturally be building our flora and our immunity. So cool!
Here’s the cooler part… fermented foods will grow different ratios and variations of microbe colonies depending on the growing conditions. Temperature, air flow, fermentation time, humidity and vibration, all pay a role in the outcome. So by eating your homemade ferments (or mine) all year long, you will be getting a different variety of probiotics every batch.
When buying packaged fermented foods at the grocery store, here are some points to think about:
These ferments are very convenient to have available and do the job, sort of…
In order to get a consistent flavor, texture and value, they would have to use a consistent temperature, timing, etc. so you are most likely getting the same formula every time.
Food sent to grocery stores get sterilized or pasteurized in order to control sanitation. At some point, the container needs to be heated and sterilized (pasteurized). How many microbes were killed in the process?
When it comes to Probiotic pills and supplements, here are some points to think about:
There are 10,000x more microbes in a 1/4 cup of homemade sauerkraut than there is in an entire bottle of probiotic pills. Who knows what is left alive once it gets into that pill, shipped, transported and shelved in your store?
These companies are focused on adding just a few popular microbes that the research has been done on so far. What about the trillion other strains that we get from the natural food and just don’t know about yet?
What else is in the fiber of the whole food that helps us digest this organism properly? I don’t know what the science says, but common sense says: When you have the choice, always go to the whole food and the way nature intended.
Hopefully, you now understand the importance of fermented foods and you are ready to start introducing them in to your daily routine. Whether it’s sauerkraut, kimchi or any other type of fermented food, I encourage you to try making your own. All you need is cabbage, salt, mason jars and some good vibes. 😄💃🕺
Don’t want to ferment at home?
Check your local co-ops and farmers markets, there are many people like me fermenting and selling these days.
If you live in Houston, lucky for you, my ferments are for sale. Contact me.