Our green goddess on the benefits of fermented foods
During my journey to living and eating organically, I have learnt so much about how a healthy gut and digestive system is the foundation of our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. An organic way of life makes you aware of the various ways in which you can lead a healthier lifestyle, and I have discovered that digestive health is key for strengthening the immune system, reversing disease and feeling amazing.
A healthy gut is dependent on the balance of good and bad bacteria that live inside our guts and this balance regulates a big part of our overall health. I believe that the most effective way to achieve the right bacterial equilibrium is to eat fermented foods, and here’s why:
Probiotics are good bacteria (the kind that we need plenty of) which are essential for our general health and wellbeing but in particular for digestion and immunity. Probiotics stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in our digestive system and there are a lot of supplements out there, although in my opinion, none are as effective as eating fermented foods. Probiotics usually show an active bacteria range on the label but we now know that a serving of homemade raw sauerkraut (one of the most powerful fermented foods) contains up to 10 trillion good bacteria – that’s 100 times more than the average supplement.
Fermented foods are pre-digested, which means that they have already started to break down before we eat them. It eases the strain on our digestive system and makes it easier to unlock the nutrients we need – they’re available straight away without the hard work of digestion. When we eat sauerkraut, for example, we get a fast boost of nutrients including vitamins B1, B6, B9 and K, manganese, potassium, magnesium and iron with minimum effort on our part. Impressive, right?
Good digestion massively strengthens the immune system and our immunity affects how healthy we feel as well as our ability to keep disease and viruses away. Regularly eating fermented foods provides us with good bacteria warriors in our guts that find and destroy unwanted illness-inducing microbes. Goodbye flu!
Instead of taking a digestive enzyme supplement or a probiotic, you should eat enzyme-rich fermented foods as they are much more effective at keeping your gut healthy. When we consume them we immediately welcome a multitude of living enzymes into our bodies which get to work breaking down carbohydrates, fats and protein that we’ve eaten.
Incorporating organic foods into your diet can sometimes be expensive but not when it comes to the fermented variety. Items such as sauerkraut, kefir, yoghurt and many others can easily be made at home with a few ingredients, and because of the fermentation process, they generally last for a long time when kept in the fridge.
Raw, organic fermented foods are the ones to go for – in addition to those I’ve already mentioned, try kimchi, miso and apple cider vinegar. Enjoy!
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