When my health journey began, I had never even heard of fermented foods. I had no idea that eating foods with bacteria were even close to being beneficial for a human beings health. Not even the slightest clue that pickles or sauerkraut were considered fermented!
My first meeting with these fantastic foods awoke me from an entire lifetime of “hibernation,” & took my health journey to an entire new depth! The moment my pallet tasted its first fermented food, I was instantly hooked.
The initial moment I welcomed fermented foods into my life, I began to notice an interesting sensation in my leg! Yes. I just said my leg.
Since I was about 10 years old, the outside of my right thigh had always felt numb to direct pressure. I’ve never really been able to feel much sensation on the surface or deep layers of my leg.
Over a year ago, my mentor came over to me and asked me to try her fermented “Sunflower Seed Pate.” There was no way I could deny any food offering from one of the greatest mentors of all time!
I had only one teaspoon full of this heavenly greatness! Within 10 minutes, I felt an unbelievable sensation in my right thigh that was icy, sharp, warming, pulsating, and tingly! It traveled all the way down to the bottom of my foot! An entire leg length! This sensation lasted for an entire week! I’ll admit that for a moment, I was in complete disbelief!
Was my leg actually “waking up?!”
The answer is, YES!
What exactly are probiotics? Where do they come from? What do they do?
Fermented foods are a huge source of probiotics (good bacteria), B-Vitamins, & enzymes that assist in the breakdown of food. These all have the ability to replenish the damage that has been done to the gut by replenishing the good bacteria that is needed to build and maintain an outstanding immune system! Probiotics support your digestion! Without good bacteria to support digestion, the body’s health status can quickly begin to downgrade!
Are you willing to get a little scientific?
The majority of the genes in our bodies are not only reflected through human cells, but are also expressed through the microorganisms (microscopic “animals”) that live in our guts, which are referred to as the microbiome! The microbiome is the home of our immune system. If this environment is disrupted by eating highly cooked foods (oven baked, BBQ, fried, or grilled) & bad bacteria (anti-biotics), we destroy its environment, and its community of bacteria cannot thrive. This means that the immune system has now lost its full potential to perform!
Check out an excerpt from a study I found to give you a scientific perspective on why you should start eating probiotic rich food!
“Probiotics are usually defined as microbial food supplements with beneficial effects on the consumers. Most probiotics fall into the group of organisms’ known as lactic acid-producing bacteria and are normally consumed in the form of yogurt, fermented milks or other fermented foods. Some of the beneficial effect of lactic acid bacteria consumption include: (i) improving intestinal tract health; (ii) enhancing the immune system, synthesizing and enhancing the bioavailability of nutrients; (iii) reducing symptoms of lactose intolerance, decreasing the prevalence of allergy in susceptible individuals; and (iv) reducing risk of certain cancers. The mechanisms by which probiotics exert their effects are largely unknown, but may involve modifying gut pH, antagonizing pathogens through production of antimicrobial compounds, competing for pathogen binding and receptor sites as well as for available nutrients and growth factors, stimulating immunomodulatory cells, and producing lactase.”
You see, the living environment of our guts either enhanced or destroyed in the early days of our lives. Sad, I know!
It all begins with being breast fed. To keep it simple, when we are breast fed as babies in our first living days, our mother’s breasts produce colostrum. Colostrum has the ability to nutrify our little bodies so powerfully that it can affect our entire immune response for our lifetime. It supplies our immune system with loads of anti-bodies (Like Jedis, but defenders of the body) that support the lining of the intestine, lungs, throat and mucous membranes of the body. Colostrum is also rich in Leukocytes (super ninja fighting cells). Leukocytes are major fighting cells in the body. They help the body fight what the anti-bodies have seen as the”enemy,” or “foreign invader.”
Since most of us have unfortunately been exposed to anti-biotics in our lifetime, or eaten highly cooked foods at some point in our lives, our immune systems have been compromised greatly!
Don’t freak just yet!
YOU have the ability to restore & support your immune system nutritionally!
How can you start repopulating your gut with good bacteria?
Eating fermented foods every day can help with repopulating the good bacteria! All you need is at least 4 oz a day of fermented foods! Ushering probiotics back into the gut ecology will help to support your digestion & your immune system.
Now, I’m not talking about kombucha, kraut, or pickles bought from your local health food store with limited bacterial strains (these are technically just pickled). We want fresh, pungent, bacterially rich, homemade probiotics! Whats even greater is that you don’t even need any starters!
It’s time for you to start living & feeling like you have always desired!
Check out upcoming homemade fermented food recipes in other posts!
Your body, mind, & spirit deserve the very best!
Easy Ferments to Begin With!
These easy ferments will need the 2 key ingredients from my post “For the Love of Ferments!”
- Red Cabbage Sauerkraut (see to the right)
- Fermented Garlic Cloves
- Sunflower Seed Pate (can use other nuts as well)
Check out my other fermented recipes to begin your own fermenting journey!
Parvez, S., K.a. Malik, S. Ah Kang, and H.-Y. Kim. “Probiotics and Their Fermented Food Products Are Beneficial for Health.” Journal of Applied Microbiology (2006): 1171-185.NCBI. Web. 9 Nov. 2014. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16696665>.