The ongoing conversation about gut health is forever changing as science continue to produce new studies that suggest a whole new and fascinating fact about how we should eat. Although fads have come and gone, fermented foods welcomed themselves to the party a very long time ago, and never really left. Truth be told, we really want these guys to stick around for as long as possible as they continue to prove their healing benefits are incredibly rewarding.
So when did fermented foods introduce themselves into the world?
Fermented foods have been circulating for thousands of years and were originally used as a method to preserve foods long before refrigeration existed! Fermentation does back thousands of years. What these people did not realise is that when the process of fermentation happens (organisms convert sugars or starch into alcohol or acid) the transformation enhances the natural beneficial bacteria in our tummy.
So why do we love fermented foods?
So, we now know that fermented foods enhance the good bacteria, but what they actually do is help build the bacteria in our gut that assist with digestion, absorption of nutrients and immune health. Our body naturally hosts a bunch of good bacteria, and also bad. But finding the perfect balance between the two can be an ongoing walk on the old tight rope. It requires the perfect recipe of diet and lifestyle. This is why fermented foods can be super beneficial for those who need ‘healthy’ bacteria support! Fermented foods help counteract the bad bacteria that causes bloating, constipation, food intolerances and autoimmune conditions.
Can fermented foods have an adverse effect on people?
Yes, unfortunately, they can! While fermented foods are great for gut health, too much too soon can cause stress on the digestive tract. For someone new to probiotic-rich foods, it’s very important to go as slow as possible when introducing it into your diet.
Also, if you already have a high fiber content diet (which is a great thing!). It may also cause slight stomach upset, such as gas and bloating. It’s all about finding that sweet balance of enough probiotic and prebiotic fibers to continue supporting the digestive system.
It’s important to note that people who have histamine intolerance need to be cautious as fermented foods can carry high levels of histamines. As well as those sensitive to FODMAPS, which refers to a group of short-chain carbohydrates including fructose and lactose, are found in certain foods that can lead to crappy digestion and irritation for some people. Some probiotic-rich foods have this FODMAPS and so people can have a hard time breaking down the carbohydrate chains.
What are some great sources of bacteria rich foods:
Probiotic-rich foods can come in various ways and some are very easy to make at home yourself! Here are some great sources of bacteria-rich foods:
Interested in making your own yogurt?
- 1 cup raw cashews or cashew pieces
- 1 cup filtered or distilled water
- Either 1 tbsp vegan yoghurt to use as a starter. Be sure to use one with live, active cultures. Or you can use probiotic pills, see next ingredient
- 2 vegetarian probiotic pills
- Place the cashews and water in a blender and blend to a very smooth paste.
- Place the cashew paste in a ceramic or glass bowl. Microwave for 10-15 seconds or until slightly warm.
- Stir in the starter or, if using probiotic pills, open the capsules and empty the powder into the cashew paste. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and place in a warm spot, like a cold oven with the pilot light on, or, in hotter temps, on the countertop.
- Let it stand for six hours or overnight. The set yoghurt should be very thick and tangy.
For more fabulous recipes, visit: https://holycowvegan.net/