By Ellen Briggs, Harvest Local Foods
Every positive change that you make in your diet will produce noticeable, beneficial health effects. One way to invest in your health is by eating fermented foods.
Fermented foods have been through a process of lacto fermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. Unlike the fermentation process used to produce beer, wine or spirits, lacto fermentation does not produce alcohol as a by-product. Lacto fermentation preserves the food and creates beneficial enzymes, B-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, various strains of probiotics, bioactive compounds, and up to 30 strains of good bacteria. Fermented foods help fight against tumors, carcinogens and infection, and improve the immune system and digestive system.
One of the more popular fermented foods is Kefir, which is often called the “it” food of the 21st century. Kefir promotes the growth of many news strains of friendly bacteria and yeast, which outcompete unfriendly yeast strains. It adds more nutrients into the system like tryptophan: an amino acid which turns into serotonin, aids in sleep, improves the cognitive state, and lowers anxiety. Kefir also provides calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, B12 and vitamin B1. Easily digested, Kefir is good for babies and the elderly as well.
At Harvest, we carry Short Mountain Cultures fermented products such as coconut kefir, water kefir, various krauts, kimchi, tempeh, kvass and chili garlic sauce – all of which are lactose- and gluten-free. Short Mountain Cultures is located in Woodbury, TN where they produce fermented foods in small batches.
Ellen Briggs Fletcher
Sources: Dr. Eric Berg, Wikipedia