Fermented foods heal the gut and boost immunity
Wed. Oct. 30, 2013 by Jonathan Landsman
The popularity of fermented foods is on the rise. And why not, these ‘cultured foods’ are not only delicious but a highly-effective way to heal the gut. And, let’s not forget, a healthy gut equals a strong immune system – which primarily resides in the digestive system.
Drinking fresh kombucha or eating raw sauerkraut, will dramatically improve your health by promoting the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria, enriching your body with B vitamins, digestive enzymes plus much more.
How do fermented foods improve digestion?
Fermentation actually pre-digests complex foods by breaking them down into readily absorbable amino acids and simper sugars. This includes the extremely nutritious but difficult to digest young cereal grasses such as wheat, barley, alfalfa and oats.
All these grains contain high levels of B vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll and antioxidants – which are encased in the plant cell walls. Humans, sometimes, find it difficult to digest plant-based foods – which is why fermentation is so valuable. In addition, fermentation can help eliminate ‘anti-nutrients’ like phytic acid, a compound found in grains that blocks mineral absorption.
Can fermented foods help us prevent cancer?
According to a study found in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, cabbage is a known cancer-fighting food and the fermentation process – used to make sauerkraut – actually unlocks an even stronger anti-cancer effect.
Researcher Eeva-Liisa Ryhanen, one of the paper’s authors at MTT Agrifood Research Finland, said:
“We are finding that fermented cabbage could be healthier than raw or cooked cabbage, especially for fighting cancer.”
The researchers found that the fermentation process changes the glucosinolates, in cabbage, dissolving them into a a class of enzymes that have been shown to prevent cancer. One study, that compared the incidence of breast cancer among Polish women and polish immigrants in Michigan, found that women who stayed in Poland were less likely to develop cancer. Can you guess why?
The study went on to say that the Michigan immigrants were 4 – 5 times more likely to develop cancer due to the fact that Polish women (in their native land) ate much more cabbage and sauerkraut.
Many scientific papers tout the health benefits of cabbage – especially sauerkraut – due to its ability to inhibit estrogen, which is known to fuel breast cancer.
Fermented foods are the most potent source of beneficial bacteria
These probiotics are able to help the body eliminate a wide range of toxins and heavy metals. In fact, according to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride – a Russian neurologist, fermented foods help to restore our own detoxification system, which is instrumental in the self-healing process.
The best fermented foods to improve your health
To summarize, if you’re looking to improve your digestion; get more enzymes; improve nutrient absorption; reduce food costs; increase flavors plus help to prevent illness – then start eating a wide variety of fermented foods, such as:
True sour pickles – I, personally, love the pickles from a company called, Real Pickles – but you can make your own.
Dilly carrots or ‘cultured vegetables’ can be a delicious way to boost your nutritional profile. To learn more about the health benefits of cultured vegetables – check out the work of Caroline Barringer, Immunutrition.com
Water or milk kefir – which is a fermented milk product derived from cow, goat or sheep and enjoyed by many cultures – worldwide – for its healing properties.
Kombucha, like water kefir, is an extremely popular health drink – especially with kids. Its sweet-tart flavor and fizzy bubbles make this beverage great for parties.
Naturally, there are many other ways to incorporate fermented foods into your diet by eating miso soup, fresh yogurt or tempeh – to name a few. Just be sure, if you can, to avoid GMOs and always use organic ingredients.
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About the author: Jonathan Landsman is the host of NaturalHealth365.com, the NaturalNews Talk Hour – a free, weekly health show and the NaturalNews Inner Circle – a monthly subscription to the brightest minds in natural health and healing.
Reaching hundreds of thousands of people, worldwide, as a personal health consultant, writer and radio talk show host – Jonathan has been educating the public on the health benefits of an organic (non-GMO) diet along with high-quality supplementation and healthy lifestyle habits including exercise and meditation.