What are fermented foods?
Fermented Foods include yogurt, kefir, refrigerated sauerkraut and kimchee. They are foods that have had beneficial bacteria introduced into it. The bacteria colonies grow as the food is being prepared, and becomes an essential source of probiotics.
Kefir can be made from Young Coconut Water, Coconut milk, Goat Milk and Cow Milk.
Please see the Body Ecology Website for LOTS’A information about this world of Kefir. I have listed them in order of preference. The kefir made from young coconut water actually reduces my sugar cravings to practically ZERO! I sell this one at my clinic because it has changed my life so dramatically. Dairy intolerant people should start with the coconut’s and/or goat kefir. The animal milk kefir’s are harder to digest, but add a thin protective layer of mucus in the GI tract, that gives the bacteria some extra protection and healing salve for the intestinal cells. The Coconut MILK kefir has way more sugar and is likely to feed the “bad bugs”, too. However, coconut fat is great for the immune system, and splendid for little people.
Best of all, you can make this at home, from scratch! Lean into the Body Ecology Website to learn about this.
Why are fermented foods important?
In the past, our ancestors were in greater contact with the natural world, drinking water from the earth and eating more fresh plants that are enveloped in bacteria. In the 1940’s human discovered antibiotic pharmaceuticals, and began to believe that infectious diseases were caused by pathogenic microbes. In naturopathic tradition, we believe that the health of the individual is equally important to the strength of the pathogen (virus or bacteria that harm humans). We call this, the soil or terrain of the individual and we believe that it is critical to health, to support this. Fermented foods fortify the individual’s intestinal tract with life-supporting bacteria, crowding out the bad guys. Bacteria can turn genes like the celiac disease (wheat intolerance) genes on, they process food for us and supply us with nutrients like B-vitamins and Vitamin K. They can regulate hormones and neurotransmitters, and digest dairy products for us. The bacterial cells outnumber our own human cells 10 to 1! Therefore, having 85% beneficial flora, and 15% other (not good, not bad), is really essential for being strong and healthy.
Supplementing with laboratory-made probiotics is helpful if the brand is reputable, and with situations involving tenacious “bad bugs”, or antibiotic use. The probiotic industry is fraught with fraud, therefore I prefer for my patients to eat fermented foods with every meal, most of the time. For some reason, I have yet to understand, fermented foods seem to work better – and it may be that the organisms in the food are themselves, more vital, than living in a dried capsule or powder.