Fermentation – A Time Honoured Practice
Why do we ferment?
The fermentation process transforms plain old vegetables into a jar full of probiotic goodness by increasing the number of good bacteria. For millennia, people have known how to preserve their vegetables without the use of refrigerators or preservatives. Sauerkraut has been widely consumed in Europe for many hundreds of years, ancient roman texts tell us how it was prized for both its delicious taste as well as its medicinal properties. In Asia, Koreans, Chinese and Japanese pickled combinations of cabbage, turnip, carrot, cucumber and onion. A Korean meal is never completed without having Kim chi served with it.
What are the benefits of eating fermented foods?
Fermented foods have heaps of benefits including:
- Increasing the nutritional content of the food (including B vitamins, omega-3, digestive enzymes and lactase)
- Pre-digesting the food which increases digestibility for us
- Removing toxins and anti-nutrients
- Preserving food by creating lactic acid
- A well nourished healthy gut = a happier you!!!
How to eat it
Incorporating Gutsy Kraut into your diet is a great way to get your digestive tract and immune system in good shape. Start slowly by having 1 tsp with ONE of your meals and then wait a couple of days to see how you react. If its manageable, you can have another helping and gradually increasing your portion.
What destroys our normal gut flora?
Studies have shown that the type and quantity of bacteria in our gut (or gut flora) interacts with our body in ways that can either prevent or encourage the development of many diseases. The ideal ratio between the bacteria in your gut is 85 percent “good” and 15 percent “bad”. In our world, we constantly come into contact with many things that can alter our gut flora including:
- Processed grains
- Livestock fed on antibiotics
- Chlorinated and fluoridated water
- Chemicals and pesticides used in agriculture
All the above factors affect our gut flora. Some factors are pervasive and hard to avoid. However, by avoiding all processed foods and focusing on whole foods will make a huge difference. That change alone will dramatically lower the amount of sugar consume, limit your exposure to agricultural chemicals and antibiotics.
Raw Food - Why
All fresh produce naturally abounds in good bacteria. The process of fermentation causes certain strains of this bacteria to multiply exponentially. The process of cooking kills all the bacteria, denatures the proteins, destroys many of the vitamins, damages the fatty acids, and affects our absorption of the photochemicals found in fresh produce There are certainly many health benefits to eating our fruit and veggies uncooked, and that is why our products are all 100% raw, never heated above room temperature.
Does this mean that we should never cook any of our food? Some people think so and they happily live on raw food diets for their entire lives, but it's not a lifestyle that everyone wants maintain. Regardless, it is important that a large portion of the food that we consume is raw.
Food is usually considered raw when it has not been heated above 49ºC. Food that has been canned, sealed in a pop top jar (with the pop top down), or food that has been pasteurised, is not raw; high levels of heat are required for those processes. Some food is delicious when cooked, but when buying fermented food, make sure that it is raw.