Traditionally fermented foods naturally contain probiotics.
Before refrigeration, we dug holes.
We would gather clay pots that were full of muddled cabbage and bury these pots. Then, we would wait. After one week or several, we would dig up our clay pots and find perfectly vibrant and crisp cabbage leaves. Submerged in a bubbly brine, the leaves had lost their sweetness and they were a touch sour.
This process, otherwise known as fermentation, is one of the oldest ways to preserve food.
Long before high-fructose corn syrup and synthetic chemicals ever existed, we used bacteria and yeast to extend the “shelf life” of foods that would otherwise perish. The friendly lactic acid bacteria and yeast that are naturally involved in the fermentation process are our original food preservatives.
And while we no longer dig holes in order to ferment food, many stores still sell supermarket versions of time-tested fermented favorites. Examples include sauerkraut, dill pickles, and yogurt.
But are these supermarket versions really as good as their lacto-fermented forerunners?
Your picky little eater may be picky for a reason…raw and sometimes even cooked vegetables can be tough to digest. Often, children appreciate fermented foods more than their parents. This is because the digestive tract of a child is not yet mature. Fermented foods naturally boost a child’s digestive system and assist in the breakdown of a meal.
For similar reasons, adults often avoid hard-to-digest plants because they lack the force necessary to break these plant fibers down. This invites the normally friendly bacteria in the gut to overgrow and cause irritating symptoms. Signs of bacterial overgrowth are:
Although plenty of us eat a plant-based diet, raw vegetables are harder to digest than fermented ones. As it turns out, the body is able to access more of the precious nutrients available in plants when they are fermented.
We simply digest foods with more ease when they are fermented!
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