Pickled beets. Sauerkraut. Kimchi. Olives. Cottage cheese. Yogurt. These are a few foods in the class of foods known as fermented foods.
Young Chiropractic knows our Easley chiropractic clients have heard of them by name in the list above but may not recognize them as members of the fermented foods family. Now, before you stop reading because the whole idea of eating fermented foods sounds bad, know that these foods are really good for you. (They’re in local Easley grocery stories!) Their history often goes back to ancient consumption times in all cultures which, in addition to the necessity of preserving food via fermentation for year-round use, saw medicinal value and nutritive value of the foods they ate to quench hunger. Fermented foods are so important today as our food supply and eating habits are so different and not typically different in a good way. (And Young Chiropractic knows we have some very conscientious Easley chiropractic patients who are really good about their diets!) It’s no wonder more and more people have food sensitivities and digestive issues and a whole range of other issues that can be traced back to a lack of good bacteria that fermented foods offer. So Young Chiropractic shares a little information on fermented foods and their benefit for our Easley chiropractic patients.
Fermented foods begin as whole foods like grapes (wine), cucumbers (pickles), and milk (yogurt, cheese). Young Chiropractic knows we have Easley chiropractic clients who enjoy these!) Then microorganisms start to break down their carbs and sugars into things like lactic acid. (Think sour: pickles and sauerkraut.) After this conversion, these fermented foods become powerhouses of healthy probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms that improve our health. How? By improving the health of our bodies’ good bacteria involved in digestion, immunity, and disease prevention. Young Chiropractic is all for health improvement of our Easley chiropractic patients! Fermented foods are also reported to be antimicrobial (to kill microorganisms or slow their growth) and antioxidant and immunomodulatory (to regulate the immune system) and antithrombic (to reduce blood clots) and antihypertensive properties (to reduce high blood pressure) and even anti-diabetic. (1) Interestingly, ethnic foods often are fermented foods with benefits like anti-obesity and anti-aging (Korean kimchi) and immune system regulating (Korean Natto) and anti-cancer (Indian dahi) and nutrient/protein/vitamin/beneficial bacteria rich (Japanese miso).
Speaking of beneficial bacteria, fermented foods provide food for all the trillions of beneficial bacteria living in our bodies, especially the digestive tract. Fermented foods are also easier to digest because they are already partially broken down by good bacteria. Have any Easley friends who have trouble digesting foods? Maybe share with them this article on fermented foods as these are already partially digested, helping the body absorb the nutrients of food more easily.
So what are some of the good nutrients fermentation provides? (2,3)
- Vitamin C – cabbage in sauerkraut
- Vitamin K and Protein – miso (fermented soybeans/salt/grain)
- Protein, Calcium, Vitamin D – Kefir and Yogurt
- Fiber & active culture – Cultured Coconut Milk / Yogurt for a dairy-free option
- Probiotics, B vitamins, acetic acid (stabilize blood glucose levels) – Kombucha (black tea/sugar/bacteria/yeast)
- Bacteria bacillus, calcium, iron, fiber, vitamin K2 – Natto (soybean)
- Spirulina (immune system enhancing) – Sourdough bread (the real kind!) (4)
As a side note, an adult way to enjoy fermentation is with red-wine (anti-aging due to the melatonin that regulates the body clock) and beer (unless it’s pasteurized or filtered) and cider. And for a sweet-tooth, the fermented food is chocolate! (3)
Young Chiropractic offers chiropractic care for the whole family, for the whole body. Young Chiropractic is great at caring for the spine, the body's support system, as well as low back pain as well as neck pain, arm pain and leg pain with nutrition, exercise, and diet. So thank you for reading more about fermented foods before passing judgment on them or dismissing them. Today’s diet and culture of fast, mass produced food leaves much to be desired for a healthy gut and body. Incorporating more fermented foods into your diet may be beneficial. Your Easley chiropractor is here to discuss your diet, health and fermented foods. Contact Young Chiropractic today to set up your next Easley chiropractic appointment.