Fermentation Benefits!*

I really love fermented foods.  Period.

What better joy and taste is it when you get a bite onto your sandwich and in the midst of all of that protein savoriness and creamy jack cheese, there’s a spike of flavor from the pickled cucumber or (if you’re Asian like me) daikon and carrots?

If you recall from the one of my posts, I wrote about fecal transplant and how a healthy person’s stool can carry extraordinarily helpful microbes that can strengthen our immune system, somehow curing this man William Kostopoulos with Multiple Sclerosis.  Well, guess which foods introduce good microbes into your flora?  Fermented foods!  I wanted to talk about this next because fermentation is nearest and dearest to my stomach heart.

Now I’m not saying fermented foods should take over a majority of our diet, but it would do our digestive system a favor to include them as a side dish on a weekly basis.  I try to do this by fermenting a big batch of kimchi and stocking them in the fridge for months.  They really clean your palate after eating something really savory and hearty.  Mostly, I feel proud of myself for eating so much veggies that is genuinely tasty!

Most of my fascination was grew by reading and learning from Sandor Katz, the fermentation revivalist.  I knew about Sandor Katz when I saw his book on one of my favorite Instagram pages, Triciaeco.  Both of them are great individuals who live on rural areas, making a living out of what they have underneath the dirt they step on.  To focus on fermented foods though, Sandor Katz defines fermentation as the “transformative action of microorganisms.”  In some of his fermenting workshops, he emphasizes the point that humans didn’t invent or discover fermentation, but fermentation made up human beings.

So what does that really mean?  That statement didn’t really resonate with me until I picked up some microbiology courses at my community college.  Microorganisms are all over and inside of our bodies.  Some of them are theorized to be one of the first living things before humans when the universe was freshly laid out.  I truly believe humans didn’t generate out of nowhere.  There must have been a starting point and microorganisms might play a big role in that.  Remember I wrote about how essential it is for your health to store good microbes in your gut flora?  There are more microbes in our gut than there are body cells!  It’s definitely no coincidence that nature happens that way.  To make things clear, the number of microbes is not vital as the quality and diversity of the microbes.  Fast food introduces bad microbes into our system.  Fermented foods flush them out and reintroduce good microbes.  To link Katz’s definition of fermentation, fermenting any type of food is to support the growth of already-present microbes and when we consume those types of food, we acquire nutrients and mother nature’s disease-fighting microbes.

List of foods you might not have known are fermented:

  1. coffee bean
  2. chocolate
  3. tea
  4. tempeh
  5. fish sauce
  6. cured meat, or salami

The picture on this blog is my boyfriend and me fermenting cucumbers the Korean way.  Check the video link out!  The Korean lady is so cute and funny.  I watch her when I’m feeling blue, and she always makes me smile after I watch her videos.

Last thing!  Lemme know YOUR favorite fermented foods or how YOU ferment your food!  If I have time, I’ll try it out!  Hehe

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