Prior Animal Pharm:
Fermented Foods — Korean Pepper Paste Burns Body Fat, Soil-Based Organisms (SBO), Gut Microbiota — New Study ‘Kochujang, fermented soybean-based red pepper paste, decreases visceral fat and improves blood lipid profiles in overweight adults’
Guest Post: Tim (aka Tatertot)
The first step in Dr. BG’s 7 step protocol is “Fermented veggies made the ancient way with organic dirt-covered vegetables, ex. kraut, kvass, kim chee, kefir, etc. Read Sandor Katz.”
Fermented foods are a must for anyone serious about their gut health. It is the first step you should get a grip on before proceeding with Dr. BG’s 7-Steps Paleo* Gastro IQ SIBO Protocol. Eating a variety of fermented foods will ensure a healthy gut stays healthy and a troubled gut returns to it’s healthy state. Try to eat or drink something fermented at least once or twice a week, every day is even better!
Fermented foods are a cornerstone of the paleo diet. Despite the fact that fermenting food as a means of preservation was a neolithic invention, those living during paleolithic times ate loads of fermented foods…overripe fruit, rotting vegetation, decomposed meat, and the contents of animals stomachs to name a few. Later, as man became more civilized, he learned to control this fermentation process as a means to ensure a steady supply of food during times of scarcity.
Just about any food item can be fermented: Beans, grains, vegetables, fruit, honey, dairy, fish, meat and tea. Every culture has its favorites, from the very familiar European sauerkraut to the not-so-familiar Japanese Natto and Stinky Tofu. The Inuit were very fond of fermented foods. They would bury fish, fish heads, sea-mammal flippers, seal oil, and whole birds in grass-lined holes in the summer and dig them up during the winter and next spring. Another method was to stuff a freshly killed caribou’s stomach with sea-birds and seal oil and bury for several months.
Fermentation in food processing is ‘the conversion of carbohydrates to alcohols and carbon dioxide or organic acids using yeasts, bacteria, or a combination thereof, under anaerobic conditions. Fermentation usually implies that the action of the microorganisms is desirable…The term “fermentation” is sometimes used to specifically refer to the chemical conversion of sugars into ethanol, a process used to produce…wine, beer, and cider. Fermentation is also employed in the leavening of bread; in preservation techniques to produce lactic acid in sour foods such as sauerkraut, dry sausages, kimchi, and yogurt; and in pickling of foods with vinegar (acetic acid).’
For purposes of gut health, we like to focus on fermentation processes involving lactic acid as these generally recognizable foods are easy and safe to make at home or can be readily purchased. Lactic acid fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchee, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha. All of these foods, when properly prepared, will contain several strains of Lactobacillus, an important microbe for not only gut health but other bodily eco-systems as well.
An easy homemade sauerkraut can be made following the lead of Dr. BG and her children, with their famous Hot Pink ‘Kraut!.
Kefir, or fermented milk, is extremely healthy, tasty, and easy to make. Richard Nikoley at Free the Animal has written extensively on the subject and in this blog, Richard tells you how to become and expert at making kefir. Please read if you want to learn to make kefir…it’s well worth it.
Another great resource is the website of Sandor Katz. Updated frequently with new recipes such as Raw Black-eyed Pea Miso Paste and Fermented Radish you will have no excuse not to try some of these amazing fermented foods, made in your own kitchen.
In this article, Ann Marie Michaels aka CheeseSlave, gives you 8 Reasons to Eat Fermented Foods and great tips for getting started.
Traditional Russian Beet Kvass is easy and delicious. We are told that “Beet kvass carries with it all the benefits of beets, marrying them with the benefits of fermented foods for a deeply cleansing tonic. Rich in betacyanins – the pigments responsible for beets’ characteristic hue, beets possess strong antioxidant capacity with an ORAC value of 1,776 which may be why beets seem to help mitigate inflammatory states in the body which may contribute to cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.” It is also probably one of the easiest fermented drinks to make. All that is needed is a jar, water, and a beet. Learn to love it!
If you absolutely cannot prepare fermented foods at home due to space and time considerations, there are luckily numerous great products on the market that won’t break the bank. Kimchee, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha are in almost every supermarket. Look for fermented foods that have not been overly processed, pickled, or heated in ways that destroy the probiotic bacteria. Also avoid overly sweetened products like sugary yogurt and kombucha.