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Benefits of Fermented Veggies

 | 9 Comments  | Health, Nutrition

If you don’t already know about the magic of fermentation, I bet you’ve at least heard the word. The popularity of fermented foods has been on the rise lately. Foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and kefir are all now widely available at almost any grocery store. I’ve even seen kombucha for sale at gas stations! People are discovering how good the ancient practice of fermentation can make them feel.

So, what is fermentation, exactly? A great article from Science Based Medicine tells us that, “Fermentation is a mostly anaerobic process, meaning without oxygen, carried out by microorganisms or cells. These microorganisms convert sugars, such as glucose, into other compounds, such as alcohol, to produce energy to fuel their metabolism. Bacteria and yeasts-which undergo lactic acid fermentation and ethanol fermentation, respectively-are used in the fermentation of foods. The unique flavours and textures of fermented foods are due to the different species of bacteria and yeast used.”

Fermentation can occur naturally, or you can help it along a little by using a starter culture…

Fermented foods have been proven to lower inflammation levels, reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue levels, have antioxidant properties, and can even help prevent weight gain. As early as 1995, studies were proving that eating fermented foods increased the amount of good bacteria living in our intestinal flora, which in turn, boosts our immune systems. A 2003 study shows how the good bacteria in fermented foods actually attacks and kills bad bacteria, like salmonella, e.coli, and Staphylococcu. We call these good, live bacteria probiotics.

It’s good eat a small amount of fermented foods every day to get all those great probiotic health benefits. When I regularly eat fermented foods my digestion is super on point and I feel happy, energized, and healthy. Because I’m not a big fan of eating a lot of sugar and I don’t take store bought probiotic supplements on a regular basis, I prefer to get my probiotics from fermented vegetables.

I’m not a fermentation expert, but I have made fermented veggies a few times. I’ll tell you how I make mine , but please know that there are tons of ways to ferment your own foods. If you want to increase the amount of fermented foods in your diet, do your research and decide how fermentation would fit best into your life and daily routine.

Fermented veggies are usually made one of two ways. You can use a salt water brine or a starter culture. Sandor Katz, the godfather of fermentation, prefers to make his fermented veggies with a salt brine (here’s how he does that). But since I prefer to keep my salt intake on the lower side, I like to make my fermented veggies using a starter culture.

A starter culture is powder that contains all those yummy good bacteria, or probiotics. I like to use Body Ecology Culture Starter and a prebiotic, EcoBloomPREbiotics are kind of like food for the PRObiotics. They help create a friendly environment for the probiotics to flourish and grow.

Do any of you guys eat fermented veggies on a regular basis or have experience fermenting your own?  I’d love it if you could share your opinion or personal experience on the matter.  🙂

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9 comments on “Benefits of Fermented Veggies”

  1. private avatar image

    Private  | 

    My brothers taught me how to make kimchi over Christmas vacation. It’s the spicy gift that keeps on giving, I love the flavor and it makes my happy tummy. I try to eat some daily so I can start my next batch.

  2. private avatar image

    Private  |  Seattle, Washington

    My Grandmother use to make Sauerkraut, a friend’s mom would make us Kimchi and my ex-girlfriend Mei Ling makes a drink using mushrooms. All were amazingly good. My Grandmother and my friend’s mom have passed away long ago and I didn’t get either recipe Should ask Mei Ling for how she does it. If nothing else fermented cabbage make dishes taste great.

  3. private avatar image

    Private  |  Perth, WA, Australia

    You can also make your own whey to ferment the veggies by simply straining natural/Greek yoghurt through a cheese cloth (or a clean Chux wipe). The strained yoghurt = cream cheese (for cheesecake!!!! :D) and the whey can be used in fermented veggies and other recipes.

    The brine (salt) method will encourage local bacteria in the veggies (which is good!) and will produce a crunchier texture. Whey speeds up the fermentation process, which can make the veggies mushy. So if you live in a warmer climate you may want to add a little salt to stop the veggies going too mushy.

    Happy fermenting!

    • private avatar image

      Private  | 

      Thank you for this post!!! Seriously Brittany! I never knew how to get whey to use as a starter!! You are awesome. I love fermented foods, but it’s so much better to know how to make them at home now, yay!!

      • private avatar image

        Private  |  Perth, WA, Australia

        You are most welcome Nan 🙂 Let me know how you go 👍🏽

        • private avatar image

          Private  | 

          Ok Brittany, I will do that. What a nice, supportive member of this great community you are. Thanks again-

  4. private avatar image

    Private  | 

    I am currently experimenting with different fermented veggie recipes. The most current, I used a purple cabbage and I added some whole pepper corns in with it. I prefer to us my Himalayan salt for brine. A good tip I have learned is to place your jars into a small igloo cooler while fermenting. This will keep the temperature regulated.

    I try to eat 1 T of my fermented veggies with each meal. I think it’s a great way to help maintain a healthy gut!

  5. private avatar image

    Private  | 

    Hello Zuzka! I am writing/illustrating a graphic novel meets health guide to our gut, probiotics, and everything involving digestion. Fermented foods are great sources of probiotics. As someone born with colic, exposed to poor nutrition and (albeit too many, unneccessary) antibiotics growing up, I was set up for some imbalances in my gut. It went into my teens, and it wasn’t until I turned twenty two years ago that I wised up, changed my diet and exercise, and really took the plunge down the rabbit hole that is our gut. Right now I am studying to become a nutritionist, and I hope I can help people reclaim their digestive health with both my past experiences and book!

  6. private avatar image

    Private  | 

    I like fermented vegetables. But I am in ketosis and I would like to ask. It is fermented vegetables ketosis friendly? Or should I eat to be cautious?

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