Fermented food have made such a huge difference once added to our diets. It has played an important role in regulating our digestive systems. We’ve had IBS-like symptoms in pretty much all our family members and it is barely an issue these days. It has also greatly improved acid reflux, and along with probiotics has significantly helps arthritis-like symptoms in two of our family members. Although there were no official diagnoses, all the signs were there.
We have always considered ourselves pretty healthy because we rarely got sick and never had the need to go to the doctor. The longer we’ve been in the US and the more we adopted the “easy way” of eating, we did notice that our health was slowly declining. We began having more cavities, aches and pains, issues with bowel movements, allergy-like symptoms, adrenal/thyroid issues, the list goes on and on. Once we changed our diets, and especially once we began including a wide variety of fermented foods, these issues improved dramatically.
Fermented vegetables and dairy, such as daikon and milk kefir, are an essential part of anyone’s diet. This is because they play so many important roles in the body, from populating the digestive tract with beneficial bacteria to reducing inflammation. Beneficial bacteria are important for synthesizing B vitamins such as Biotin and B12, nutrients that many people are deficient in. Some probiotics also synthesize vitamin K2, which is important for overall health and well-being, and especially important for pregnant and nursing mamas and their babies. Fermented foods also contain enzymes that help us to break down foods and absorb nutrients better, as well as fight bacteria, yeasts, molds, fungi, viruses, etc. Why wouldn’t you want to eat these amazing foods?
For me, the best part of discovering fermented foods is experiencing a whole host of new flavors. I enjoy adding this and that to a jar, leaving it for a few days (or months…) and ending up with something that is truly amazing. At first I did not think I could ever enjoy ferments besides pickles, but set out to eat them anyway because of the health benefits. We needed to heal and my son deserved to live without constant stomach aches, bowel issues and asthma attacks. I have quickly discovered that there is a ferment for everyone, regardless of how picky a person is. It just takes some trial and error to find exactly what will work for you!