The word "fermentation" may conjure up images of aged wine or brewed beer. However, fermented nutrients are also important to your health.
The word “fermentation” may conjure up images of aged wine or brewed beer. However, fermented nutrients are also important to your health.
Fermentation is a time-tested method of making foods more easily digestible by unlocking the nutrients found within food. Fermentation is a natural part of the digestive process. It uses the bacteria in your gut to break down food into an easily absorbed form. A healthy digestive tract contains more micro-organisms that facilitate fermentation than total cells found in the body. Our symbiotic relationship with these micro-organisms, known as probiotics, is critical to good health and vitality.
The Best Bacteria
Fermentation has also been an important part of healthy food preparation for centuries. It is a natural process that uses probiotic bacteria and yeasts to produce easily digestible foods high in nutritional value. Many societies throughout the world traditionally consume fermented foods.
Fermented dairy products, such as cheese and yogourt, are consumed all over Europe and Scandinavian countries. Fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut, are consumed in Eastern European countries. Pickled ginger is a standard condiment in Japan, while East Asia has kimchi, miso, tempeh, and natto. North American condiments such as mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, and relish all contain fermented (or pickled) ingredients.
These fermented foods contain several thousand probiotic cells that produce numerous enzymes promoting the growth of healthy flora throughout the gastrointestinal tract. Friendly bacteria known as lactobacilli flourish in fermented foods and are known to help support the body’s immune system, aid in digestion, and increase nutrient levels. Fermented ingredients are also an indication of body-friendly, highly absorbable nutritional supplements that provide mega benefits without the mega dose.
Advanced fermentation processes use living probiotic organisms and their enzymes to digest nutrients into forms your body can easily assimilate. The resulting nutrients contain the necessary co-factors required for proper absorption and utilization, including enzymes, amino acids, antioxidants, probiotics, prebiotics (which nourish probiotics), and organic acids.
It is estimated that there may be more than 100 different natural bioactive compounds (called phytonutrients) in just one serving of vegetables. Fermented whole foods-based supplements offer high nutritional value because they too contain phytonutrients, which are known to play a role in optimizing health.