Why Are Fermented Vegetables Good For You?
Fermented vegetables, also known as raw cultured vegetables, have been around since ancient times and across all cultures. The fermentation process was originally done to preserve foods as the process enabled foods to be kept for months without spoiling. Specifically, its where foods are either left whole or chopped and left to sit in their natural juices, which are drawn out then used to preserve the food.
In ancient times, fermented foods were considered quite the staple food source, thus very instrumental in getting the masses through the long winter months. Today, we know and appreciate more of the nutritional benefits of fermented foods. For starters, they promote digestive health. Their acidity kills harmful bacteria and pathogens, removes toxins and anti-nutritional compounds and produces antibiotics, which improves immunity and overall health. Moreover, the new cultures that are created from the fermentation process create folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin and biotin, which are all part of the Vitamin B complex. B Vitamins promote healthy skin, increase metabolism, reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer, help the body make hormones and enhance immunity among other things. So as you can see fermented vegetables have an abundance of benefits to us.
Now, if you’re not too familiar with what fermented vegetables are exactly some well-known examples are pickles, salsa, soy sauce, sauerkraut, sour cream, buy sourdough starter sourdough bread, water kefir and more. On the other hand, if you know of yet just aren’t too keen on eating fermented foods, but still want to reap the benefits there are a variety of ways to eat them. For instance, sprinkling some sauerkraut on your salad or eating some with crackers will make a tasty snack or meal. Then, if you’re a bread lover you could trade white bread for some sourdough. You could even add some fermented fruit to a nice, cold smoothie. Meanwhile, there are even some healthy fermented beverages that you can enjoy such as kefir, which can be found at your local health food store.
Fermented foods are a blessing to the world. They are a rich source of nutrients and for all the nutrients they pack they are relatively inexpensive whether you buy them fermented or do it yourself. Either way you look at it, you definitely get the bang for your buck and the nutritional benefit that you get is well worth your time and indulgence. Yet, from a broader perspective, fermented foods provide a means for feeding more of the worlds poor. So just as our ancestors realized the immense benefits of this food source so might we. There is much wisdom to be gained from ancient practices such as fermentation, which should not only be honored for what they did for us in the past, but more importantly for what they can and will do for us in the future as food security and the purity of our food is being threatened more and more each day.