Today it is rare for anyone to go through a day without eating or drinking something “fermented”. Every day we should be eating this food which is teeming with bacteria, the good kind.
Many think, you must stay away from bacteria, that’s why we use anti-bacterial soap and cleaners to prevent growth of bacteria.
There is a war on bacteria, we are taught to fear bacteria as contamination and dangerous, as sickness and to destroy it! But remember we have good and bad bacteria and our health and immune system works best when continually supplied with the good bacteria needed for the body to function correctly.
You may find this hard to believe but bacteria rich food is very beneficial with the good bacteria our body needs to stay healthy and fight our ills. Around the world, Fermentation has an integral role in our food system; it is like a probiotic but even better! It was used by our ancestors before the 19th century to preserve food before the age of canning and refrigeration. There is now a new revival period for fermented food with new cookbooks and articles about how to prepare.
Many cultures use fermented food, such as, Asian with Kimchi, German with Sauerkraut. Even today you are eating these bacteria filled fermented foods when you consume cheese, breads, cured meat, soy, pickles, olives, chocolate and yogurt!
Also you are drinking the fermented drinks with coffee, beer, wine, and vinegar and todays ever popular kombucha. All of these are full of the good bacteria our body needs to fight the bad bacteria we pick up in our daily life.
Good bacteria helps us digest our food and assimilate (take in) the nutrients our body needs from the food we eat. It helps regulate our immune response and replenish our “good gut bacteria” that our usually depleted by antibiotics and chlorinated water. Many types of bacteria have been found to decompose the pollutants around us, the toxic waste we dump into our land and into our bodies.
Fermenting, soaking and sprouting some of our foods removes natural toxins and increases digestibility allowing absorption of minerals like iron, zinc and calcium and increasing availability of B vitamins.
Try this: Soak Your Oats and Nuts
Soaking grains and nuts in clean filtered water for about 6-10 hours, then drain well and eat like any other; as cereal or treats or with salads. You now have increased its health benefits and your body can absorb those nutrients much better. Remember once soaked they need to be used and refrigerated within 2 weeks. Or you can also dry them again at low heat to last longer, perhaps up to 4 weeks.
Sandor Katz, author of Wild Fermentation