Fermenting - one of the best things I discovered on my journey of healing!
The process of preserving food by fermenting it is something that’s been around for centuries and is practiced all other world. It’s not just the process of creating alcoholic beverages like beer or wine, or creating different types of dairy like cheese or yogurt. Eating fermented foods is a huge part of the GAPS Diet, but anyone who adds fermented foods to their diet will see some benefit.
There’s so many benefits to fermenting! Fermenting food means you’re helping beneficial bacteria and yeast grow that aid in digestion. Fermented foods are packed full of probiotics, which helps your gut health. It also boosts immunity by producing lactic acid, which pathogenic bacteria cannot live in the presence of. It allows you to preserve food longer which means that you’re throwing less away! It also increases the nutritional availability without adding anything extra.
While any type of ferment that you consume is beneficial, there are good, better, and best ways to ferment.
Good: Buying a Ferment at the Store
There are a variety of common ferments that are available at most grocery stores. Starting small and adding just one ferment to your diet will bring some benefit to your gut health and overall wellbeing.
While purchasing a ferment from a store isn’t the most beneficial for your wallet or your health, if you want to dip your toes into fermented foods, purchasing one can be just fine. Find one that has the least amount of ingredients possible and has the least amount of processing. Fermented foods should be as close to the source as they can be.
Better: Buying Multiple Ferments at the Store
There are many kinds of fermented foods so experiment! Adding a variety of ferments to your diet is important because you and your gut will get a much wider variety of bacteria, all naturally. Fermented foods come in many different varieties, like pickled vegetables, sauerkraut, or even liquids like kombucha and kefir.
A better option for getting ferments into your diet is to purchase a variety of high quality ferments from the store.
Best: Making and Consuming Your Own Variety of Ferments
Making your own ferments is absolutely the best! I love making my own ferments because I can buy large quantities of food in season and locally and preserve it for a long time. I also know what I’m eating because I added it myself!
Consuming a variety of different kinds of ferments is important for our gut health. By making your own, you can save a lot of money and get all the variety you need!
When you make your own ferments, you’re intimately connected with what you’re eating. This is important for thoughtful eating.
If you’re interested in fermenting your own food, I’ve shared a lot about fermenting over the years! You can see more on the process of fermenting here and here, and specifically about lacto-fermenting here. Whey is a great way (get it!) to start the fermentation process for many ferments. You can learn about making your own whey here.