In 8 Health Benefits of Kombucha I talk about how fermented tea can bring 8 wonderful health benefits. I want to expand on that and explain how adding many fermented foods to your diet can help improve your health.
I’ve not only put together a short explanation of some of the health benefits of fermented foods, I’ve had some wonderful homesteading friends share their favorite recipes for fermented foods for a probiotic and healthy gut boost for your body.
Benefits of Fermented Foods
Need some motivation? Sometimes transitioning into fermented foods can take a few trys, especially if you’re used to the typical America diet.
Don’t get discouraged if you try something like kombucha and you don’t like it. Try a different recipe for kombucha, or try a different kind of fermented food. For example, often people who don’t like kombucha like kefir and visa versa. Perhaps you don’t like sauerkraut, but you’ll like sauerkraut with kielbasa. So don’t give up! Keep trying different recipes, and perhaps even try later after you’ve changed your diet in other ways.
The benefits are wonderful and the foods are delicious!
Probiotics are a definite HUGE benefit of eating fermented foods. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that will:
- Break down sugars and carbohydrates (aid in digestion)
- Control harmful bacteria.
- Boost your immune system by helping you recover from imbalances in your gut and help you immune system regulate (so you’re not reacting to everything you eat).
- Lower Inflammation of the stomach and gut (often healing ulcers and decreasing or replacing medication by decrease in inflammation and allowing medication to be better absorbed and improving overall gut health).
2. Beneficial Acids and Enzymes
Fermented foods are cultured foods that provide beneficial acids and enzymes that aid digestion. When you have the right enzymes for digestion, you’re less likely to develop leaky gut and autoimmune responses, because those protein chains are broken down and inflammation is less of a problem.
3. Bioavailability of Vitamins and Other Nutrients
It is accepted these days that a lot of supplements do not provide vitamins and nutrients that are available to our bodies. After all, we often need combinations to help us absorb and utilize nutrients (Like turmeric and black pepper). Due to lactofermentation, the vitamins and minerals in fermented foods are more bioavailable than if you were just to eat them raw or cooked.
4. Food Preservation
Fermenting foods is an excellent way to preserve your harvest. You can get more out of your harvest and not take up freezer space or worry about canning seals when you ferment foods.
Starting Fermenting Food Recipes
It’s easy to get started!
Choose Your Equipment
I have made fermented vegetables like pickles and sauerkraut before without any special equipment. It can be done with Mason jars, zip closed bags filled with water, wooden spoons, etc. But, it can be extremely frustrating because some of the veggies always escape to the top and can introduce mold. I’ve had jars of pickles with mold, sauerkraut that got slimy, and mixed veggies that got cloudy and questionable. The thing is, this can all be avoided and you will have a much easier and happier experience if you go ahead and take the plunge and buy some equipment.
I use Fermentools and have loved the ease of use and the quality of the products. It really takes away a lot of the problems you can encounter when fermenting when you have high quality tools.
Check out the set below at Fermentools.
Choose high quality, organic ingredients to ferment. You have a lot of choices, so choose a project from below and they’ll help you know exactly what you need and how to proceed.
Cultures for health has a great troubleshooting guide for different recipes here.
Great Fermented Food Recipes
Here are some great fermented food recipes from some homesteaders that love to ferment and preserve. Enjoy!
How to Introduce Your Kids to Fermented Drinks
Crockpot Sauerkraut and Kielbasa
How to Ferment Store Bought Condiments
Homemade Probiotic Honey Mustard
How to Make Raw Apple Cider Vinegar at Home
Using Sour Kombucha – Peach Kombucha Rita
There you go! 20 great recipes from some wonderful bloggers who have a lot more to give, so make sure to check out their other articles, how-to’s and recipes.