Well, Ive been asked this question and also asked to post ideas on how to use ferments. I will start with the why, how and when in later posts. I will start with the 'why' first and then later, some ideas on how to use them. I fell in love with ferments & pickles years ago. There are so many reasons to love & use ferments. Firstly, as an old school Naturopath and lover of all things raw, I am always looking for ways to add different colours, flavours, goodness, crunch and more raw whole foods onto my place.
To be honest, Im a bit of a slacker when it comes to taking supplements (unless I have too) so I try to work as much as possible with my food as much as I can when it comes to optimal health, prevention & treatment. The history & health benefits of ferments are extensive. There are some beautiful books now on all things ferments & pickles. Ferments are fantastic for gut health and the health of the microbiome landscape. They are an easy way to get these beneficial bacteria that we need to help adequate digestion & nutrient absorption. As such they will help with overall health. Microbiome heath is a subject all of its own.
I have also hound this is a great way to preserve excess produce that I grow. Im not sure what came first, the excess produce or growing foods to ferment. These lines are blurred. the garden itself has its own microbiology to health for which I am always grateful. Some more facts on the benefits of ferments:
Ferments create a healthy inner ecosystem as they lay the foundation for internal garden of microbiota supplying energy for the everyday life.
Fermented foods are a must for immunity. Up to 80% of the immune system resides in the gut-associated lymph tissue in the intestines. The microbiota living there play a key role in keeping the region healthy and free of pathogenic or bad bacteria and as such nourished, enhancing the immune function.
Fermented foods provide more nutrients. The microbiota abundant in fermented foods provide additional enzymes to properly process nutrients, markedly increasing their availability.
Fermented foods improve digestion. As the microbiota in fermented foods help protect the gut lining. They also increase the bioavailability of each meal of each meal so you can better absorb nutrients, allowing deficiencies to be corrected.
Fermented foods can help control cravings from carbohydrates, sugar & alcohol.
Fermented foods can help restore acid/alkaline balance, improves colonic absorption of minerals such as calcium & magnesium and vitamins such as B group.
These are just a few reasons to ferment and why I think they are an important, wonderful way to incorporate into your diet.
Why ferment? think colour, crunch, flavour, gut health and extra goodness and nourishment for your body. Ferments are a great example of using food as medicine.