Fermented Foods: Feeding Your Second Brain
There are 10 times more bacteria in your gut than total cells in your body. All those microscopic critters can either help or hurt.
For thousands of years humans have used this ancient method to extend the usefulness of food. The Greeks called it ’alchemy.’ Not the kind where you’d attempt to change base metals into gold. No. They discovered that the chemical change that took place in fermentation was very beneficial in preserving food. This was before we even knew bacteria existed.
Down and Dirty Sauerkraut in the making
Now we know there’s more to this fermentation stuff than just making food last longer. The fermentation process boosts nutritional value, vitamin level, and the seer number of beneficial bacteria as it transforms cabbage into Down and Dirty Sauerkraut, raw dairy into yogurt, and cacao into dark chocolate. Even for us non-grain eating Primal/Paleo types, an occasional slice or two of sourdough bread made from fermented wheat is a better choice if you just gotta have a slice of bread sometime.
Fermentation takes food that is indigestible and turns it into a vitamin rich, microscopic, gut flora building power house.
Listen to Your Second Brain
I often advise people to ‘follow your gut‘ when struggling over a big decision. It seems there’s more to this gut-brain axis than we think.
According to Dr. Mercola, Your gut literally serves as your second brain, and even produces more of the neurotransmitter serotonin—known to have a beneficial influence on your mood—than your brain does.
Your gut is also home to countless bacteria, both good and bad. These bacteria outnumber the cells in your body by at least 10 to one, and maintaining the ideal balance of good and bad bacteria forms the foundation for good health—physical, mental and emotional. [Emphasis mine] More importantly, the good bacteria in fermented foods promote self-healing. Science has proven what people have been practicing for thousands of years: Delicious, bacteria laden foods promote optimal health.
You may be eating fermented food without realizing it!
Here’s a few ‘rotten’ items that you probably enjoy:
Beer and wine
Seal flippers – One of your favorites, right? Add this one if you’re bugging out to the Arctic.
And one of my favorites – sauerkraut