My Webster’s Dictionary describes fermentation as, “the breakdown of complex molecules, caused by the influence of a ferment. An enzymatically controlled transformation of an organic product.” (Webster’s New World Dictionary, 4th Edition). Fermentation is much so much more though. Allow me to dive into it!
Diving into the wonderful world of ferments is just as new to me as it is many of you and recently I’ve been obsessed with understanding the microflora in my gut and the bacteria in my colon. Meat and fat is processed early down the digestive line, but plant matter, especially uncooked and raw, tends to have a lot of toxins and it’s up to the bacteria in your colon to complete the cycle of digestion.
Whether your diet is majority plant matter or majority meat, it is crucial to give your body the bacteria it needs to digest all the crazy toxins we put in out bodies! As innocent as plants may seem, they protect their foliage, roots, and seeds with natural insecticides and bitter toxins. Lacto-fermented vegetables provide your body with the bacteria that effectively deactivate these irritants.
Microbial bacteria not only act as a detoxifying agent, but it can use its enzyme power to manufacture all the vitamins, amino acids, and fatty acids, etc., free up minerals and literally fight for our lives!
The most widely known, “good” bacteria are the wonderfully famous, PROBIOTICS. While detoxifying our intestines and aiding digestion, they also look out for the bad bacteria, the pathogens. We all know what E. Coli is and let’s be honest, are a bit fearful of our spinach after we hear a strain of some terrible, deadly bacteria is found on it. Feed your body the good bacteria it needs, and allergic, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases can be prevented.
Thanks to the cavemen and our ancestors who had to actually fight for survival and figure out ways to keep their crops that were harvested once a season, good for the whole year, we can now sprinkle a little salt onto some shredded veggies, leave it to rest and call it a day. How neat is that?! Although we tend to think of bacteria as an enemy, something bad in our food, civilization owes much to these contaminants.