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Fermenting 101

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Fermentation simply refers to an ancient technique and preservation method that naturally alters the chemistry of foods thereby producing beneficial probiotics as well as abundant enzymes that are linked to improvements in immune, cognitive, digestive and endocrine function.  When foods are fermented the bacteria predigests the food by slowly breaking down the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to create micro flora. The metabolic activities performed by the micro flora are so varied and vital that they resemble those of an organ.  Many refer to the gut as the forgotten organ.

We carry approximately 100 trillion bacteria — more than 10 TIMES the number of cells in our entire body, about three pounds of them. As we go through our life cycle, so do these bacteria making it essential that they be replenished. Ideally, the ratio between the bacteria in your gut is 85% “good” and 15% “bad.  If you have an excess of unhealthy bacteria in your gut, it can manifest as gas and bloating, fatigue, sugar cravings, nausea, headaches, constipation or diarrhea. You may also find that, despite a healthy diet and exercise, you have difficulty shedding weight.

Your gut bacteria are vulnerable to your lifestyle. If you eat a lot of sugar, refined grains and processed foods your gut bacteria are going to be compromised. ALL processed foods in general will destroy healthy micro-flora and feed bad bacteria and yeast.

Your gut bacteria are also very sensitive to:

  • Antibiotics
  • Chlorinated water
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Agricultural chemicals
  • Pollution

It is important to note that ALL BENEFITS listed here are ONLY realized when eating RAW ORGANIC fermented cabbage.  If you cook it or make it with non-organic ingredients, the nutrient profile changes drastically.  The biggest change is the complete loss of enzymes and probiotics when the cabbage is COOKED.  Enzymes do not survive above 118 F.

There are primarily two types of enzymes used in the human body – digestive enzymes, which help the body break down food and absorb vital nutrients, and metabolic enzymes, which operate inside cells and are critically important in helping those cells produce the biochemical energy they need to function and survive.

Enzymes are produced naturally in the body to some extent, but not in large enough quantities to meet all of our biological needs. This is because the diets that humans consume in the natural world should contain abundant amounts of food-based enzymes, allowing the body to save energy in producing them by relying on outside sources to constantly replenish supplies.  However, in our modern diet, we rarely eat raw foods and therefore are woefully inadequate at replenishing or contributing to enzyme needs. 

When food sources of enzymes are not sufficient to meet the needs of the digestive system, the body will divert naturally produced enzymes away from metabolic activities to compensate, thereby causing premature cellular damage and deterioration of function. Many medical experts who have studied enzyme activity have come to the conclusion that chronic enzyme deficits are responsible for the development of many of the diseases normally associated with aging that are known to shorten life span, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, arthritis, and so on.

What do you eat on a daily basis that provides this much digestive aid and nourishment to your body?

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This is my single most important habit I do to promote and sustain health.   It is rare that my refrigerator does not contain at least one jar of fermented cabbage.  It is almost as rare that I go a day without eating at least 1/4 cup of fermented cabbage.  If I do not put it in a salad then I eat a small bowl before bed, especially after eating out.  Eating this before bed can prevent or mitigate bloating, reflux, night sweats and restless sleep.

Benefits from cultured foods include:

  • Reduced overall inflammation (both in and out of the GI tract)
  • Improvement of digestive disorders like leaky gut syndrome, ulcerative colitis, IBS and celiac and Crohn’s disease.
  • Improved immunity
  • Better nutrient absorption
  • Prevention and treatment of diarrhea and constipation
  • Prevention and symptom reduction of food allergies, including lactose intolerance, milk protein allergy and others
  • Improvement of high blood pressure
  • Reduced risk of cancer
  • Alleviation of arthritis inflammation (rheumatoid arthritis and chronic juvenile arthritis)
  • Reduction of eczema symptoms
  • Lowered cholesterol
  • Protection against H. pylori infection
  • Better immune response in HIV/AIDS patients
  • Improved vaginal health and prevention of bacterial infections like UTIs and bacterial vaginosis
  • Natural remedy for the liver/brain disease hepatic encephalopathy

This FERMENTED CABBAGE recipe has these added benefits:

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Cabbage: There are two main types of detoxifying enzymes in the liver, and this potent veggie helps activate both of them. Cabbage delivers colon-cancer fighting isothicyanates and vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and, harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals. Cabbage is also a good source of vitamin K. Vitamin K in the diet is known to enhance bone health by directing calcium into bones and teeth and out of joints and muscles (like the heart). Cabbage is good source of riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and thiamin. In addition, it is very natural source of calcium, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, iron and magnesium.

Red Cabbage: Glutamine is a critical part of our digestive system and helps prevent and rebuild a leaky gut. Glutamine has been shown to be effective in people with ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Red cabbage is considered the densest vegetable form of L-glutamine. A great way to assimilate it is through juicing or fermenting. Fermenting it and adding apple cider vinegar to it to creates an abundance of enzymes and beneficial bacteria that allow amino acids and other nutrients to be more easily absorbed and used by the body.

Fennel: Fennel root, also known as fennel bulb, is rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium and manganese. This vegetable has been valued since ancient times as a breath freshener, digestive aid, and for helping expel phlegm from the lungs. A review of 10 studies noted that fennel may relieve menopausal symptoms; improve sexual function and satisfaction in menopausal women, as well as relieve hot flashes, vaginal itching, dryness, pain during sex, and sleep disturbances.

Carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, compounds that are converted to vitamin A in the body. One of the most common antioxidants in carrots, lutein is predominantly found in yellow and orange carrots and is important for eye health.  Red and purple carrots are high in lycopene which is known to decrease your risk of cancer and heart disease as well as enhance vision. Carrots contain phytochemicals that have antioxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. Carrots are high in the soluble, pectin and vitamins K, C, and the mineral potassium.

Ginger is used in many herbal remedies for cleansing the colon, stomach cramps, circulation, bowel disorders, muscular aches, indigestion, nausea and vomiting.  It is known to be effective in treating E.coli induced diarrhea, primarily in children. It is known to help reduce allergies and speed wound healing. In the Western Indies, ginger is often used to treat urinary tract infections.  In Nigeria, it is used to treat malaria and yellow fever.

It has cholesterol lowering and blood thinning properties and is known to help alleviate arthritic pain. Ginger has proved to be effective in treating nausea caused by morning sickness, chemotherapy, and seasickness.  It is entirely safe to be taken throughout pregnancy.  Most importantly, ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body.

Himalayan Crystal Salt contains all of the 84 minerals found in your body and in the exact proportion is which the body needs. Today’s common table salt is actually 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% chemicals which include fluoride and aluminum.

It is the minerals in pure Himalayan salt that regulate the water content throughout your body and assists in the generation of hydroelectric energy in your cells. They promote a healthy pH balance in your cells, particularly your brain cells.  Himalayan salt minerals promote balanced blood sugar, help reduce the signs of aging and support respiratory and sinus health.  They help regulate sleep, support your libido and promote vascular health. These minerals prevent muscle cramps and promote muscle and bone strength.  Most importantly, Himalayan salt minerals assist in the absorption of food particles through your intestinal tract.

Apple Cider Vinegar (unfiltered) retains all the nutritional goodness of the apples from which it was made (rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9,C, potassium and fiber) plus it is fortified with the extra acids, enzymes and good bacteria produced during the two fermentation steps.

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This entry was posted on February 29, 2020 by in In the Loop, Thrive vs Survive Articles, Uncategorized.

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This information is for educational purposes only and is not meant in any way to diagnose, treat or interfere with prescribed medical care.
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