Ancient Fermentation + Healing the Digestive System
It’s not uncommon to experience uncomfortable symptoms of digestive distress in this day and age. After all, years of gorging on convenience and processed food rather than indulging in fresh, whole foods will wreak havoc on the gut after many years, if not immediately upon consumption. So many of us have lost touch over time with our bodies and within that, we have lost touch with knowing what foods heal us. The good news is that this is changing rapidly as more and more people are bringing awareness to their plates and opting for a diet loaded with whole foods.
We have the power within us to heal ourselves and it’s actually a very simple solution. It all starts with what you choose to put into your body, not just to fuel it, but to nourish it as well.
It’s not likely that anyone truly wants to put high fructose corn syrup or harsh chemicals and preservatives into their bodies, but the lack of awareness around food as medicine is where the problem lies. To correct this lack of knowing, we first need to understand where it all starts– within the digestive system.
Our digestive system, or our gut, is overflowing with beneficial bacteria that help us assimilate and distribute nutrients, break down and eliminate waste, and many other valuable functions within the body. If we are eating a diet high in processed foods, gmo’s, or common allergens (dairy, gluten, sugar, and soy to name a few), that good gut flora will be destroyed and our bodies will not be able to operate properly. This can lead to even worse problems than just digestive distress in the form of autoimmune disorders or leaky gut syndrome. With the right foods, we can keep this beneficial gut flora in order and reap the amazing benefits that it provides, such as clear glowing skin, finding or maintaining ideal weight, improved energy and immune function, and of course, proper digestion.
We can achieve this by getting back in touch with ourselves and practicing ancient food preparation techniques, specifically fermenting our foods. Fermented foods are loaded with probiotics that flood our digestive system with the good bacteria and help restore the natural balance within. You can purchase fermented foods from your local health food store, but an even better way to enjoy them is to make them yourself. For many years humans have been practicing the ancient and even sacred act of fermentation. This allows the food to break down and develop good bacteria over time. See the list below to get familiar with some of the typical fermented foods and try your hand at preparing them yourself:
- Yogurt (grass-fed dairy or dairy-free made from coconuts are good choices) Kimchi
- Cultured vegetables
- Lacto-fermented fruits
If you do choose to purchase fermented products, please keep in mind that you will want to read labels and make sure that it does not contain vinegar, which preserves rather than ferments.
Fermented foods are typically chopped or mixed accordingly and left out on the counter to culture for a few days up to a few weeks. Sauerkraut can be as simple as shredded cabbage mixed with a little sea salt to draw out the water, but you can also add a probiotic capsule or two if the recipe calls for it. If you are not used to consuming probiotic-rich foods, try adding a small amount once or twice a day and increase it as your body needs. Fermenting food is simply about getting back in touch with an ancient, but not forgotten way of preparing food to optimize healing within the body.
Amber Leitz, a free-spirited mind-body-soul health coach focused on helping women heal on all levels, while infusing their lives with more passion, play, and love. I am a lover of yoga, meditation, herbalism, and hoopdancing. It is my sacred mission in life to inspire others to nourish their bodies, connect to their inner free-spirit, and glow from the inside out! You can find me at http://www.sacredglow.com/ to learn more about what I do.