What is fermentation? It is a biochemical process through which microrganisms present in food turn what they eat to live into products rich of energy. All of this occurs in total absence of oxygen. So talking about fermentation we mean a simple mechanism that enable to obtain energy from food.

Fermented food has high nutritional values and is essential for the wellness and proper functioning of our intestine. As we all know, various disorders and diseases come from a situation of intestinal dysbiosis that could be caused by different factors: drug use, sedentary lifestyle, psychophysical stress, too quickly meals and a diet rich of refined foods and chemical preservatives. All this contributes to alter the intestinal bacterial flora and when the number of positive bacterias decreases and breaks the balance between them and the potential harmful bacterias that normally live in the intestine, a disbiosis generates. It creates inflammations that may cause abdominal swellings, but also, time after time, more serious problems.

Here’s why it’s so important to put fermented food in our diet, that besides being more nutritious and digestibles than the raw or cooked ones, contain probiotic microrganisms (bacterias, good yeasts, enzymes).

Probiotics, available in high quantity on fermented food, are vital microrganisms able to mantain or improve the intestinal bacterial flora. The term probiotic comes from the Greek pro and bios and means “in favour of life”, indicating the positive effect that those bacterias apply to human health.

Fermantation is an ancient discovery, the beer existed since the era of the Sumerians, the Egyptians made use of this process to make wine and bread and the ancient eastern civilisations used fermented sauces and beverages based on rice, honey and soy. This technique has been passed down through ancient civilizations until the modern ones. Because of the birth of industrial food that brought new methods of preservation by deep-freezing or by adding chemical components, food has lost its vital energy and nutritional substances that are crucial for the human being.

Fermented food that we find at the supermarket are beer, wine, yogurt, sauerkraut and little else. Considering that we surely can’t increase our alcol consumption and that is better to limit milk and dairy products intake, it’s useful to know other healthier ways to include fermented food in our diet:

– sourdough, that thank’s to fermentation results being much more digestible than brewer’s yeast. Here’s a recipe: Create Natural Mother Yeast or Mother Pasta from scratch.

– kefir, a drink obtained by milk fermentation, that could be of animal or vegetable origin and from which it is possible to make the same drink based on water: How to prepare milk kefir

– another interesting solution to get probiotics, is to ferment vegetables in glass jars. It’s very simple and allow to preserve it for a long time: How to ferment vegetables

– finally, if we have desire and time, we could engage in making Thailand fermented foods. They consist of vegetables, fruits and herbs, that are fermented for a long time. The more we let the process going on, even years, the more positive will be the effect on our intestinal floral. Here’s how to prepare them: Fermented for life: how to make it at home