I know, it is a long word. Pronounced lack toe fer men tashun. So what does it mean?
People years ago had to preserve their food without refridgeration, or modern food preservation techniques. They had to be able to preserve the food in other ways. How? The process we call lactofermentation.
So what is it?The term is used to describe a microbial process using beneficial bacteria including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium spp. and other lactic acid bacteria (LAB) (commonly known as probiotics), which thrive in an anaerobic fermenting environment.
Now, to make it simpler to understand, lactofermentation is when you ferment vegetables and fruits in a salt brine, allowing good bacteria to form which you ingest when you eat the food. Seriously. I know, some folks, like me, take daily probiotics in capsule form to help repair the gut to a more natural state. Balanced. However, to truly get the best benefits of probiotics, it is best to eat them in food. Remember, food is medicine.
An important ingredient that is formed is LACTIC BACTERIA. … Lactic acid is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. Beyond preservation advantages, lacto–fermentation also increases or preserves the vitamin and enzyme levels, as well as digestibility, of the fermented food. In other words, it keeps the high levels of nutrients and adds good bacteria into the mix.
Most people are familiar with one food that is lactofermented. What food? Sauerkraut! Yes, sauerkraut is cabbage that has been fermented to form one of the best superfoods you can eat. So when you eat sauerkraut, you are doing good work for your gut.
You can ferment most any vegetable or fruit. There are recipes all over the internet. The easiest one is actually sauerkraut. I am planning on trying to make it this next week. It is simple. I will not bore you with the recipe but I recommend watching videos on you tube to get recipes.
What are the advantages of fermented foods?
- Makes food more digestible.
- Fermented foods have more nutrients.
- Chock full of good bacteria (probiotics).
- Helps keep your immune system healthy.
- Helps curb sugar cravings.
- Lactic acid promotes growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.
- Increases flavor of foods.
For those of us with autoimmune diseases, our gut health is extremely important. We cannot cure lupus, however we can make it easier to live with it. By using various foods that are fermented, and eating at least a serving a day, we are giving our body the chance to heal some of the things that can cause us to flare up and have pain.
I have used probiotics for years now, because of my gastrointestinal issues. My doctor put me on them because of issues with colitis and diverticulitis. The truth is that it has helped me with my issues, but I had not heard of fermentation until recently. Now I can try this method and see if it helps me more.
The problem with taking probiotic capsules is that they are not regulated and can make claims that may or may not be true. Plus, they can be expensive as well. Now, think of how much a head of cabbage costs, and the salt to make the brine. The hardest thing about making it is the time factor, typically several days to weeks, and the relative cost is actually very minimal.
So, cheaper cost, and you control the ingredients, and you get the maximum health benefits too! I really am excited to start making my own things for my nutritional probiotics, and I hope to reap the benefits too. I will update on this part of my wellness journey as it is occurring. You will be in on the results.
I hope you are all well.