In recent years, we have learned a lot about microbes.
We are now starting to understand how important they are—both inside (and on) our body—as part of our micro biome.
When they work in harmony, microbes build peaceful kingdoms.
In return for their lodging, they happily entice nutrients out of dietary fiber, make vitamins, produce hormones, fend off disease-causing pathogens, regulate metabolism and fine-tune our immune system.
It appears they can even influence our moods and affect our behavior.
The clinical world of mental health involves one where consumption of convenient, high-fat, or high-sugar foods is the norm; these foods, at odds with our evolutionary past, are not only undermining optimal nutritional status, they have untold effects on the micro biome and ultimately the brain.
Hopefully, recent and further research will continue to illuminate the ways the clay fermentation pots of our ancestors might be connected to the emerging discipline of nutritional psychiatry.
All disease begins in the gut – so stated Hippocrates.
Fermented foods restore the proper balance of bacteria in the gut.
Happy Gut = Happy Mind.
Fermenting our foods before we eat them is like partially digesting before we consume.
The good bacteria in the fermented foods work like an outside gut.
Microbes: are microscopic life forms, such as germs and fungi.
Microscopic bacteria live on our tongue, teeth, skin and in the intestine. Most of the time, we share our bodies harmoniously with the 90 trillion or so microbes.
Micro biome: The collective genome — the DNA — of all the microbes, living inside and on the human body.
Gut micro biota (gut flora): The collection of micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses) living in the digestive tract, mostly in the large intestine.
Prebiotics: Essentially, these are types of food for microbes. They can be made of different sugars or plant fibers that we don’t digest but microbes can.
The inulin and oligosaccharides contained in human milk, chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, burdock root, asparagus, garlic, onion, leek, tiger nuts, green banana flour. Wheat (kamut, spelt), barley and rye (gluten containing grains) are excellent sources of fuel for good bacteria in the gut (a.k.a. prebiotics).
Probiotics: These are live micro-organisms that we consume. Probiotics are often called “good”, “friendly” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.
We can show our micro biome some love by feeding it with probiotic foods, like good, old-fashioned, made with love fermented foods (preferably organic).
Our bodies rely on bacteria to help digest and absorb our food. After all it is not only what we eat – but what we absorb, that counts.
A healthy human contains many more bacterial cells than human cells.
When bacterial colonies become depleted because of illness or antibiotic use, for instance, we need to rebuild these colonies.
From the earliest times, lactic acid fermentation has played an important role in the history of mankind with health promoting, preserving, and restorative qualities.
Humans have a particularly intimate relationship with, Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB).
It is generally regarded as the first bacteria human beings are exposed to during child birth.
A baby is inoculated with the bacterial colonies of the mother when exiting the vagina.
People who have had their stomach biological flora wiped out by antibiotics are prey to all sorts of illnesses.
As disgusting as it sounds the excrement of a healthy individual inserted into the sick person as an enema saves lives.
So we would imagine the benefits would be what probiotic producers have been touting for decades.
Lactic Acid can also replace the hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
This becomes crucial as we age. By the time we are in our 50’s we can have as little as 50% and it continues to decrease.
People over the age of 60 have 1000 times fewer microbes in their gut so consumption of fermented foods becomes essential.
Good health originates in the gut!
Fermentation is practiced around the world in such variety that there is no absolute one right way.
It is not a one-step one and done dish.
This is why Kraut Grandmaster Matilda Augusta Stein, would liken it to a dance!
So get your dancing shoes on!