The Healthy Way Diet

Welcome to the Healthy Way Diet Program! Our focus is providing nutritionally sound and medically researched information and advice to help you live healthier, happier lives.

Fermented Foods

Fermented Foods


It sounds so bad; can it be that good?


 

Fermented foods are foods that are made or preserved by bacterial action that helps retain the nutritional value of the food and prevents spoiling. Fermented foods are also revered for a number of health benefits that include aiding our digestive process (and hence, increasing nutrient absorption) and restoring good bacteria to our intestinal tract. Fermented foods have been around since ancient times (think winemaking), and these foods were quite common in our western culture before the era of mass food production required everything to be pasteurized, over-cooked, and pumped full of artificial preservatives in order to feed the greatest number of people and ensure a long shelf life. My grandparents ate a lot of fermented foods including sourdough bread, pickles, sauerkraut, and homemade yogurt.

 

Many international cultures regularly eat fermented foods such as Miso and Tempeh in Japan, German smoked salami and Italian salami in Europe, Leban in Israel, Kimchi in Korea, and lassi in India. The only fermented food most of us get today is the little bit of soy sauce that we sprinkle on our Chinese take-out, and the bowl of Miso soup that we have at our favorite Japanese restaurant, and if the soy sauce is not traditionally brewed, then we’re not even getting the benefit from that. Even regular store-bought yogurt ferments for a shorter period of time. Peter Sahlin of the Lund Institute of Technology in Sweden published his thesis on the benefits of fermented foods;  click this link to read the article.

 

Some of the primary benefits of fermented foods:

  • Aid lactose digestion
  • Regulate bowel movements and help prevent diarrhea
  • Help regulate cholesterol
  • Help babies with digestion, gas, and colic
  • Protect from environmental toxin
  • And much more!

 

If you would like to try your hand at fermenting your own foods, you can find many recipes online. Here is one of our favorites and one of the easiest to make:

 

Fermented Cheese Spread:


  1. Empty one container of Organic Plain low-fat or fat-free yogurt into a medium size bowl.
  2. Mix in spices of your choice: minced garlic, diced chives, variety of herbs, etc.
  3. Put the yogurt mixture into a square piece of cheesecloth and pull-up the corners to form a pouch.
  4. Hang this pouch from your kitchen faucet by tying the ends over the faucet.
  5. Place a bowl directly underneath the hanging pouch to catch the liquid.
  6. Let hang for at least 12 hours.
  7. Put in jar or small container and refrigerate.
  8. Use as a dip or spread. Delicious!

 

Resources:

http://www.cheeseslave.com/2009/07/30/got-bacteria-10-reasons-to-eat-fermented-foods/

http://www.cullyandsully.com/content/fermented-foods

http://www.eden-foundation.org/project/ferment.html

http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/fermentedfoods.htm

http://www.eden-foundation.org/project/articles_fermentation_thesis.pdf

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/6052316/foods_that_contain_prebiotics.html?cat=5

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