Why Fermentation?

by Kim

Sorry to get all serious with you, but we need to make a serious point.

Modern food processing methods have shortchanged people of essential enzymes and probiotics. As food production has gotten faster, we've cut corners. We feed our growing population (somewhat) efficiently, but the food we're eating isn't giving us the best version of ourselves. Our diets leave most of us under-energized, gassy and emotionally turbulent (just a regular Wednesday for some). But even those who eat 'healthy' could use a bit of an edge. And if you're a busy person, you know how valuable that bit of boost can be. You know what's even worse? Approximately 70 million Americans suffer from digestive diseases, each year. Those include ulcers, Crohn's disease, IBS, and forms of cancer. That's just crazy. (Okay, serious part over. Thanks for bearing with us) Enter fermentation, a process that's been around for thousands of years. When the Great Wall was being built, Chinese workers ate acid-fermented vegetables as a means of energy. In Roman times, sauerkraut was used to prevent and treat intestinal infections. Heck, Captain James Cook used sauerkraut and lime juice to prevent scurvy for his sailors. And even now, fermented food and drinks play a prominent role in healthy and healing diets. It's not just in America - fermented food and drinks are a staple in healthy diets all around the world. Here's why:

It Starts and Ends in the Gut

Forget the brain. Seriously, try to ignore it. Everything has to do with your gut. It's essentially ground control for your body's health. And given that 80% of your immune system is in your gut, it's a pretty important place to keep happy. The effects of an unhealthy gut are far-reaching. They can be minor, like constipation, excess gas (look out, spouses!), diarrhea, even bad breath. But did you know it can affect the bladder, your hormones, your memory, respiratory problems and, worst of all, cause breast enlargement in men?!

The Introduction of Probiotics

Fermented food and drinks are known for the abundant presence of probiotics, otherwise known as good bacteria. These fight off pathogens, which are harmful bacteria, the ones that cause disease. More probiotics in your stomach mean smaller possibility of sickness. In your complex, densely populated stomach, probiotics are magicians. They regulate your stomach acid levels, which means they increase acid when needed, and protect your stomach and intestinal lining when acid's low.

In short, probiotics manage your stomach better than most people can manage a budget (did we just say that?).

The work that probiotics do in your stomach looks similar to how modern medicines work. The good part is, as you know that probiotics are natural organisms, not something manufactured in a lab. We think you know which one you'd rather have in your stomach. That said, some people compensate by taking supplements. These work, as some are better than none. However, it was found that fermented foods can contain up to 100x more probiotics than a pill can provide.

The Absorption of Nutrients

When the bad bacteria outnumber the good bacteria, it can cause structural damage to your stomach. When the stomach is damaged, digestion is affected. That's a problem. Poor digestion means you may be eating healthy foods, but not absorbing all the nutrients you could (and need to) be getting. Or, you could be absorbing too much of a nutrient. It throws your whole system out of whack.

You Can Win the War

There are trillions of bacteria in your stomach. One hundred trillion, to be more specific. That's 10x more than a number of cells in your body. And as we said, not all bacteria are good. Actually, with our sugar-rich diets, we unwittingly introduce a lot of the bad bacteria in us. We just let them in, right through the front door. Your health - mental, physical and emotional - depends on where the balance tips in this bacterial battle of good and evil. There's a war waging in your gut, and you can determine the outcome. It's quite simple (and tasty) to introduce fermented food and drinks into your diet, and many of our starter cultures are the perfect first step.