The Real Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

The art of fermentation produces food filled with active, live cultures. Learning how to ferment food can provide a more nutritious and digestible diet, but be wary of health claims that seem too good to be true.

By Sandor Ellix Katz
Sauerkraut Could Be The Secret To Curing Social Anxiety
It might sound outlandish, but the idea that your diet can have a huge effect on your emotions has become the focus of an exciting new area of psychological research. The latest addition to this growing body of research comes from psychologists at the College of William & Mary, and finds a link between a diet high in fermented foods and reductions in neuroticism and social anxiety.

Choose Fermented Foods for Health and Flavor

Humans have used fermentation for centuries to preserve food. Today, we know that fermentation also makes some foods more nutritious.

By Sandor Katz

Photo by beta artworks


I processed the hot sauce that I’ve had fermenting since February. It’s got a PH of 3.17, which is well below the recommended level of 4.6. It shelf stable, I’m gonna season it and let it set another month or two.

If anybody wants a little bottle of my next batch let me know. I’m gonna make two or three different types next week since this was a success.

Nourish in 2012 with fermented foods like sauerkrauts and kimchi. It will add needed enzymes to your stomach to promote healthy digestion which in turn supports overall wellness. #HappyNewYear #BeWell #2012

Shown:Latin America Sauerkraut, or Cordito. Cordito is a whey-fermented blend of Cabbage, Carrot, Onion, Garlic, Chili & Oregano. Stoked to have learned this recipe from a canning pal. 

9 Articles to Heal and Restore Your Gut

Gut health is the foundation for so many other bodily functions. An unhealthy gut interferes with weight loss, athletic performance, and the immune system.  Here are 9 articles to help you restore your gut flora and prevent digestive disturbances that interfere with training and life.

How to Tell If Your Gut Bugs Are Out Of Whack (Peter Curcio)

Last week I talked about gut bacteria and obesity. Today we’re looking at some methods used to assess the balance of bacteria in the gut.

 5 Quick Tips for Healthy Guts and a Healthier Immune System (Lindsey Mathews)

Did you know the biggest part of your immune system is your gastrointestinal tract? Your guts are the first line of defense against intruders. Here are 5 tips to bolster your immune system.

 Dissecting Anti-Nutrients: A Closer Look at Saponins (Peter Curcio)

Saponins are in quinoa, legumes, soybeans, and potatoes. You may have heard how bad they are for you, but what are they? And are they really that big of a deal?

 Gluten Gone Wild: What Is It & What Is It Doing To Our Guts? (Peter Curcio)

You’ve heard gluten is bad, but do you know what it is exactly and why it’s bad? Do you know why you shouldn’t eat it, even if it doesn’t feel different when you don’t eat it? Read on for the answers.

 Everybody Poops, Part 1: When the Going Gets Tough (Traver H. Boehm)

Everybody poops. It’s true. I poop. Hopefully, you poop. But sometimes the act goes smoother than others. Here are some tips on how to get things moving again.

 The Real Reasons Your Guts Need Fermented Foods (Heidi L. George)

Kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi - what do these have in common? They are fermented foods and provide health benefits for your body. Read on to find out why fermented foods are good for you.

 Everybody Poops, Part 2: Every Which Way But Loose (Traver H. Boehm)

Our bathroom talk continues this week with a look at loose stools, what causes them and how to make them more of a solid part of your life.

Gut Bacteria and Obesity: A Hidden Connection? (Peter Curcio)

Do you or your clients seem to gain weight no matter how little you eat? It could be your guts. The bacteria in our bodies are affected by the foods we eat, sometimes with disastrous results.

 The Four Rs: How to Restore Optimal Gut Health (Brad Sly)

Alright, so you know why you need good bacteria in your guts, and maybe you’ve determines your guts need some help - now what? Here are the Four Rs of getting your guts back in working order.


Feeling great with fermented foods

Fermenting foods is a process which is as old as humanity. Originally it was mostly used to preserve foods but we now know that fermentation makes food more digestible and more nutritious. Unfortunately fermented foods have largely disappeared from the Western diet, much to the detriment of our health. Many people have never tried real fermented foods - the only thing most people have tried is yoghurt but in most cases it is loaded with sugar and hasn’t been fermented long enough to provide us with substantial health benefits. The taste for fermented foods is usually an acquired taste and it takes a while to get used to the unusual flavours but once you start enjoying them, it’s hard to live without it. 

I recently found this great website which contains all 773 recipes from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions Cookbook and decided to make Beet Kvass, a very nutritious fermented beverage. I will let you know how it went. I am making fermented foods regularly (Kombucha, sauerkraut, sourdough bread etc.) and am feeling so much better for it. Especially if you have recurrent yeast problems (sinusitis, skin rashes, candida overgrowth-thrush) I can highly recommend experiencing the benefits of fermented foods. 

Hey Sydney/Central Coast/Newcastle folks - I’ve been meaning to say, in case it isn’t self-evident, that if anyone wants to get into making kombucha or sourdough, you are totally welcome to come visit the Central Coast and pick up a scoby or some sourdough starter. I see people selling scobys and starter and it’s like, I get it, but I also think it’s weird when people monetise that stuff. I think it’s worth appreciating different types of labour and time, but something in me rankles when I see people charging $30 for a scoby that they would otherwise just throw away.  People have made this stuff for literally centuries, and skill sharing/knowledge sharing feels important. Anyway, this is an open-ended invitation for free fermented stuff + how to’s if you want.

Classic Recipe for Sauerkraut

Try this classic recipe for sauerkraut with step-by-step instructions for preparing and preserving.

By Paul Virant with Kate Leahy

Photo by Jiri Hera

Pretty mixed vegetables, all in a row. They’ll ferment for a couple of weeks, then these tasty pickles will fill my fridge… and my tummy :)

 It’s a gray and rainy day today, and I’m welcoming the break from the business of sun-drenched activities. They say the sun will return tomorrow, but today I’m gonna make some hot cocoa and chill out a bit.

How to Make Natural Ginger Ale - Easy Recipe
This homemade natural ginger ale recipe uses a culture to create a traditional fermented drink that contains probiotics and enzymes.

Before starting I studied many websites and recipes including this site as well, http://www.permies.com/t/2145/cooking/Lacto-Fermented-Soda-Ginger-Ale

I used all organic ingredients and these bottles…