Should you Eat Fermented Foods Everyday?

In the past few years fermented foods have become quite popular, but the truth is, they’ve been around for hundreds of years.  It was a great way to preserve food and back in the day preservation was super important since people didn’t have things like, you know…fridges and freezers.

Should I eat fermented foods every day

Ah, modern technology.  I’m not going to lie, I’ve been known to grumble about the downsides of modern technology, but let’s be honest…there’s some good stuff too.  Like fridges. And washing machines.  God bless the person who invented the washing machine.  This mama thanks you.

Anyways, I digress….

back to fermentation.  Fermented foods are super healthy for you.  Your body will benefit by eating them.  I’m not going to get all “science-y” on you over here because there are plenty of other sites that can do that way better than me, but I’ll put it in simple terms (because, you know, this IS SIMPLE life of a Country Wife).  Our gut has a “microbiome.”  A microbiome has a bunch of bacteria, and microorganisms and all that good stuff. Or bad stuff when it’s not functioning right.  If our microbiome is unhealthy it makes us sick.

Ask me how I know (says the girl who runs this blog and has a mild form of colitis.  Good times.)

Fermented foods have probiotics.  Probiotics help our microbiome.  So, in conclusion, my non-scientific opinion is that fermented foods can assist in a healthy microbiome. 

But hey, if you want a more, science-y explanation you can read this article by Harvard University.  I mean, they’ve gotta be really smart over there, right?

Now that we’ve gone over why you should eat fermented foods, let’s answer some questions about it, and end this post with some links to instructions and recipes so you can get started fermenting ALL THE THINGS.  Also, spoiler alert- it’s pretty easy to do once you get into it, so don’t let fear of the unknown stop you.

SHOULD YOU EAT FERMENTED FOOD EVERY DAY?

People who eat fermented foods every day often experience improved digestion. So, yes, eating fermented foods daily is beneficial.  

 

HOW MUCH FERMENTED FOOD SHOULD I EAT DAILY?

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It is recommended to eat 2-3 servings of fermented foods a day.  This could be some sauerkraut at meal time, some water kefir as an afternoon beverage, or some fermented carrots at snack time ( a favorite over here!)  

Speaking of water kefir and milk kefir, you do need kefir grains (which actually aren’t grains at all).  You can get the milk kefir grains HERE and the water kefir grains HERE (which also includes a starter kit).  You can NOT interchange them.  You can only use milk kefir grains for milk kefir, and water kefir grains for water kefir.

 

 

HOW LONG CAN FERMENTED FOOD LAST?

This is really going to depend on how you keep it, and what it is.  Fermented foods should last for months, but they need to be stored in a dark, cool place.  Once one of my foods are finished fermenting, I like to put them in the fridge.  This slows down the fermentation process (if you ferment too long you may find the taste too strong) and it avoids mold and spoilage.  

If the color looks off, if there’s mold, or it smells really funky, toss it out.

 

HOW MUCH SALT FOR FERMENTATION?

Again, this is going to vary depending on what you are making, but most vegetables require a ratio of 2% salt to their weight.  When starting out and wondering how much salt for lacto fermentation I recommend always looking up recipes for what you want to ferment to avoid any mishaps with the salt ratio.

 

WHAT ARE LACTO FERMENTED FOODS?

Lacto-fermented foods are foods where the sugars and carbs have been broken down by bacteria(the good kind) and yeast.  Examples of lacto-fermented foods are sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, water kefir, sourdough, and milk kefir.

 

HOW DOES LACTO FERMENTATION WORK?

When fermenting things like vegetables you submerge them in a salty brine.  The salty brine converts the sugars in vegetables into lactic acid. Lactic acids help prevent us from getting sick.

 

HOW TO EAT FERMENTED CARROTS OR ANY OTHER FERMENTED VEGETABLE?

I like to eat my fermented carrots on the side of any meal, but you can also add your fermented vegetables to a salad.  I’ll eat sauerkraut as a side or as a topping for salad as well.  Fermented carrots are a great snack for kids too!

 

FERMENTATION RECIPES

So, as you can see, there are a lot of benefits to eating fermented foods.  However, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start.  Check out some of these recipes to help you!

Once you start fermenting it will get easier and you may find you incorporate it into your weekly routine.  We like to shake it up a bit, so if we’ve had too much sauerkraut we may focus on water kefir for awhile.  Either way, there are lots of ways you can get fermented food into your diet, and you may feel better after you do it for awhile.

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