Most people recognize the many health benefits of eating vegetables. From clearing your plate of green beans at the dinner table as a child to loading up on raw veggies at a salad bar, the benefits are well-known and widely accepted. But fewer people know how fermented vegetables can improve their health – and improve your health they can!
Commonly known fermented veggies include sauerkraut and miso. But you can ferment a wide variety of vegetables for health.
As Organic Consumers reports, fermentation happens when natural bacteria break down the compounds in a vegetable to make them more digestible. These beneficial bacteria also eliminate any harmful pathogens present on the plant matter, making them completely safe for consumption.
The USDA even admits, there has never been a reported case of food poisoning from fermented vegetables.
The beneficial bacteria within the fermented foods is where all the ‘goodness’ is found. It’s these bacteria that can help regulate your digestive system, improve immunity, and even fight radiation.
Your gut is a virtual ecosystem of bacteria, one that needs to be kept in balance. Using antibiotics, for instance, can annihilate even the good bacteria found in your body. Fermented foods can help restore those bacteria.
As our own Anthony Gucciardi wrote last year, these beneficial bacteria can even help make you more attractive. It’s true—scientists found feeding mice a diet rich in probiotic-containing yogurt made their coats shinier and silkier, but also made them “more attractive and proficient mates.”
Further, those mice fed probiotics gave birth to larger litters and were more likely to raise their offspring more successfully. As Anthony wrote:
“This could be due to the fact that probiotics have also been linked to extreme mental clarity and function, or perhaps the fact that beneficial bacteria can help to regulate overall immunity by acting as a major line of defense. The role of bacteria in your gut goes way beyond the stomach and intestines, majorly affecting the state of your brain and much more. A disruption in natural gut bacteria can easily result in symptoms of mental illness, as breaking new research has demonstrated with laboratory mice.”
Fermenting foods are great for providing your body with natural probiotics. The simple tutorial from Organic Consumers (linked above) says all you need is some vegetables, salt, a few jars, and water. Just remember, the highest quality fermented vegetables start with organic in-season produce, so choose your ingredients wisely.