The process of fermenting or culturing by letting foods sour outside of the fridge can make your food taste diversely better and also improves digestibility.
We can see fermented foods in almost every traditional culture. From Asia to Europe, our ancestors have been eating fermented foods in their regular diet through fermented soybean paste, pickled fruits and vegetables, and cheeses with live cultures intact.
In today’s fast paced environment, we’ve become accustomed to easier techniques of food prep that hold a longer shelf life. But if we go back to a simpler time, we can actually see the many health benefits fermented foods has for us.
Kombucha is a fermented beverage of black tea and sugar (from various sources including cane sugar, fruit or honey) that’s used as a functional food. It contains a colony of bacteria and yeast that are responsible for initiating the fermentation process once combined with sugar.
After being fermented, kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, b-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic and lactic), which are tied with the following effects:
Awesome Health Benefits of Fermented Foods
1. Increases Nutrient Absorption
All of those superfoods you’re eating will never be broken down and absorbed by your body the same way fermented foods will.
This is because fermenting foods actually increases the bioavailability of minerals by breaking down phytate.
Probiotics will also help balance your guy bacteria which improves your ability to increase the amount of nutrients available to you.
2. Improves Brain Function
Fermented foods could be a lasting solution to psycho-emotional conditions – not just another one of those medical band-aids that don’t reach the root cause.
Probiotic activity can lead to positive mood changes by improving brain function. Good bacteria in your gut helps your body produce neurochemicals that relieve anxiety and reduce PMS symptoms.
3. Helps Weight Loss
Healthy gut flora will help regulate weight loss and keep you energized all day long.
Studies have shown that when we have a higher amount of probiotics in our system, we can metabolize calories at an increased rate. Poor digestion due to bad bacteria has been linked to weight gain and lowers our chance of burning calories.
Alright, so now that you’re convinced fermented foods are way better than regular pasteurized foods and juices, let’s begin with some home fermenting!
There are lots of fermented foods you can make on your own, including yogurt and sauerkraut. Kombucha is also a highly regarded health food for its fermented process.
Other health benefits of drinking kombucha tea:
- Improved digestion
- Increased energy
- Cleansing and detoxification
- Immune support
- Reduced joint pain and inflammation
- Cancer prevention
Homemade Kombucha Tea
- Tea bags or black tea leaves
- Coconut sugar for fermenting
- Distilled white vinegar
- Unchlorinated water
- Active Kombucha scoby (or use 1 cup of pre-made kombucha, which you can either buy or use from a previous kombucha batch that you or a friend made as a starter).
- In a glass jar, combine hot water and sugar. Stir until dissolved and steep tea.
Cool to the mixture to 68-85 Fahrenheit. Leave tea bags in to taste – the longer it steeps, the stronger it will be.
- When you’ve reached the desired taste, remove tea bags and add distilled white vinegar. Add active kombucha scoby.
- Cover the mixture with a coffee filter and secure with a rubber band.
- Allow to sit undisturbed for 7-10 days, or to taste. The longer it sits, the more vinegary it will taste. Some people leave it for up to 30 days and reported that it is good! You may taste it every other day after the tenth day to see what works for you.
- Use the top kombucha from the jar for consumption, and save the bottom scoby for starter tea in your next batch! Enjoy!