Fermented Foods Are a Healthy Choice
Workers creating the Great Wall of China ate them. Ancient Greeks lauded their health benefits. They prevented scurvy for Captain Cook’s crew during the three years he sailed around the world. Fermented foods have been an important dietary staple for at least 8,000 years, and aptly illustrate Hippocrates’ teaching to, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food.”
By increasing the acidity of gastric juices, fermented foods help keep the stomach and intestinal lining healthy, and able to best absorb essential nutrients. They take the stress off our digestive system because they’re pre-digested, and an efficient energy booster. Fermented foods are packed with B vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates, which are essential for a healthy body. Their lactic acid content also destroys harmful bacteria in the intestines.
Fermented foods can be particularly beneficial for us as we age, and we naturally start producing fewer digestive enzymes. A small portion of sauerkraut, Rejuvelac, seed cheese or other fermented foods with our meals can compensate, and help keep our digestive system on track. They can aid in healthy elimination, and benefit people with diabetes by improving pancreatic function.
Besides keeping our bodies in healthy balance, fermented foods have been credited with being “nature’s antibiotic.” During an epidemic of typhoid fever in Europe in the 1950’s, fresh sauerkraut was credited with killing the bacteria for both typhoid and cholera. German scientists found a strain of lactic acid quickly killed super-bugs resistant to traditional antibiotics.
Despite all the proven health benefits of daily consuming fermented foods, the move in the past century towards preserving foods through freezing and canning caused a decrease in the availability of and interest in these probiotic superstars. The good news is they’re slowly starting to regain popularity, and it’s easy to make your own. Here’s the receipe for quinoa rejuvelac, a fermented drink with a healthy kick:
Ingredients and equipment:
1 cup quinoa
1 gallon purified water
1 gallon glass jar with “breathable” covering
1 large spoon for stirring
1. Rinse grain. To rinse, place grain in a sieve with a fine mesh and rinse through the sieve until the water is clear.
2. Soak and sprout grain – about 4-6 hours. Rinse.
3. Process grain for 5-10 seconds on medium speed in blender.
4. Place blended grain in a gallon container.
5. Fill with purified water.
6. Cover with a dish towel or other “breathable” covering.
7. Stir the grain twice with a large spoon.
8. After 24 hours, pour the liquid, which is now rejuvelac, off the grain and store it in a covered container in your refrigerator.
9. The Rejuvelac will last for about 1 week in the refrigerator. If you are drinking 32 ounces per day, 1 gallon will last 4 days.
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