I vividly remember those days back in Kerala where Bombay met with summer vacations and we spent our bright scorching holidays in the mud, grime and happiness of village life.
All rules were broken, discipline was mere theory and all that my brother and I did was to eat clean nature’s food and burn all of it right after, in extensive play.
My granny used to store large jars of spicy, teary, desirable pickles well apart from our reach served to us with love at every meal. The tongues went slurp and the tummies went burp into satisfied volleys of laughter as we went steal from even our cousin’s plates. We weren’t allowed too much, it was a treasure that I know was a treasure only today!
The art of fermentation is forgotten. The skill requires time, patience, technique, hygiene and some creation. But what do you get at the end of this long labor?
Delicious bites of vegetable or/and fruit forcing you to crinkle your nose and your eyebrows and leaving you wanting for more. And of course a gut full of beneficial bacteria that keep your digestive tract at a desirable ph not allowing unwanted pathogens to grow.
Our body has about 10 trillion bacteria! Just like that! God’s gift that we don’t really unpack to assimilate the value of because it doesn’t come wrapped in gay colored packages like processed foods do. So we take several essential periodic steps to ensure we kill a lot of these bacteria over a period of time.
Sugar/Fructose: Too much sugar, especially white sugar may increase the permeability of our intestinal lining making room for infections and lowered immunity, thanks to the invasion of the not so friendly bacteria.
Refined Flours: are stripped of the outer cover that provides fiber and the culture (probiotic) for the prebiotic/good bacteria to grow better. White flour only looks good and must stay at that, to be only looked at, not consumed!
Processed foods coming out of gay coloured tempting packages: Often wondered why processed food is made to look so good, probably because what it carries needs marketing to sell, boasting of no essential qualities of it’s own except excess sugar, salt and unhealthy fats. Fruits, vegetables and everything that can be identified by it’s goodness, come to think of it is dressed naked!
Antibiotics: kill the infection you are suffering from but also kills essential gut bacteria. So use with caution and only when necessary.
Antibacterial soap: Believe it or not antibacterial soaps and sanitisers kill the bacteria in your gut while they clean your hands! Remember, there was a world that lived without these specific cleaning products and yet lived healthier than us! Cut the frills and go back to clean water and soap!
Agricultural chemicals and pesticides: Go organic! Reach out to trusted organic sources and give not a thought to the extra 30% increase in your grocery expenses. It will be well worth your effort and investment!
And you would be shocked to know what all gut bacteria can do! The following are a few examples!
- Contribute to optimal digestion of food and absorption of nutrients
- Ensure good bowel Movement
- Contribute to great Immunity
- Reverse fat accumulation, insulin resistance and inflammation.
- Boost energy levels
- Keep cholesterol levels within range
- Regulate hormones
- Support healthy weight and desirable fat %
- Improve mental function
And how can we enable it all?
By trying out simple recipes to ferment from the comfort of your home! Especially using veggies and fruits!
- Yoghurt made at home is a great daily source of fermented food.
- Bites of seasonal vegetables like beet, carrots, raw mango, amla, cauliflower, etc can be seasoned with rock salt and filtered water and stored in mason jars for fermentation.
- Beet Kvass (fermented beet water) is a simple and wonderful way to get in your daily dose of bacteria!
- Lacto fermented salsa, Kombucha tea, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, tempeh are worth researching through.
Let your kitchen be ruled by the bacteria for the bacteria! Let not a day go by without digging into your bowl of ferment and don’t be surprised by how health knocks at your door every single day.