Dating back to antiquity, cultured foods have been a part of civilization spanning across the globe, until recently in our modern era with the advent of refrigeration, preservatives and other storage methods. But the process of culturing does more than simply preserve our food-culturing food breathes life into ordinary foods and makes them superfoods! To emphasize this point, consider that cultured foods can impart the following benefits to those who consume them:
- Aids digestion-the bacteria in these cultures actually work to break your food down and, in the case of milk kefir, can predigest elements in the food, like lactose, which would otherwise cause digestive distress in some people.
- Raises the nutrition levels of foods-for instance, raw cultured sauerkraut contains considerably more vitamin C, B vitamins and other nutrients than uncultured cabbage.
- Removes toxins from our foods, such as russian food store phytic acid, nitrites, oxalic acid, nitrosamines and others, making the foods safer for consumption.
- Gives the immune system a boost-80% of your immune system lies in your gut and your gut microbes outnumber the cells in your body 10-to-1. Keep them happy and you will be very healthy indeed!
- Crowds out pathogenic bacteria and yeast in the gut, which is helpful with yeast infections, chronic sinus issues (sinusitis) and candida overgrowth.
- Promotes healthy bowel movements while preventing constipation or diarrhea-both are signs of an improperly functioning gut. This is especially important for anyone with a history of antibiotic use.
- Optimizes your weight-in human and animal studies, gut microbes have been shown to have an effect upon weight loss or gain. An unhealthy gut makes losing weight an even bigger challenge.
- Seals and heals “leaky gut” conditions and can vastly improve one’s susceptibility to allergies over time (both seasonal allergies and food-sensitivities).
Hippocrates, the proclaimed father of medicine, stated over 2,000 years ago that “natural forces within us are the true healers of disease” and that “all disease begin in the gut.” What we see clinically is that many conditions originate with an unhealthy gut and that improving the health of the gut is integral to achieving lasting and robust health. This can be accomplished with the addition of cultured foods to a whole-food diet. Here’s a list of just some of the conditions that benefit from a healthy gut.