This might be a bit unfamiliar, but does the mention of “fermented” bring to mind any foods?
Pickles. Sauerkraut. Kimchi. The list goes on and on. Maybe the idea of fermented sounds rather risky- different from the picture of a jarred pickle.
Not so, lovelies. If you look at formal or traditional meals, maybe even your own family’s, you might notice a theme of “pickled,” “preserved,” or fermented foods. Perhaps you have wondered, like me, why these particular foods (ahem, cold beets, ahem) are eaten.
Some reading and a helpful study from the Journal of Applied Microbiology mentioned these and so many more benefits:
1. Improving intestinal health 2. Enhancing the immune system and making nutrients more bio-available 3. Reducing symptoms of lactose-intolerance 4. Reducing the risk of certain cancers
Consider these traditional foods and perhaps your ancient genius:
Yogurt is milk which has been fermented by live cultures so as to enhance its nutritional value and digestibility. The best yogurt is low fat with a creamy, slightly sweet texture which has been fermented with one part L. bulgaricus to seven parts S. thermophilus, these being the best yogurt cultures.
Kefir is a fermented milk product originating in the Caucausus. Kefir is tangy like yogurt, and contains a mix of cultures such as Saccaromyces kefir, Torula kefir, Lactobacillus brevis and Streptococcus lactis, amongst others.
Symiots, Hunzakuts, Sardinians, and Campodimelani all eat traditionally fermented cheese made from sheep’s, goat’s, or cow’s milk.
Crème fraiche is cream which has been soured with bacterial culture. It is thick with a slightly tangy taste and is popular for making sauces in French cuisine.
Traditionally fermented soy products
miso, tempeh, traditionally brewed soy sauce
Fermenting soy products raises their levels of isoflavones, the beneficial plant estrogens thought to protect against breast cancer and osteoporosis. It also makes them much more digestible than modern processed soy products, which are an invention of the West and are not eaten by long-lived Japanese or Chinese populations such as the Okinawans or people of Bama.
This pickled cabbage dish is popular in Eastern Europe. Its origins trace as far back as the 13th century, when Genghis Khan fed fermented vegetables to his plundering hordes. Captain Cook also used sauerkraut to prevent scurvy in sailors.
Traditionally fermented pickled vegetables
capers, olives, pickles
Capers are traditionally preserved by the Symiots and used as a relish and for stomach ailments. Modern pickled foods such as capers and olives are mass-produced and do not contain beneficial bacteria. However, traditionally marinated and fermented vegetables such as olives, artichokes, peppers and mushrooms can be obtained in specialist delicatessens.
Soaking a bean, grain, or seed in water causes the outer hull to be broken down by probiotics—fermented—which enables the sprouting process. Foods treated in this way have higher, more easily absorbed nutrient contents. Sprouting also reduces the content of antinutrients, such as phytic acid, which inhibits the absorption of minerals such as iron and zinc from these grains. These breads are much more digestible than ordinary bread.
These are small, reddish-purple, wrinkled, salty and very tangy pickled plums which are sometimes eaten in Japan after a meal as they are thought to aid digestion. Good umeboshi plums are left for six months to ferment in a mixture of salt and shiso leaves. They are sometimes referred to as ‘The King of Alkaline Foods.’ Japanese scientists studying umeboshi plums have found them to contain probiotics with powerful antibiotic properties and they are also thought to be beneficial for hangovers and bad breath. They are very potent (and salty) and two or three a week is enough!
Thai fish sauce
Known as Nam Pla in Thailand, is a fish sauce made from fish (often anchovies, but sometimes whatever comes up in the net) which have been allowed to ferment and is popular in Asia as a dipping sauce and for use in cooking.
Tofuyo (fermented tofu)
Also called “the cheese of the east,” it’s an Okinawan delicacy made from tofu which has been fermented for three to four months in awamori (rice wine) and malted rice. It is prized for its medicinal properties, mellow flavor, and succulent texture.
The beauty of fermented foods comes from their aid to your healthy glow. When a woman feels good, particularly about what she consumes, who’s to stop her?
Cheers to more years, YYLady
*images: pickled selection, west african model #1, russian model, arab woman, french model, chinese model, german model, iranian model, indian model, japanese model, thai woman, japanese model #2
*study source, foods source