Fermented Foods: A Primer!

I think our ancestors would be pretty surprised at how fermented foods seem to have all but disappeared from our dinner plates.

Since ancient times, humans around the world have been fermenting their food before eating or drinking it. Wine was being made at least eight thousand years ago. Milk fermentation has been happening since around 3000 BC and folks have been eating leavened bread since around 1500 BC.

Our grandmothers made sauerkraut and pickles via Lacto-fermentation (using salt) whereas today we use vinegar. They used wild yeast (sourdough) to leaven their bread. Those types of fermentation provided us with probiotics, replenishing the good bacteria in our bodies. Today, almost everything we eat is pasteurized. We use antibacterial soap and drink chlorinated water. We take antibiotic drugs. Most of us have an imbalanced level of bacteria in our guts and that can make us sick.

Adding fermented foods to your diet will help restore those levels of healthy bacteria and it will do wonders for your well-being.


Here are some excellent reasons to eat fermented foods:

Improved digestion. Eating fermented foods is sort of like having them already partially digested before it hits your stomach. That allows your body to take the good out of the food without doing so much heavy lifting. When you improve digestion, nutrient absorption is naturally improved as well.

Vitamin boost. When you ferment foods you boost their vitamin content, especially with fermented dairy products like kefir.

Gut health. You need good bacteria in your gut to avoid yeast infections, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance, and lots of other nasty things. Eating fermented foods can help strike the right balance.

Flavor. Why do we like drinking wine with our cheese and eating sauerkraut on our hotdogs? Because it’s delicious, that’s why! Fermented foods are healthy and delicious.

Fermenting food is inexpensive, requiring very basic ingredients, salt, and mason jars and it helps to preserve foods for a long period of time.

To get more fermented foods into your diet, drink kombucha (a fermented tea you’ll find at Asian markets) or kefir. Eat naturally fermented condiments that you buy at the store or make your own at home. Kimchi, sauerkraut, salsa, and pickles are all examples of fermented condiments you can easily make yourself.

For more probiotics to support your health and well-being check out our ProActive ProBiotics here!

0 Responses

  1. is regular old yogurt considered a fermented food? i really wish i liked kombucha but to me it tastes like im drinking carbonated salad dressing. i just cant do it. but was wondering about the yogurt. thanks!!

    1. Yes, natural yogurt is fermented milk. You can make it yourself as well and you dont need anything fancy but milk and a starter – some yogurt.
      I like drinking yogurt mixed with water and salt.

      1. thanks. here in colorado we have a local brand of yogurt called noosa. its made from local, grass fed milk and great ingredients. i probably cant do any better than that!! i guess i sometimes drink yogurt too, or more specifically kefir. i put either kefir or whey protein in our daily smoothies!

  2. What is the simplest way to make kombucha? It is so expensive to buy in the store. And how much do you recommend drinking a day?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *