Fermentation and Gut Health | achs.edu

    Written by: Judy Starr /
    Apr 19, 2019 10:11:00 AM

    fermented foods

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    Have you been hearing all of the hype about fermented food and gut health?  I was first introduced to the idea about five years ago. I recently began researching the benefits of fermented food and what exactly they are. According to health professionals, much of the food in our modern diet lacks the digestive enzymes needed to absorb, digest and utilize nutrients in our food. Before refrigeration, fermentation was a common way to preserve food that isn’t as necessary today.

    Life-enhancing Probiotic Powerhouses

    It turns out that fermented foods reinforce the good bacteria in our gut to help strengthen the immune system with health-promoting natural probiotics. Fermentation is a process used to produce some of our favorite foods and beverages such as beer, wine bread, cheese, chocolate coffee, kefir and kombucha  and yogurt. Sauerkraut and kimchi are on that list too and I really like both but just keep in mind sauerkraut is super salty and the garlic in the kimchi will be on your breath for days. Fermentation also produces lactic acid which acts as a preservative by reducing pH, which in turn inhibits the growth of harmful bacterial that can cause an overgrowth of yeast.

    I was surprised to learn that fermented foods and pickled food are not the same thing. Here are some facts I gleaned about buying fermented foods to be sure to get the most active cultures for my investment:

    • Fermented foods are full of live organisms that must be kept cool to survive, so buy only fermented items in the refrigerated section of the store. 
    • Be sure the label does not say pasteurized. The pasteurization process wipes out the cultures  needed to help fortify our gut.
    • Don’t confuse fermentation and pickled. They’re not interchangeable. Pickled foods are exactly that – they’re pickled in liquids like vinegar or brine, but not fermented unless it says otherwise on the label – pickled foods are quite salty and may be a restriction for some people.
    • Look for fermented foods that are made from the best raw materials possible, namely those made from organic, non-GM or locally farmed produce.

    Are you interested in nutrition and learning more about  maximizing good health for yourself, family and/or community?  The American College of Healthcare Sciences offers online certificate and degree programs in holistic health and nutrition.   

    A simple way to create your own probiotic drink for just pennies is to use Ann Wigmore’s original rejuvelac recipe

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    ACHS-Building-ExteriorFounded in 1978, ACHS.edu is a Portland, Ore.-based, accredited college offering online, on-campus, and study abroad integrative health education. With undergraduate and graduate degrees, diplomas, certificates, and continuing education units in integrative health, ACHS makes holistic health and wellness education accessible to a diverse community, including healthcare professionals, military students, stay-at-home parents, and lifelong learners. Specializations include aromatherapy, herbal medicine, holistic nutrition, and integrative health. ACHS is a Certified B Corporation® and was named two of 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon 2017 by Oregon Business magazine. ACHS is also accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). In response to our commitment to service members, veterans and military spouses, ACHS has been designated as one of the top 16% of military-friendly institutions in the U.S. for nine years in a row. For more information visit achs.edu.

    Blog References:  

    https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/digestive-health/gut-health-diet-tips-bulk-up-on-fiber-fermented-foods-and-probiotics/

    https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/news/20170213/could-fermented-foods-boost-your-health#1

    https://www.bewell.com/blog/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-fermented-foods/

    https://draxe.com/fermented-foods/

    Authored by Judy Starr

    Judy Starr, VP of External Relations at American College of Healthcare Sciences, has more than 25 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations and brings her expertise in marketing and communications to ACHS. She has raised millions of dollars during her career through her work with major gift donors, foundation grant writing and corporate relations. Judy is a vegan who seeks to inspire others with her passion for organic unprocessed foods. As a licensed esthetician for 28 years, she has served at day spas and at the Ann Wigmore Institute in Aguada, Puerto Rico, where she taught skin care classes and provided skin care and Reiki treatments. Through her unique career journey, she has learned the value of choosing pure unadulterated natural ingredients for customized skincare regimens. Her niche spa experience gives her a unique perspective and platform to share industry-specific knowledge in the realm of natural skin care, body care and holistic wellness. Judy has been a Reiki master for 20 years.

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