Reset your mood with fermented food!
Back in trend – the traditional way of preserving food has many health benefits
Humanity has been fermenting food since the Neolithic Age, long before people understood the science behind the process. Today, following the scientific discoveries of French microbiologist Louis Pasteur, which led to an understanding of microbes, the scientific research on the role of microbes for our health is booming. With the se- crets of the fermentation processes revealed and the ben- efits of probiotics better understood, it’s no surprise that fermented foods are becoming so trendy.
What is fermentation?
An ancient technique of preserving food, fermentation is still used today to produce foods like wine, cheese, sauer- kraut, yoghurt, and kombucha. Fermentation is a process through which microorganisms like yeast and bacteria convert carbs – such as starch and sugar – into alcohol or acids. The alcohol or acids act as natural preservative and give fermented foods a distinct zest and tartness. Fermentation also promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria, known as probiotics.
Why is it important to consume fermented foods regularly?
Regularly consuming foods rich in probiotics has been shown to improve immune function as well as digestive and heart health. Fermentation helps break down nutri- ents in food, making them easier to digest than their unfermented counterparts. As a result, those with lactose intolerance are generally fine eating fermented dairy like kefir and yoghurt. Additionally, fermentation helps break- down and destroy antinutrients – such as phytates and lectins – which are compounds found in seeds, nuts, grains and legumes that interfere with nutrient absorption.
When we consider the connection between the brain and the gut, it’s important to know that 90% of sero- tonin receptors are located in the gut. Much research is currently done to understand how gut health and diet can positively or negatively affect our mood.
A few studies have linked the probiotic strains Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum to a reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression. Both probiotics are found in fermented foods. Fermented food can be helpful in the treat- ment of mild and moderate forms of depression and anxiety, and for Sea- sonal Affective Disorder. Another reason to consume more fermented foods in winter, to keep our mood high.
Fermenting your own food
Not all store-bought fermented foods are the same. Canned and jarred sauerkraut for example does not offer the same nutritional benefits of probiotics. And oftentimes we don’t really know what exactly is in the fermented foods we buy or the fermentation process they have gone through. Fermenting your own food can not only solve this issue, but it also offers an excellent way to store food for longer, without losing qua- lity and good taste. Of course, the benefits are to be enjoyed only when fermentation is done properly.
The place of fermentation in the busy, modern world – the innovative method of Microjungle
Stefania and Björn from Microjungle will lead you through a discovery of the fermentation process. Indeed, fermentation is a process which is influenced by multiple factors.
Even if a recipe is followed to a T, it is not a guarantee the result will be what we expected. Some of the factors that influence not only the success of the fermentation process, but also the pleasant flavour of the fermented product are:
- The terroir of your home. Bacteria come in touch with each other and the bacteria present in your home will influence the result of your fer- mentation. Temperature and humidity also play a role in the final result.
- The utensils and containers used to ferment food, can either favour healthy bacteria to grow, or propel the building of mould and pathogenic bacteria.
Fermenting food is a balancing act, one that requires knowledge, and most importantly – time.
The idea of Microjungle is simple – to standardize the world of bacteria and modernize the traditional fermentation methods by putting together practice and research.