You really can have your bugs and eat them too! If this conjures up an image of the old Survivor reality show and all those huge, nasty creepy crawlies they had to eat, you can just banish that image from your psyche and relax. The “bugs” we are talking about are the healthy bacteria, or gut flora, that should reside in your digestive tract. They should set up housekeeping in large numbers. How large, you ask? There are about 100 trillion cells in an average adult body. Your healthy gut bacteria should number 10 times that amount. Woah!! That’s 1,000 trillion bacteria in your 25-foot-long tunnel of intestines!
Do you think old timers obsessed over their bowel functions the way we do in the 2000’s? Nah, they probably hardly thought about it. Credit is due them for admitting they had parasites (worms) though the methods of addressing that situation may have bordered on barbaric. And the words “gluten,” “celiac disease,” and “irritable bowel syndrome” never crossed their lips. Those maladies were not even named back in the day. And they probably didn’t call their food preservation methods “fermentation” either!
What is fermentation?
Two methods: Anaerobic and Aerobic
Anaerobic – No oxygen entry; carbon dioxide gas must escape. Lactic acid bacteria produce carbon dioxide, a by-product of the reaction from salt drawing out the carbs from the vegetables. This carbon dioxide must escape to prevent bursting of the vessel as the bacteria multiply.
Aerobic – Oxygen is used in fermentation of beer, wine, apple cider vinegar, kombucha, and other beverages.
In fermenting/culturing/pickling vegetables and fruits, only three ingredients are necessary: Salt, fresh veggies/fruits, and pure water.
Salt matters – Not just any salt! Sea salt has over 70 minerals critical to body functions. Denatured, toxic table salt causes cellular/tissue/organ damage. Quality salt nourishes the body. Minerals in salt become ionically charged, causing the brine (juice) to form. Brine contains complex carbohydrates. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) feed on these carbs and begin to colonize by the billions. Enzymes are produced which pre- digest the carbs, and the food is readily absorbed in our digestive tracts. Vitamins are released from the veggies, thus we have a multi-vitamin-mineral-enzyme-probiotic rich food from just salt, water, and common vegetables!
Why is fermentation important?
Our “foremothers” preserved and pickled out of necessity, not because they were on a mission to shore up their guts. The old ice box was not a storage place for perishables meant to sit there for long spells. The trusty kraut crock on the kitchen counter covered with a dish cloth was the modus operandi.
Health benefits–We have lost these arts of creating healthful, cultured mixtures because of our reliance on modern-day food processing. The toll on our health and lives has been devastating!
The gut/digestive wall contains an ecosystem of good and bad bacteria; ideal balance is about 85% good bacteria and 15% bad bacteria. The gut is working at all times to maintain this crucial balance. The majority of the human immune system resides in the gut, which houses an army of fighters that protect the body, sending out forces against intruders.
Antiseptic qualities – LABs multiply, killing off the putrefactive and pathogenic microbes, thus preserving the food. A good batch of sauerkraut can keep five to six years or more without spoiling, as long as it is covered by its own juice (brine).
Gut Disruptors – Antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, processed and dead foods, parasites, antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers, C-sections, etc.
Results of Gut Disruption – Irritable bowel syndrome, Inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s, celiac disease, colitis, colorectal cancer, autoimmune disorders, allergies, infections, and just about every disease known to man.
Other benefits of fermentation:
Weight loss is a welcome benefit of consuming fermented foods as healthy flora repopulate and restore gut integrity and things move along and out like they were meant to. Diabetic, allergic, and autoimmune conditions have been reversed when regular doses of fermented foods were added to sufferers’ diets.
Certain foods have been shown to have anticancer activity. This is expertly detailed in his book, “Anticancer – a New Way of Life”, by David Servan-Schreiber M.D., PhD. (Viking Press).
Most cruciferous plants, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussel sprouts have been tested and shown to destroy cancer at the cellular level. Fermenting vegetables is another way to release phytonutrients and boost the healing nature of your diet.
Using a spice blend can boost anticancer activity. In particular: turmeric, oregano, cinnamon.
See why you should eat your good bugs?
In so doing you’ll have the defense system to overpower the bad ones! Eating living foods will lead to a lively, energetic body. You can imagine what eating “dead” foods will do. So don’t get into a pickle…be ALIVE and THRIVE!
The information contained herein should not be considered or construed as therapeutic recommendation for any person or any disease or symptom, nor is it intended to provide medical advice, which can only be provided by a licensed physician in private consultation.
Eat with intent today,
Tammy Schack, Young Living Gold
Comments and compilation by Tammy Schack. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for ongoing pickling classes. Visit Facebook page “Health Scents and Ferments”
***Purchase Perfect Pickler kits at amazon.com or click here.
Putting It All Together
I would love to thank my guest writer Tammy Schack for this wonderful post. Finding those that are passionate about living a proactive lifestyle are the ones I choose to learn from daily.
Living a proactive lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard. You may just need to learn a few new techniques (or in this case traditional) in the kitchen. Let’s be honest their is nothing more important than nourishing our body and that of our family. It is truly the foundation of living a proactive lifestyle and having the energy we need to live life to the fullest.
Curious how proactive of a lifestyle you are currently living? I invite you to take the Wellness Quiz to find out your Wellness Score.
Today’s tip may have been a bit gross if you had no idea why we would recommend eating bugs. The truth is many of us do not know much about our gut or our microbiome. If you are interested in learning more we go in much more detail about the microbiome in our Growing E-Course. If you would like to take part in our Free Growing E-Course click here.
I am enjoying this write 31 days challenge and I hope that you are finding these tips beneficial to living a more proactive lifestyle.
If you would like to learn more tips, click on the box. I will be adding tips daily.
Shawna Cale, Got-Oils? Administrator
I am a M.O.M: Mom on a Mission to help educate and empower other mom’s to build healthy homes and bodies, and have the energy to do the things they enjoy with their families.