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Ferment About It!

By Blair Doucette, MScN

Fermented foods have been enjoyed all around the world for thousands of years, practically since the invention of agriculture. Though we’ve essentially grown side-by-side fermented foods, they’ve somehow flown under the radar in the more recent past, giving way to more dazzling culinary innovations. However recently, the spotlight has been cast more in their direction due in part to the backing of science. Intuitive medicine has always known their merit, but now so does hard science. With the discovery of the microbiome (the trillions of bacteria that live in the gut) and its role in our overall health, as well as the subsequent beneficial impact that fermented foods have on it, fermented foods have been championed by functional medicine once again!

So what is fermentation?

Fermentation is the process of breaking down the sugars found naturally in food items into alcohols or acids in anaerobic conditions as a form of preservation. This process coincidentally also improves the probiotic content of the food.