Annie and LJ are a fictional couple introduced to the readers of the Healthy Healing Eats blog in January 2020. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.
“I’m fermenting these beauties, thought Annie while harvesting cucumbers, carrots, and radishes from the vegetable garden.” Afterward, as she was washing them, LJ came into the kitchen. “What are you going to do with those?” “I was thinking of fermenting them so that we’ll have some tasty probiotic, mood-uplifting dishes that are good sources of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as iron and calcium. Fermented vegetables also have vitamin B12, which is not found in plants, but is necessary for producing red blood cells, supporting bone and eye health and reducing symptoms of depression.”
“Oh, I get it. It’s all about digestion and a strong immune system with you. So why aren’t you pickling? Isn’t that easier and faster?” “Yes, it is, and pickling is okay, but it does not have the probiotic value of fermented vegetables. Fermentation converts the sugar and starch in veggies and fruit into lactic acid, which is a natural preservative. Once foods go through fermentation, it amplifies the good (probiotic) bacteria in the food. Probiotics support good gut health. That’s important because a lot of serotonin — the “feel-good” chemical that directly affects your mood is produced in the gut. The gut-brain axis is a formal way of saying that a healthy gut and a healthy brain go hand-in-hand.
Among the many lessons, we are learning from this coronavirus pandemic is the importance of everything we eat. It has to be nutritionally-dense because stress, refined sugar, lack of sleep, and processed food contributes to and encourages the growth of dysbiosis — bad gut bacteria. By eating fermented and probiotic-rich foods, our immune system gets the support it needs to function correctly, and the ability to ward off and fight viruses.”
A short time later, LJ said, “As it turns out, fermenting is fairly easy. All of the information we need is at https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/category/natural-fermentation/. By the way, the key to fermenting success is to make sure that the vegetables stay submerged in the brine, and let nature take its course over a few weeks. Let’s give it a try.” Annie gave LJ the side-eye and…
Andrea Breaux is the Founder of Healthy Healing Eats — a company that educates on food-as-medicine, and earth-friendly lifestyle practices. Find her weekly blog, recipes, and products at healthyhealingeats.com.