Across the world fermented foods are very popular. From sauerkraut to kimchi to kombucha, people have picked up on the benefits of making your foods in this fashion.
But what are fermented foods? Well, they are foods that have been through a process of lacto fermentation in which natural bacteria feed on sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid.
It takes some time to get it right so you have to be patient when making fermented snacks but, the wait is worth it. The process preserves these foods and creates high levels of beneficial enzymes, B vitamins, and various probiotics.
One ingredient very popular in fermented foods for its many positive attributes is ginger. Known for reducing inflammation, and fighting cancer, ginger has many properties that make its addition to anything a great idea. First, ginger contains gingerol, the main bioactive compound responsible for it’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Second, ginger is ideal for treating any form of nausea. Third, ginger is known to combat high blood sugar and improve heart disease risk factors. Ginger is even known to lower levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein, bad cholesterol). And much more.
Let’s start exploring what the worlds of fermented foods and ginger have in common.
- 2 tablespoons ginger root, grated
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar (any whole-foods sugar)
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- a quart or 1/2 gallon-size jar (or other)
Make sure your water is at room temperature, so the sugar will dissolve quickly and mix all the ingredients well. Cover with a napkin or paper towel and secure with a rubber band. Roughly every twenty-four hours, you should add all the ingredients listed above again.
Don’t discard anything but keep adding. Make sure it’s aerated by stirring it occasionally. After some time you should notice it getting bubbly. Double check that nothing is growing inside the container every now and then. By the end of the week, you’ve got yourself a ginger bug that you can add to a glass of water for a stomach settling drink.
- Ginger root, peeled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon Turmeric
- 1 tablespoon Sea salt
- Lemon Juice (enough to cover everything)
Soak your ginger in cold water for roughly 15 minutes then using a spoon gently scrape the skin off. The amount of ginger you use depends on the size of jar you’ve chosen. For a small jar use a ginger root roughly the size of your hand. But remember if you use a larger jar to adjust the amount of turmeric and sea salt used. Squeeze about five lemons to get enough to cover the ginger, then combine it all in a bowl until all is dissolved.
The final step is to pour it all over your ginger in the jar and close it up air tight. Allow it to ferment at room temperature for about two weeks. Serve on the side of a dish but don’t cook them if you want the advantages of the lacto fermentation.
Fermented foods and your stomach
Because fermented foods offer a wide array of probiotics, eating them can help introduce beneficial bacteria into your digestive system and help balance it out bowel health. As a result of having a proper gut bacteria balance, your digestive enzymes will do a better job at absorbing your food, and you can focus less on using supplements to get the vitamins you need.
The same probiotics have a profound effect on your immune system, aiding in the production of antibodies, boosting your defense against illness and disease.