What is Fermentation?
Fermentation is a metabolic process wherein, in the absence of oxygen, sugar is consumed to produce chemical energy. This occurs in yeast and bacteria, and also in oxygen-starved muscle cells (as in the case of lactic acid fermentation). The organic acids made during fermentation give fermented foods their characteristic tang and provide a number of benefits to our digestive system and immune health – including the creation of probiotics.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are, essentially, helpful intestinal flora. They’re the opposite of a stomach bug – they’re like a stomach friend! Fermented foods often contain probiotics, which is why foods like miso, kefir, and kimchi been known since antiquity to improve gut health.
Specifically, probiotics have been shown to: help to digest food for better absorption, help to maintain healthy immune response, produce bacteriocins (natural antibiotics), produce vitamins of the A, B, and K families, assist in bowel regularity, and maintain healthy cholesterol & triglyceride levels.
In foods and plants, valuable nutrients such as proteins, lipids and phyto-chemicals are often bound with sugars – so while they are accessible, there is a physical cost to digesting them. When a plant undergoes fermentation, the sugars are consumed by bacteria and yeast, thereby liberating those valuable nutrients, making them more bioavailable (ie, easily accessible for digestion).
On top of rendering those nutrients more bioavailable, fermentation also creates as a byproduct all kinds of other healthy stuff, like B Vitamins, Organic Acids, Amino Acids, and Beneficial Yeasts and Bacteria.
You can achieve all of these benefits by eating fermented foods, but if you want to be more directly proactive you can avail yourself of something like Botanica’s Fermented Gut Shots. These are fermented probiotic supplements that each contain 200 million CFU’s (Colony Forming Units) – which is to say, they help those great beneficial flora set up a beneficial shop while also providing the benefits of ginger, milk thistle, or all of their other herbal flavours.
Check out this sweet recipe for Lemon Spiked Kombucha Iced Tea that incorporates Botanica’s Fermented Gut Shots for a drink that is cool and refreshing and will help you feel great both inside and out!