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Lacto-fermented food

Thursday 8 th August 2013

The process of lacto-fermentation is the conversion of food sugars into lactic acid. All kind of food can be lacto-fermented: vegetables, fruits, cereals, milk, meat, fish, etc.. Through this process, food gains many virtues:

1 -. Richness in lactobacilli is beneficial to restore or strengthen the intestinal flora, even more than probiotics drugs because the good bacteria in probiotic supplements can only be installed in the upper part of the digestive track because they are destroyed by stomach acids, while fermented foods will bring probiotic bacteria until the end of the digestive system, to the intestine.
The intestinal flora is important for several reasons:
1.1.- Strengthens the immune system. Lactobacilli prevent bad bacteria to settle in the gut and they support the production of IgA antibodies in the mucosa.

1.2.- Performs the transformation of vitamins B and K. Without lactobacilli are likely to have a deficiency of these vitamins.

1.3.- Protects the cells of the intestine, the enterocytes, which make many enzymes for the digestion of starches and sugars and absorption of food. Without lactobacilli enterocytes can easily weaken and therefore the appearance of intolerance and malabsorption of food.

1.4.- Produce substances (butyrate) which protects the colon.

1.5.- Produce enzymes that help in digestion of different foods, such as the lactose in milk, when somebody don’t have enzymes to achieve this digestion.

1.6.-  Also, it normalizes the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, therefore, reflux, ulcers, etc., and active the secretions of the pancreas and liver..

2.- Lacto-fermented foods are more digestible because the process makes a pre-digestion of starches and proteins. Lactose milk yogurt has been transformed into lactic acid, so lactose intolerant people can eat yogurt (there are left only a few traces), and casein is transformed so that often people with milk allergies can tolerate yogurt. Also fiber foods became less irritating for the bowel.

3.- Phytates present in the envelopes of grains and legumes, which are enzyme inhibitors and demineralizing, because they prevent the absorption of minerals, are destroyed. This is the advantage of sourdough bread.

4.- Fermentation also releases nutrients from the food, which make them more bio-available to the body: for example, sauerkraut contains 20 times more bio-available vitamin C than fresh cabbage.

5.- Lacto-fermented foods can be stored for very long. This is the ancient procedure that was used by our grand-mothers for storing vegetables and meat  in winter.

6.- Commercial lacto-fermented products (yogurt, sauerkraut, ham, sausages, etc..) are not properly fermented, because fermentation is too short and, for example in yogurt, there are still many lactose. And sausages, it is almost impossible to find without preservatives, indicating that they need to resort to this type of additives to preserve meat, probably because of poor quality.

Lacto-fermented foods are, therefore, more digestible and have a therapeutic effect in treating the damaged intestine. But it must be home-made, because you can not trust the commercial products.

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