Many cultures and nations have been practicing and using the benefits of fermentation and fermented foods for centuries. Family secret foods and dishes that later have become nationally recognized have been prepared and passed down from generation to generation. The most common way to make fermented foods was by lacto-fermentation.
Lacto in lacto-fermentation stands for ‘Lactobacillus’ which is specific bacteria species. These can be found in the gastrointestinal tract, oral cavity, vaginal and on the surface of plants.
Lactobacillus bacteria uses lactose and other sugars to turn them into lactic acid, and it was initially discovered in milk ferments, but what is interesting is that lacto-fermentation does not have to be associated with the milk, or dairy products. Mainly, lactic acid acts as a natural preservative. Lactobacillus inhibits the growth of the dangerous bacteria. However, this is not the only benefit of the lactic acid. Moreover, if you further read, you are going to discover the other health benefits of the fermented food and how you can prepare and consume such foods in order to improve your health and your overall body status.
- Immunity boost
Healthy bacteria found in the fermented foods will improve your immune system as they regulate the immune cells function and therefore prevent autoimmune reactions, inflammation is one such reaction.
- Nutrient absorption and improved digestion
The top benefit of the fermented foods is that they are much more easily absorbed, unlike some other food products. Fermented foods enhance and improve digestion and provide your intestines with the good bacteria, and this way your body gets rid of the harmful bacteria. Consequently, your body absorbs all of the nutrients from the food you are consuming.
- Antioxidant punch
Free radicals are destroyed by the antioxidants found in the lacto-fermented foods thus preventing cancer. Moreover, the antioxidants improve your immune system by their ability to reduce inflammation. It has efficient results in the treatment of eczema, arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
- Healthy weight loss
By consumption of lacto-fermented foods, your hormonal balance will become stronger and better. It helps you to deal with the cravings and to suppress the appetite. Probiotics are proven to reduce the risk of obesity if consumed on regular basis.
- Stronger brain
The brain, the immune system, and the digestive system are all mutually connected and their connection is quite strong. For example, when you have a cold, your head is fuzzy; and this is all due to the vagus nerve. It is one of the 12 nerves that send information from the intestinal nervous system directly to CNS, or the central nervous system. The bond between these systems is particularly strengthened with a well-balanced and controlled number of harmful vs. healthy bacteria.
For the purpose to avoid additive and artificial ingredients that are added to stored and canned products in the markets, you can prepare your own fermented foods. You should always use natural salt in your fermented, homemade foods (Himalayan salt, Celtic sea salt, or Kosher salt) because the commercially fermented foods mainly contain industry or table salt.
We provide you with a recipe for homemade fermented onions which you can consume in so many ways and dishes like tacos, salads, sandwiches…
Prepare wide-mouth jars with airtight lids.
- 1 liter of pure water
- 50 grams of natural salt
- A handful of garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 kg (2.2 pounds) of small (mini) onions or shallots, peeled
- Black pepper
- Dried chili
If you want smaller pieces of the onion slice them, otherwise let them in their original size. It is up to you. Put salt into the water to dissolve. Put the onions into the jars; fill in the jars with onions until half full. Pour in the brine. Leave about 1-2 inches of spice at the end.
Put the lids on the jar.
Keep the jars at room temperature (60-70°F). Open the jars every day (during the first two weeks) to release the accumulated fermentation gas. After two weeks open the jars every other day.
This is a very simple process of preparation and everyone can do it. Once your onions are fermented and you succeed in this process of onions fermentation, then you can soon ferment any other vegetable.
This technique for fermentation is simple, safe, cheap and easy. Foods prepared this way can be stored for months. It is especially good to have such fermented foods and to enjoy their taste during cold winter months and believe us, your immune system will appreciate that.