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"Fermentation is at least as old a method of food
preparation as cooking with heat.
Yeast and other 'friendly' bacteria are added to raw
ingredients and set aside to ferment, during the process the microbes break down complex
carbohydrates and proteins into more easily digestible elements.
Fermentation increases the vitamin and enzyme content of
foods, aids digestion, and facilitates assimilation of nutrients.
Fermented foods also colonize the intestinal tract with
friendly flora, which control putrefactive bacteria, maintain proper pH balance in the
colon, and increase the bulk and frequency of bowel movements.
However, people with chronic yeast infections such as
candida and those who are sensitive to salt should abstain from fermented foods.
Almost all culinary traditions include some form of
fermented food in the diet. Western cultures make yogurt, houmus, and kefir (a yogurt-type
drink) from milk, beer from barley and hops, and wine from grapes.
In the East, Koreans eat fermented cabbage (Kimchee) three
times a day, China has various fermented soya-bean products such as tofu and Soya sauce,
the Japanese make soups and sauces with fermented miso paste, Thai cuisine is laced with a
pungent ferment fish sauce called nam-pla, and Indians drink a delicious beverage called
lassi made with yogurt that is freshly fermented every day.
It is a good idea to include a moderate amount of fermented
food in meals that are rich in animal protein and fat, in order to aid digestion.
That's one of the reasons why wine and beer are such
popular accompaniments to the meat-heavy meals of classical Western cuisine's.
Even the Bible advises one to 'take a little wine for the
Source: Daniel Reid.