That is a famous quote from the eastern European country of Georgia (formerly of the Soviet Union) relating to the long life of the people in that region. They have traditionally consumed large amounts of fermented foods, including yogurt, but this is not very realistic in many areas of the world today, including the United States. Many people are lactose intolerant, but you can still eat fermented foods!
Today the benefits of fermented foods are really catching on, but did you know that the fermentation process was originally used to improve the keeping and storing of foods? It’s thought that camel, buffalo, goat, sheep and cow milk were initially fermented naturally into yogurt. The hot temperatures (110 F) of the North African deserts were ideal for lactic acid-producing bacteria to ferment the milk carried by camels in goat bags. Almost every region in the world has developed fermented foods in their quest to acquire new tastes and improve shelf life. Farmers, rather than scientists, used their ingenuity and imagination. They were thinking in terms of how to best provide for their families, not realizing that thousands of years later, scientists would be examining the potential health benefits of fermented foods.
Elie Metchnikoff, a famous Russian Nobel prize-winning Bacteriologist looked into the possible health benefits of fermented foods in the early 1900’s. He noticed that Bulgarians had an average life span of 87 years-that was much longer than the 50 year life expectancy in the US at that time and almost 10 years longer than even today’s average life expectancy of 78 years! One of the most significant differences in their lifestyle was the consumption of fermented milks! Since Metchnikoff’s original study, researchers have found that many populations use fermented foods. Georgians, from what was formally known as the Soviet Union, live over 100 years and are playing polo and working in the farm fields! They attribute their long lives to fermented or “sour” milk, which is where the quote from the title of this blog came from! I’m not sure I would want to be working in the farm fields at 100, but I’d love to still be riding my horses at that age!
I know that my family has greatly benefited from fermented foods. My husband and I are in our 50’s, feeling and looking better than we did in our 30’s! CJ’s intestinal issues are healed, his mind is clear and his body is healthy. In fact, all our children are healthy. I KNOW that we would not be where we are health wise today without the benefits of raw organic fermented probiotic foods.
There are so many benefits of eating fermented foods and researchers just keep adding more things to the list. Here are some of the benefits of fermented foods:
- Improves digestive function
- Improves bowel function
- Improves mood
- Improves liver function
- Decreases wrinkles
- Improves circulatory function
- Improves joint and muscle function
- Improves sleep function
- Improves resistance to allergies
- Improves vitamin absorption
- Improves lactose tolerance
- Improves gluten