By Landa Roon, Real Goods Operations Manager
For me, self-reliance is freedom, because it means I have a greater say in what can be done to impact my life in a positive way. That philosophy extends to self-care.
Self-care starts with a healthy immune system, which is my top defense against disease. Since 80% of my active immune system is located in my intestines, maintenance of healthy gut flora is critical to maintaining my health.
Fermenting is easy to do, and since fermented foods are one of my greatest allies in supporting immune function, I've happily added them to my lifestyle. They increase B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, digestive enzymes, lactase, and lactic acid that fight off harmful bacteria. The beneficial bacteria in these foods are potent detoxifiers, capable of drawing out and disposing of a wide range of toxins and heavy metals.
I'm also into growing and preserving as much of my food as possible. Lacto-fermentation allows me to store these foods for longer periods of time without losing nutrients through traditional preservation methods, which can destroy many of the vitamins and enzymes. The process of lacto-fermentation preserves the food and creates beneficial enzymes and various strains of probiotics. The enzymes and probiotics help break food down to a more digestible form, helping me absorb more of the nutrients in the foods I eat, putting them to use in maintaining my overall health.