It is no secret we are intrigued by the longest living populations residing in the Blue Zones of the world. This intrigue has led to extensive population studies and research in pursuit of uncovering the ancient secrets behind the way of life that has gifted these Blue Zones the reputation of being regions of exceptional longevity around the world. It was discovered that common to every region was a lifestyle enriched with purpose, love and self-care practices such as daily exercise and a diet abundant with plant-based nutrition.
Blue Zones recommendations for a long, healthy life includes a diet based on a 95% rule: 95% of nutrition comes from plant-based foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, good quality oils and fermented foods. This includes tempeh, kimchi, sauerkraut and sourdough bread.
Fermentation is an ancient practice used for preserving food and for centuries has been a well-established part of the human diet for nutrition, palatability and medicinal value. After all of these years, scientists are still uncovering the benefits of the fermentation process and the ways in which it effects our health and our gut microbiota.
Fermented foods undergo a metabolic process called lacto-fermentation. During lacto-fermentation, natural bacteria feed on the sugars and carbohydrates to create agents that enhance healthy bacteria.
“The processes required for fermented foods were present on Earth when man appeared on the scene… When we study these foods, we are in fact studying the most intimate relationships between man, microbe and foods” (1).
The human body is colonised by many microorganisms which we call our microbiota. Microbiota consists of trillions of cells and includes over a thousand different types of bacteria. This microbiota is thought to outnumber our own human cells tenfold. So basically, we are more bacteria than we are human. Food for thought. It makes perfect sense we would want to take care of these special cells and implement regular dietary practices which support healthy bacteria, particularly in the gut.
The fermentation of nutrients and food substances lead to a chain of reactions within the body which benefit us by:
– Excreting harmful substances
– Strengthening immune function
– Offering cell protection
– Releasing anti-inflammatory molecules
– Producing vitamins
– Enhancing production of antimicrobial substances
– Improving nutrient absorption
– Providing energy
– Contributing to our bran function and mood function
Each process is essential for life, especially our best life.
The long-living Blue Zones include a range of fermented foods in their diet, from miso and pickled vegetables in Okinawa, Japan, to the daily inclusion of sourdough bread in Ikaria Greece. In Okinawa, fermented foods are actually prescribed as a “supplement” for longevity and optimal health.
Sourdough bread undergo a fermentation process using naturally occurring lactobacilli and yeast which can reduce the phytic acid found in grains by up to 90%. Phytic acid can bind to important minerals, decreasing their bio-availability within the body and can be difficult to digest. This is what makes sourdough the bread of choice compared to regular varieties and why it is still considered a superior longevity food in many countries.
The stomach often prefers sourdough due to the lactic acid produced by the lactobacilli which enhance the digestibility and micro-nutrient profile of foods, like the grains in the dough.
Venerdi is passionate about human health and we wanted to create a bread that reflects these values. Our new evolved gluten Freedom products have been crafted with love and nutrients to mimic the well-research health and longevity practices from around the globe.
We hope you are inspired to introduce some fermented foods into your diet and to live your best life ever!
1. Prof. Keith H. Steinkraus, Cornell University, 1993.