Fermented foods have been around for thousands of years, lactofermentation once was one of the only ways to preseve meat, vegetables, fruit or dairy. Today with modern technology and thanks to refrigerators the need to preseve food using fermentation has decreased dramatically but as we learn more and more about the health benefits of fermented foods it is becoming increasingly popular around the globe.
Fermenting vegetables prolong their shelf life, the perfectly crunchy tiny cucumbers on the farmers market table in late July turn into dill pickles that can be enjoyed all year long, same is true for a head of cabbage, with the addition of a little salt the cabbage turns into a delicious sauerkraut to be enjoyed for months to come.
During the fermentation, the beneficial bacteria feed on the sugars and create lactic acid, this can be the lactose in the milk when making yogurt or kefir, it can also be the added sugar in the kombucha or water kefir.
Lactofermentafion increases the enzymes, vitamins K2 and some B vitamins. Lacto-fermented foods are also very rich in probiotics which increase the amount of beneficial bacteria in gut and supports the immune system, it has also been shown that consuming these foods regularly improves mood and help support mental health.
Fermenting cow's milk with kefir grains or a yogurt culture also makes it easier to digest as most of the lactose is consumed by the bacteria. A longer the fermentation time allows more of the lactose to be digested by the bacteria so while they are not completely lactose-free, the amount of lactose is greatly reduced.