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The Best-Kept Secret of the Century! Fermented Foods and Your Health

Products that may interest you:

  • Veggie Culture Starter

    Veggie Culture Starter

    Resist Infections, Enhance Digestion

    • Ideal for appetite and weight control
    • Ideal for pregnant women
    • Ideal for children with Autism and ADD
    • Can be enjoyed daily
    • Easy to make at home

Real ferments pop. They bubble beneath a liquid brine. They have enough snap in them to chase away a crampy stomachache or even heartburn.

In the human body, bacteria outnumber our own cells 10 to 1.

Fermented foods are that good.

The art of culturing our food with lactic acid bacteria has been around for generations. And yet, most of us have forgotten about all that goodness that is locked into a jar of homemade sauerkraut or truly fermented dill pickles.

Nowadays, traditionally fermented foods like sauerkraut and pickles swim in white vinegar on supermarket shelves. White vinegar may give the right kind of sour tang, but not the many health benefits that we receive from friendly bacteria.

The friendly bacteria found in fermented foods and probiotic beverages are valuable to our health and to our wellbeing. For example, when good bacteria go missing from the diet for too long, we begin to see:

Making fermented foods at home can supply the gut with beneficial bacteria to alleviate allergies, acne, constipation, and even anxiety. Research has proven that probiotics are better consumed as fermented foods or drinks instead of as a supplement.

  • Imbalances in immune function, such as reoccurring allergies.
  • Compromised gut health, which includes issues like constipation and heartburn.
  • Unexplained weight gain.
  • Brain fog and mood disorders, like anxiety and depression.
  • Acne and other skin troubles.

Repairing the inner ecology of the digestive tract is at the heart of addressing so many of the common health problems we face today. And this begins with fermented foods.

Studies show that probiotics fare better in the stomach when they are consumed in the form of a fermented food or drink. (1)

Fermented Foods: Nature’s Probiotic

Fermentation was at one time an important way to preserve food. Without refrigeration, human beings had a limited number of ways to store food for long periods of time without it spoiling.

As it turns out, the same bacteria that help us to preserve food also play an essential role in gut health and in a well-balanced immune response. Friendly lactic acid bacteria are so vital to our wellbeing that nature intended for our first contact with the outside world to be with these good bacteria.

As a baby exits the womb and slides through the birth canal, he is coated with beneficial bacteria. These bacteria immediately colonize the newborn. Studies have shown that babies born cesarean section may be at a slight disadvantage since they miss out on mom’s good bacteria and instead are imprinted with the bacteria on the surface of the skin. (2)

In the human body, bacteria outnumber our own cells 10 to 1. If you can imagine it, each one of us is a cloud of carefully organized bacteria!

These gut bacteria affect just about everything in the human body - from our mental wellbeing to our waist size!

Scientists refer to this population of bacteria as a microbiome, which is another way of describing the complex metropolis of bugs that inhabit the human body.

The microbiome in the digestive tract is particularly influential. So much so that doctors from the Department of Medicine at the National University of Ireland have described it as “the forgotten organ.” (3)

As we transition from 2012 to 2013, the NIH (National Institutes of Health) just announced a new research project. The NIH is investing 3 million dollars into research on the human microbiome in order to gain new insight into health and disease. (4)

Beware of Wild Fermentation

Healthy gut bacteria are critical to our survival. By choosing fermented foods and fermented beverages on a daily basis, we can help to nourish our inner ecology.

The inner ecology in the gut is made up of bacteria and yeast. Most of these microorganisms are beneficial to our health. They help to break down food and synthesize vitamins.

They also help to keep Candida yeast infections in check.

The yeast known as Candida albicans is an opportunistic microorganism. It will grow wherever it can, whenever it can!

Unfortunately, many people have an overgrowth of Candida and do not yet know it. This can show up as itching in the throat or ears, joint pain, skin breakouts, brain fog, and of course in the gut itself. The best way to work with the body during this time is to support it with very specific strains of bacteria.

In other words, you want to know your starter culture.

Some people will use kombucha as a starter for their fermented veggies. We cannot stress enough the value of knowing the specific strains of bacteria and yeast that are in the starter that you choose.

Many wild starters are just that - wild. There is simply no way of knowing what bugs you are dealing with.

You may be risking the integrity of your gut and your health when you ferment foods with the following starters:

  • Kombucha
  • Whey
  • A pure salt brine

When fermenting vegetables or making kefir at home, we always suggest to:

  1. Use a starter culture or kefir starter that contains specific strains of beneficial bacteria and beneficial yeast.
  2. Feed your starter culture with a pre-biotic. A prebiotic is easily metabolized by good bacteria, and it can give your batch of fermented vegetables the edge that it needs to flourish. EcoBloom is an example of a prebiotic.
  3. Add a pinch of trace minerals, such as fulvic and humic acid. Good bacteria love minerals as much as we do! They thrive in a mineral-rich environment. 

What To Remember Most About This Article:

Cultured food has been around for generations, offering friendly bacteria in fermented foods and probiotic beverages that can improve health by:

  • Correcting immune imbalances, including allergies.
  • Restoring gut health to treat heartburn and constipation.
  • Relieving brain fog and mood disorders, including depression and anxiety.
  • Alleviating weight gain and skin issues.

Fermentation was once used as a food preservation method, and it also provides beneficial bacteria that support gut health and immune response. The bacteria in the digestive tract affect every aspect of human health, including weight and mental wellbeing!

When fermenting at home, it’s important to know what type of bacteria you’re using in your starter culture. Wild ferments made from kombucha, whey, and pure salt brine could risk the integrity of your gut health.

Instead, we recommend:

  1. Fermenting with a starter culture or kefir starter made with specific beneficial bacteria and yeast.
  2. Feeding a starter culture a prebiotic like EcoBloom that is easily metabolized by good bacteria.
  3. Adding a pinch of trace minerals since friendly bacteria thrive in a mineral-rich environment.
  • Veggie Culture Starter

    Veggie Culture Starter

    Resist Infections, Enhance Digestion

    • Ideal for appetite and weight control
    • Ideal for pregnant women
    • Ideal for children with Autism and ADD
    • Can be enjoyed daily
    • Easy to make at home
  • EcoBloom


    Feed Your Probiotics

    • Helps to enhance immunity
    • Food for the good bacteria in your gut
    • Helps fight constipation
    • Helps release stress
    • Helps improve liver function
  • Ancient Earth Minerals

    Ancient Earth Minerals

    Protect Yourself from Mineral Deficiencies

    • The highest quality blend of humic, fulvic, micro and macro minerals and amino acids
    • The only high quality mineral supplement of its kind that you can take in capsule form
    • Helps your body to nourish your thyroid and adrenals, detoxify, reduce the signs of aging, and build immunity
  • Kefir Starter

    Kefir Starter

    Better Digestion, Boost Immunity

    Kefir has many benefits, including better digestion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. It has been known for thousands of years for its anti-aging and immune-enhancing properties.

    Kefir is an ancient cultured food, rich in amino acids, enzymes, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins. Kefir means "feel good" in Turkish, and that's just how you'll feel after drinking a glass in the morning! Easy and fun to make at home, it is superior to commercial yogurt. An absolute must after antibiotic use!

    Unlike yogurt, kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract and is simple and fun to make at home. To make kefir: Mix one packet with 1 quart of warm milk, cover and set at room temperature for 18-24 hours. Refrigerate and enjoy!

    Each packet yields 1 quart of kefir, and can be reused up to 7 times. This means you can create 10 ½ gallons of kefir from one box!

    • Digest fats, proteins and carbohydrates
    • Has anti-aging and immune-enhancing properties
    • Rich in amino acids, enzymes, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins
    • An absolute must after antibiotic use


  1. 3. T. Faye, et al. Survival of lactic acid bacteria from fermented milks in an in vitro digestion model exploiting sequential incubation in human gastric and duodenum juice J. Dairy Sci. 2012; 95 (2). DOI: 10.3168/jds.2011-4705
  2. Dominguez-Bello MG, et al. Delivery mode shapes the acquisition and structure of the initial microbiota across multiple body habitats in newborns. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2010; 107: 11971–11975.
  3. O’Hara, Ann M. and Fergus Shanahan. The Gut Flora as a Forgotten Organ. EMBO Rep. 2006 July; 7(7): 688–693.

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  • Megan

    Hi Annie,

    Did you know that the inner ecology of our digestive tract is no longer what it used to be?

    While fermentation is a very old practice, our modern diet has changed the landscape of the gut so much that many people cannot tolerate salt brine ferments.

    A starter culture ensures that good bacteria are present.

    Many babies are now born via C-section, which prevents good bacteria from mom's birth canal from inoculating the baby's gut. And many people do not grow up eating fermented foods. In the right context, a traditional slat brine is great. For those of us with food sensitivities and who have had Candida overgrowth, it can be dangerous.

    Body Ecology has helped me to recover and repair my gastrointestinal tract, so that I no longer suffer from deep cystic acne. And my joint pain is at a minimum.

    When I use a starter, I can trust that I am getting beneficial bacteria. And I know that my homemade ferments are a thousand times stronger than any probiotic supplement I would buy in the store.

  • Matvey

    I appreciate all the hard work Donna did but her company pushes it's product way to much. Ecobloom is simply inulin 4x overpriced. People consumed wild fermented foods for centuries and now it's bad we have to buy everything.

  • Annie Dru

    Humans have been fermenting their food in a 'pure salt brine' for exponentially longer than Body Ecology or any other commercial *starters* have been around. I feel that it's irresponsible to imply that somehow this ancient method is 'dangerous'. I'm sorry to say it, but this appears to be little more than a poorly concealed marketing ploy.

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Information and statements regarding dietary supplements/products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is a result of years of practice and experience by the author. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your healthcare provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website.