Fermented Foods that Heal


Fermented foods are live lactobacillus (the bacteria found in yogurt) fermentation – foods naturally fermented with good bacteria to help break them down and aid digestion.  A majority of children on the autistic spectrum have digestive issues or gut problems, and many of them report good results with probiotics. Many children with ASDs take probiotic supplements and they are very helpful.  Additionally, there are wonderful ways to get these good bacteria in food too (which is less expensive and may even colonize better). Here are a “few” of the many functions and benefits of good bacteria – so many of these being important for children and especially children with autism:
  • Regulate peristalsis and bowel movements
  • Break down bacterial toxins
  • Make vitamins needed and utilize: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, A and K
  • Digest protein into amino acids (for use by the body)
  • Produce antibiotics and antifungals with prevent colonization and growth of bad bacteria and yeast/fungus
  • Help breakdown sugars, lactose, and oxalates
  • Support the immune system and increase the number of immune cells
  • Balance intestinal pH
  • Protect against environmental toxins: mercury, pesticides, pollution
Raw fermented foods –have millions even billions of bacteria per serving. For those on a casein-free diet, there are many fermented foods that are dairy-free such as: kombucha, young coconut juice kefir, fermented “sodas” using kefir starter, nut milk yogurt, and raw sauerkraut.  There are also dairy versions such as traditional milk-based yogurt or kefir. Fermented foods are always sour so it may take a little time to get used to them.  This is where making them yourself is helpful, because you can adjust the level of fermentation to make them more or less sour. READ MORE about Foods that Heal and Julie’s Traditional Healing Foods for ASDs Cooking Class.   FREE VIDEO DEMONSTRATION 20 minute excerpt – “Making your own Homemade Sauerkraut” – from Julie’s hands on cooking class.
JULIE RECOMMENDS soaking nuts and grains for increased digestibility and nutritional value. READ ABOUT soaking nuts in an earlier newsletter.

Julie Matthews is a Certified Nutrition Consultant who received her master’s degree in medical nutrition with distinction from Arizona State University. She is also a published nutrition researcher and has specialized in complex neurological conditions, particularly autism spectrum disorders and ADHD for over 20 years. Julie is the award winning author of Nourishing Hope for Autism, co-author of a study proving the efficacy of nutrition and dietary intervention for autism published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nutrients, and also the founder of BioIndividualNutrition.com. Download her free guide, 12 Nutrition Steps to Better Health, Learning, and Behavior.

1 Comment

  1. I was wondering if you could help clear something up for me. A lot of info. on candida and candida diet protocol say to avoid fermented foods. I understand the importance of adding beneficial bacteria back into the gut through probiotics, but are there certain fermented foods that should be avoided? I recall reading that vinegar should be avoided for example. Why is this?