Last updateFri, 19 Aug 2016 9am

Fermented food fan explains how to boost your digestive, mental health benefits

Jocotepec resident Tommy Arnold first learned about fermented foods seven years ago while living in his hometown of Dallas, Texas. 

If food is medicine, Arnold was on a mission to discover the “right” foods to help him with some troubling gut issues, depression and anxiety. 

“I was eating bread all the time – gravy, chicken fried steak, enchiladas,” Arnold says. “I’d have these little bouts of irritability every day, and felt a whole lot of anxiety at work and caring for my health-challenged relatives.”

While researching healing foods, Arnold says he came across information that basically said, “if you are depressed, you need to heal your gut.”

Arnold explains: “I learned that there is a nerve that runs from your gut to your brain and the two are constantly reporting to each other. If your digestion is messed up, your brain is not going to function at optimum levels.” 

Arnold researched countless health-related books and articles that all pointed to the benefits of fermented foods and drinks, including cancer diet articles. “They all have you consuming fermented foods and drinks,” he says.

By 2001 Arnold was well-stocked with information and ready to start experimenting on himself. His first fermented drink was Rejuvelac, a non-alcoholic fermented liquid made from sprouted grains. 

“I bought wheat berry grains, then soaked and sprouted them in water. The water ferments and make a probiotic drink.” 

Later he discovered kefir water, ordering his first kefir grains online. Since then, kefir water has been his go-to beverage. 

“Within two to three weeks of drinking kefir water I noticed that my allergy and sinus issues improved. I also felt my anxiety levels drop and felt more energized during the day. Plus, my acid reflux went away … I was more irritable when I didn’t drink it.”

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