During the past several months we have covered a lot of information regarding our gut microbiota and gut health. We have discovered that our gut microbiome diversity is dependent on fermentation, prebiotics and probiotics. One food that is starting to get more notice is sourdough bread. So many of us have largely eliminated bread from our diet for various reasons: calories, carbs, stomach upset, etc. But what if it isn’t “bread” that presents the problem, but the way it is made.
Enter sourdough and its long-fermentation journey to becoming a loaf of bread. As we have discussed, our gut microbiome needs to be fed with a good variety of foods that include many diverse elements that promote a good bacteria environment. Sourdough can be one of those elements when used in a diverse diet. This means that it can be one part of a large variety of foods we are eating.
The long-fermentation process of the sourdough starter helps to break down the grain and the phytic acid in the flour, allowing more nutrients to be absorbed as we digest the bread. The fermentation also eats up a lot of the gluten, and the fibers in the bread help feed our gut microbiome.
Home preparation is the most reliable in ensuring that a long-fermentation process was followed, but the type of flour is also important. Much of the flour we can buy in the grocery store in the U.S. is highly processed and chemical laden, which may be causing the larger issue of so many people intolerant to wheat. European flour or ancient grain flour are better choices for making our own bread if commercial bread causes us stomach upset.
There are many sources of information online for sourdough starter and using the starter in bread as well as other foods.