Written by Dr. Millie Lytle. If you’re looking to heal a leaky gut, or problems caused by a leaky gut, look no further than fermented foods for eczema, appetite control or constipation. Your skin is a reflection of your gut health.

Fermented foods are superfoods but if you’re still thinking about yogurt or kefir, let’s expand your definition. From a health perspective, there is a good way to make food (small batches home-made, traditional or slow method) and a bad way (large batches commercially made in a factory)…always. This is why prepared organic foods are a zillion times better than most prepared conventional foods, because the health benefits are in the processing method.  So let’s just cover home economics 101.

  1. Fermentation is a metabolic process that converts sugar to acids, gases or alcohol. It occurs in yeast and bacteria, and also in oxygen-starved muscle cells, as in the case of lactic acid fermentation.
  2. Distillation is the action of purifying a liquid by a process of heating and cooling, such as “the petroleum distillation process”

The term “distilled vinegar” is produced by fermentation of distilled alcohol. The fermentate is diluted to produce a colorless solution of 5% to 8% acetic acid in water, with a pH of about 2.4. This is variously known as distilled spirit or white vinegar.  The most common starting material in some regions, because of its low cost, is malt, or in the United States, GMO corn (maize), such as the Heinz brand. It is sometimes derived from petroleum (non edible)

So … vinegars, pickles, condiments, sauerkraut, wine, beer, done the old fashioned way are healthy because they use slow fermentation. But most pickled foods and condiments are done the faster process distilled method..we wont’ even get onto the topic of alcohol. The quick distilled method is not healthy because the good bacteria generated from the slow method is not present. This means all the difference in the world. The pH is also lower, therefore more acidic. One helps your digestion, one harms it. One acts like medicine and heals your digestion, skin, alkalizes you, improves daily BMs, improves immunity and grows your microbiome. The other is neutral at best, and likely is partically responsible for your yeast infection, bad breath, acid reflux, sugar habit, headaches, allergies and migraine headaches.

So be sure to check out the organic aisle and the fridge section when shopping for fermented foods because, aside from the vinegar itself, these foods are perishable. Remember you want to eat fermented foods to heal your eczema not cause it.

Here is a list of my 3 favorite fermented foods:

  1. Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar: I add this to my water, use it for salad dressing, dips, and tenderizing.  I even tonify my face with it. I could not live without it.  You gotta try the quickest pickles ever!

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