Baking sourdough bread to boost your inner ecosystem
According to archeologists’ findings, early humans were baking bread as long as fourteen thousands years ago. This early bread was simply made with flour and water, while leavened with yeast and bacteria. Such bread can be baked, steamed, or fried.
Traditional sourdough bread is made with a started rich in Lactobacilli bacteria. These bacteria generate lactic acid, which is responsible for its mildly sour taste. One of these sourdough bacteria, Lactobacillus reuteri, exhibits powerful health-improving benefits, as it has proven to be able to enhance our immune defenses and suppress tumor development. 1
In addition, Lactobacilli reuteri were demonstrated to prevent weight gain and accelerate wound healing.2 Moreover, these same bacteria were shown to activate the gut-brain axis by stimulating the brain to release the hormone ocytocin, known to play a major role in social attachments.
While the bacteria do not survive the high temperatures used for baking, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have shown that the benefits are not at all dependent on live Lactobacilli reuteri bacteria. These same scientists found that the substances originating from dead bacteria were able to generate the same health benefits as live bacteria.
1 Mu Q, Tavella VJ, Luo XM. Role of Lactobacillus reuteri in Human Health and Diseases. Front Microbiol. 2018;9:757.