The Whole You
Benefits of Fermented Foods
by Wendy Humphris, ROHP
Fermented foods are defined as foods which have undergone a process called “fermentation” wherein natural bacteria feed on starch and sugar on foods creating lactic acid. The fermentation process preserves food and creates highly beneficial enzymes such as Omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins and several strains of probiotics. Natural food fermentation has also shown to effectively preserve food nutrients and break down foods to forms that are easier to digest.
The following are more other benefits of fermented foods:
IMPROVE DIGESTION AND BOWEL MOVEMENT
Consuming fermented foods as well as drinking fermented beverages introduces beneficial bacteria to individuals’ digestive system. This also helps in balancing bacteria in the digestive system. It has also been found and proven that probiotics helps slowing down or reversing diseases, aiding in digestion, improving immunity and bowel health.
Probiotics are live organisms like yeasts, fungi and bacteria and in sufficient amounts can deliver enormous health benefits. Probiotics are commonly found in fermented foods. Strains of Bifidobacterium and lactobacillus are the widely known and used probiotics as they can survive passage through digestive system and into the gut with highly-acidic stomach conditions.
BETTER AND EASIER FOOD ABSORPTION
Having the right balance of gut bacteria as well as sufficient digestive enzymes helps individuals absorb more nutrients in the food they consume. Combine this with a healthy foods diet and you’ll absorb more nutrients from foods that you eat. You will not need numerous supplements and essential vitamins because you will be absorbing more live nutrients in your foods.
FERMENTED FOODS ARE BUDGET FRIENDLY
Including healthy foods to your diet can be expensive but this is not really the case with fermented foods. You can create your own for a few dollars and by using this and some sea salt. Fermented drinks can also be made in the comfort of your home. Adding these into your diet can cut down number of supplements needed and can help reduce your budget as well.
There are studies claiming that fermented foods can fight cancer. It has also been found that fermented milk reduces risks of serious bladder cancer. Cooking foods can sometimes destroy critical nutrients but fermentation makes them palatable and at the same time preserving them.
BOOST IMMUNE SYSTEM
About 80% of one’s immune system tends to reside in the gut. Healthy gut means healthy immune system. Adding some fermented foods into your diet can ensure healthier immune system.
REDUCE SUGAR CRAVINGS
By also incorporating fermented foods into your diet, you can possibly limit or completely stop your sugar cravings. This is proven to be beneficial to your health.
PROMOTE BETTER GUT HEALTH
Lactic acid produced during fermentation helps already present healthy bacteria in the gut to proliferate and this leads to optimum gut health. If you want a healthier gut, you can eat fermented foods.
IMPROVE FOOD FLAVOUR
The process of fermentation tends to add new depths to the fermented foods making them more nutritious and delicious. This also makes every meal experience satisfying and healthy.
MY FAVOURITE CULTURED FOODS:
The benefits of fermented foods can never be underrated. No wonder, an increased number of individuals are now opting to include fermented foods in their diets because of the immense benefits these foods provide.
There are many different types of fermented foods and fermentation varies in terms of involved microbes, effects on food and amount of microbe by-products left at end process. With lots of fermented foods making essential contribution to diets across the globe, fermented foods are widely consumed.
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Wendy Humphris, ROHP
I’m a holistic nutritionist and I transform health for a living.