What is fermented foods?
In fermentation, bacteria or yeast feed on the natural sugars in foods. These microorganisms create compounds such as lactic acid or alcohol, which help preserve the foods.
Pickles, sauerkraut, yogurt, beer, wine, kefir, kombucha, bread and cheese are all examples of fermented foods
Reason #1: A probiotic
The fermented foods also wind up filled with “friendly” bacteria such as those touted in probiotic products, as well as helpful enzymes.
Reason #2: Improves digestion and bone density
The bacteria “predigest” certain food components, making them easier for your gut to handle, and for nutrients to be absorbed when you eat them. By being able to absorb more minerals, you improve your bone density.
Reason #3: Mitigates lactose intolerance
People who are lactose-intolerant usually tolerate yogurt or kefir, because the lactose sugar in these products has been partly broken down by the bacteria in them.
Reason #4: Fights cancer and candida
Sauerkraut and kimchi (fermented cabbage) increases glucosinolate compounds believed to fight cancer. Additionally, fermented foods can play a really important role in rebalancing the gut flora and recovering from gut imbalances like candida
Reason #5: Boosts immune system
Because your gut is the largest component of your immune system, introducing friendly bacteria into your digestive system may also keep illness away. Gut health can improve inflammation, allergies and autoimmune disorders in the body as a whole.
Do and Don’ts on fermented foods
Don’t purchase supermarket jars or cans of fermented foods as they have been pasteurized and cooked at high heat, killing any beneficial bacteria.
Do purchase commercially available yogurts and kefirs that have labels with the words “Live Cultures”.
Don’t purchase yogurts, kombuchas, and kefirs that have added sugar or artificial flavoring. Plain, low-fat yogurts with fresh fruit are a better probiotic source.
Don’t purchase pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi with high levels of sodium.
Do make your fermented foods at home. It’s easy to do and doesn’t require a lot of equipment.
Including fermented foods into your diet will help heal your body and improve your health!
And all fermented foods can be made in your kitchen from locally sourced suppliers.