Say Yes to Fermented Foods: Here Are the Reasons Why



Fermented foods. What are they? They are foods that have been through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics.

Cultures around the world have been eating fermented foods for years, from Sauerkraut in Germany to Kimichi in Korea and everywhere in between. Studies have even shown the link between probiotic rich foods and overall health.

We have trillions of tiny creatures living in our bodies -- an ecosystem of bacteria in our gut. This intestinal microbiota contains both “good” and “bad” bacteria. When the balance of bacteria is tipped towards the bad, it may affect digestive health and overall well-being.

Consuming certain probiotics can help your whole gut situation by providing a regular source of good bacteria to the intestinal tract, improving how it functions and how you feel. While taking probiotic supplements is a good idea, eating fermented foods is an even tastier way to get in those good probiotics.

Besides the fact that they taste great and really grow on you, there are several great reasons to start making and eating fermented foods:

Absorb food better
Having the proper balance of gut bacteria and enough digestive enzymes helps you absorb more of the nutrients in the foods you eat.

Budget friendly
Fermented foods are inexpensive healthy foods you can make your own at home for a couple of dollars. Adding these things to your diet can also cut down on the number of supplements you need, helping the budget further.

Long lasting foods
Lacto-fermentation allows you to store fermented foods for longer periods of time without losing the nutrients like you would with traditional canning.

Help balance the production of stomach acid
Fermented foods have the unique ability to ease digestive discomfort related to having either too much or too little stomach acid by balancing it.

Produce numerous compounds that destroy and inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria
Many pathogenic forms of bacteria are sensitive to acidic environments. This is true of both cholera and typhoid. In the early 1950s, during an epidemic of typhoid fever in Europe, reports emerged showing that fresh sauerkraut was an effective agent for killing the bacteria. Better than antibiotics, huh?

Help the body produce acetylcholine
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that facilitates the transmission of nerve impulses. It helps increase the movement of the bowel, and can help reduce constipation. By helping your body produce acetylcholine, fermented foods act as potent digestive aids.

Beneficial for people with diabetes
Fermented foods improve pancreatic function, which is a great benefit to diabetics. In addition to that, the carbohydrates in lactic acid–fermented foods have been broken down or "pre-digested." As a result, they do not place an extra burden on the pancreas, unlike ordinary carbohydrates.

Good for weight loss, mood and glowing skin
A balanced microbiome regulates the immune system, metabolism, sustains the gastrointestinal tract, supports mood and brain function, produces crucial vitamins and nutrients, and helps us maintain a healthy weight. So if you want to lose weight and feel better it’s essential that you balance the microbiome in your gut by eating fermented foods.

photo: health2blog.com

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