Why You Should Eat More Fermented Foods

fermented-foods

Fermented foods have been called superfoods and they’re increasing in popularity. But there’s more to them than hype. Here’s why you should add them to your diet.

 

What Exactly are Fermented Foods?

Fermented foods have gone through a process called lacto-fermentation. This is where natural bacteria feed on starch and sugar in the food, producing lactic acid that prevents the growth of harmful bacteria. This preserves the purity of the food while creating probiotics and nutrients that are very good for your health. Examples of fermented foods include sauerkraut, tempeh, miso and foods that have been pickled, such as cucumbers, beetroots and onions.

Feel it in Your Gut

Up to 80 per cent of your body’s immunity is found in your gastrointestinal tract. A healthy gut is one in which nutrients get absorbed and toxins as well as allergens are not allowed access. This has an influence over your entire health. So, if your gut is working well it keeps infections and illness at bay. Fermented foods contain good bacteria that keep your digestive system in great condition to master this process.

Improved Digestion

Fermented foods are easy to digest. This is because the fermentation process breaks down cellulose in food which is difficult for the body to disintegrate. If foods are easier to digest, their nutrients are also easier to absorb, filling the body with all its beneficial vitamins.

Boosted Vitamin Content

Fermented foods have greater nutritional content, such as when it comes to folic acid and choline (which disintegrates fat in the liver). They can even help you stay youthful, thanks to their glutathione content. Glutathione is an antioxidant that fights free radicals.

You can easily start to add more fermented foods to your diet. Here are some ideas:

  • Replace milk with yogurt when making smoothies or other recipes. Yogurt that contains live and active cultures is your best bet for loads of probiotic content.
  • Use miso in soups or to marinate fish.
  • Add tempeh to your meals. Not only rich in probiotics, tempeh is also a complete source of protein.
  • For a change from sauerkraut in your salads, choose kimchi. This fermented cabbage makes things more interesting with it spicy taste.

Image credit: nickola_che  / Dollar Photo Club

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