Benefits of Eating Fermented Foods
By Ashley Chapman
Fermented foods have always been around. However, in recent years, they have gained popularity and for good reasons. Known for improving digestion, fermented foods have a multitude of long-term benefits that go beyond your digestive system.
So what is fermentation, what types of foods can be fermented, and what are the benefits of consuming fermented foods? Glad you asked.
How is Food Fermented?
Fermentation is a scientific process that uses microorganisms, to change carbohydrates into alcohol or organic acids. There are two different fermentation processes:
Depending on what you want to ferment, the process includes:
- Cutting or shredding the vegetables
- Placing the vegetables in a glass or ceramic jar
- Using salt, sugar or starter culture with the vegetables
- Adding a heavy object to ensure the vegetables stay underneath the salt
- Store in a dry place after you notice bubbling
Once converted, the types of microorganisms that are produced are called, probiotics. Probiotics are healthy, live bacteria that benefit many parts of your body.
Types of Fermented Food
There are various types of fermented food, but below are 4 foods that are commonly fermented.
Recently gaining popularity, Kombucha is a tea that is fermented and comes in a variety of flavors. Whether you are experiencing a stomachache, or want to improve digestion, kombucha offers the benefits of fermentation, but in a drink form.
Kimchi, a Korean food, is fermented cabbage that has added spices. Along with its digestive benefits, kimchi also adds Vitamin C, Vitamin A and iron to your diet.
Another fermented cabbage, sauerkraut is often used on top of burgers, hot dogs or sausages. It can help boost your immune system, improve digestion and help with weight loss.
Popular among vegetarians and vegans, tempeh is a great meat alternative. In addition, it also offers the same benefits as other fermented foods, such as helping with weight loss and improving digestion.
What Are the Health Benefits?
Other than the great taste of fermented food, it also brings health benefits. Along with improving your gastrointestinal tract (stomach/gut health), eating fermented food can bring long-lasting health benefits.
Some benefits of eating fermented food may include:
- Lower risk of diabetes, obesity and heart disease
- Improve metabolism
- Lower symptoms of lactose intolerance
- Helps lower impact of inflammatory diseases
Fermented foods are another arrow in your quiver as you shoot for good health. Don't be afraid to give them a try!
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Citrus Heights, Calif.