Why You Should Eat More Fermented Foods

Food fermentation is the process that creates a wide range of delicious treats we regularly enjoy, including cheese, yogurt, pickles, Kombucha, wine, beer, and much more. And while you may not pay much attention to which foods in your diet are fermented and which aren’t, fermented foods have properties that make them a treasured addition to your diet.

1 – Fermented foods are good for your gut

You may have heard of probiotics. The term refers to certain types of bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health. Probiotic bacteria can help the body perform various functions, but they are most commonly found in your digestive system. These bacteria play a primordial role in helping you digest foods, and there are even a few essential vitamins that your body can’t synthesize without the help of bacteria. For example, probiotics can help your body produce vitamin C, B12, K, and more.

How does all of this relate to fermented foods? Well, fermentation comes down to allowing probiotic bacteria to break down foods, which turns them into a new type of food. So, for example, the difference between milk that becomes yogurt and cheese is primarily determined by what bacteria you use during the fermentation process.

The bacteria responsible for fermenting foods aren’t just safe to consume; they can actively boost your gut flora, helping you digest foods for years to come. And regularly consuming fermented foods is an excellent way to ensure gut health.

2 – Fermented foods are easy to digest

This is an extension of the previous point. During the fermentation process, the bacteria break down components of the food into simpler forms of themselves. This makes fermented foods generally easier to digest, which in turn makes them a good pick for anyone suffering from a wide range of gut problems.

It’s also worth noting that digestion is an incredibly energy-intensive process. So if you find yourself tired all the time or feel a strong urge to take a nap after a big meal, it might be because you are eating too many hard-to-digest foods without consuming enough fiber and probiotics to help your body deal with what you eat.

3 – Fermented foods are nutritious

This is particularly true for fermented vegetables, especially if you are looking for a way to preserve vegetables without losing their nutritional content. Fermented and pickled vegetables can retain a significant amount of the nutrients found in their fresh counterparts, while canned and frozen vegetables often lose significant amounts of nutritional content.

4 – Fermented foods are easy to make

Making your fermented foods and beverages is relatively easy, as this kombucha SCOBY guide shows. This ease of access means that you can not only save money by making your fermented foods, but you can also tweak the process and develop your recipes to create a final product that is a good fit for your tastes.

Try out some fermented vegetable recipes if you have been meaning to start eating more vegetables but can’t enjoy salads or steamed vegetables. The taste is often a lot different from the original, which may allow you to enjoy vegetables you wouldn’t usually want to eat. 

Photo by Tim-Oliver Metz on Unsplash

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