Contributed by: Anjali Sharma
Eating fermented foods has several compelling health benefits. These beneficial bacteria, especially in our gut, can improve digestion ImmunityAnd help us maintain a healthy weight.
What are fermented foods?
In fermentation, bacteria, yeast and other microorganisms break down sugar-like compounds.
This process brings about various chemical changes.
But most importantly, it prolongs the shelf life of the product and increases the number of healthy microorganisms in the food.
What are probiotics?
One strategy to improve gut health is to eat foods rich in probiotics, or beneficial bacteria (eating more whole grains, especially foods rich in prebiotics is also essential).
Yogurt and kimchi, two examples of fermented foods, are rich in probiotics. Throughout the fermentation process, beneficial bacteria proliferate.
For a balanced serving of probiotics, include these seven fermented items in your diet.
A variety of health benefits have been associated with a fermented milk drink called kefir.
Kefir grains and milk are combined to create this cultured dairy product, resulting in a creamy, delicious drink rich in probiotics.
Protein, phosphorus, calcium, and Vitamin B12 Kefir contains some essential ingredients, all of which are very important for maintaining good health.
Furthermore, kefir has a lower lactose content, which makes it more likely to be consumed by people who are lactose intolerant than regular milk.
Animal tests have demonstrated kefir’s anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties, suggesting it may be helpful in treating ailments such as asthma.
There are many other ways to enjoy this delicious, gut-friendly beverage besides kefir milk. Kefir dairy products, including goat milk kefir, kefir cheese, and kefir yogurt, are popular alternatives to conventional dairy products.
Two good options for those who are primarily vegetarian or avoid dairy are water kefir or coconut milk kefir.
Black or green tea is used to make the fermented drink kombucha.
Depending on how it’s made and the ingredients that are added, it can taste sour or sweet and is often bright and crisp.
Animal and test-tube models show that kombucha can help with weight loss blood sugar, Cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and despite the lack of human studies in this area, inhibit cancer cell proliferation in vitro.
It can be made at home using tea, sugar, and a SCOBY, also referred to as a “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast,” making it an excellent alternative to soda or other sugary drinks.
Popular dishes such as miso soup are made using miso, a type of fermented soybean paste.
Other legumes, such as fermented black beans, chickpeas or lentils can also be used to make this. Additionally, it can be used with seaweed, barley or rice.
Miso is packed with vitamins and minerals, including manganese, vitamin K, copper and zinc, and has an outstanding nutritional profile.
Keep in mind that it is high in salt, so consume it in moderation and combine it with various other fermented foods for maximum benefit.
Vegan kimchi, a mainstay of Korean cooking, is cherished for its mouth-watering taste and adaptability.
It is made from salted, fermented vegetables that have also been seasoned with scallions, garlic and other herbs and spices.
Additionally, there are several varieties, including kimchi made from cucumber, carrot, cabbage, or radish.
In addition to providing food with a spicy edge, kimchi has been linked to several health benefits.
For example, research from Pusan National University in Korea found that eating kimchi for seven days significantly reduced cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
According to an additional study, it may help with weight control and improve insulin sensitivity.
A popular fermented food with a long history of health benefits is sauerkraut.
Despite its roots in ancient China more than 2,000 years ago, sauerkraut has since become a widely used side dish.
Traditionally, raw cabbage and lactic acid bacteria are used to make fermented sauerkraut.
Additionally, it can be flavored in some areas with juniper berries, ginger, beets, dill or fennel.
Sauerkraut not only offers the same health benefits as other fermented foods, but also provides ample servings of vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and manganese.
Additionally, sauerkraut is easy to prepare and can be done in the comfort of your own kitchen.
To make homemade sauerkraut simply mix grated cabbage, salt and any additional vegetables of your choice such as beets, carrots and ginger.
Place in a clean jar and let it sit at room temperature for two to three weeks to allow fermentation to occur.
Probiotic yogurt is a good option for yogurt lovers. Next time you’re at the supermarket, look for a brand of yogurt that’s been cultured with probiotics.
This type of yogurt is made from fermented milk and often contains lactic acid bacteria to increase the probiotic content.
Yogurt with probiotics can be especially helpful if you have high blood pressure.
According to a review in The British Journal of Nutrition, adding fermented milk to foods like probiotic yogurt can help lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, especially in people who already have high blood pressure.
Natto beans are one of the leading fermented foods in Asian countries.
Natto, which is made from fermented soybeans like tempeh, is an excellent source of protein, manganese, iron and copper.
Although many people are unfamiliar with its distinct flavor, texture, and smell, natto has been linked to a number of significant health benefits.
Natto contains an enzyme specifically called nattokinase, which has been shown to lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots.
Fermented foods extend their shelf life which improves their nutritional value.
Probiotics included in fermented foods have been linked to increased immunity, weight loss, and more.
Fermented foods are a great addition to your diet because they contain these beneficial bacteria as well as support many other health benefits.
Regular stomach exams are also recommended to monitor your digestive health, especially if you frequently experience symptoms of an unhealthy stomach.
Book a full abdominal exam today!
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