“Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of lacto-fermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid” (Katie, 2016).
In early times, when there were no freezers, people used to preserve food for long periods of time through this process of lacto-fermentation. In this way, the lactic acid created in the process inhibited putrefying bacteria.
You might be probably wondering: Why are we talking about fermentation now? Well, beyond of simple preservation, the process of lacto-fermentation has many advantages:
- It enhances the digestibility of the food.
- Increases their vitamin levels.
- Promotes the growth of healthy flora in the intestine.
- Produces important enzymes, antibiotic and anticancer substances.
- Removes toxins and harmful bacteria in food.
- Increases the B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, supporting your immune system.
- Fermentation is the only way of preparing foods that doesn’t destroy certain nutrients. In fact, it creates more nutrients and enhances others.
- It improves your gut health by “reseeding” it with beneficial bacteria
It is recommended to eat fermented foods every day, especially before your meal, to allow the nutrients to be absorbed properly and improve your digestion.
The most popular fermented foods that you can find in the supermarket are: raw sauerkraut, plain yogurt, kombucha, fermented vegetables, kefir, natto (fermented soy), lassi, kimchi, cheese, pickles, olives, beer, wine and raw cacao.
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(Photograph credit to Pixabay)
Reference: Katie, Wellness Mama (2016). Health Benefits of Fermented Foods. [Online]. Available at: https://wellnessmama.com/2245/health-benefits-fermented-foods/. [Accessed 2 February 2017].