Fermented foods have been making headlines lately, and this is largely due to new research that proves just how beneficial these foods are. Fermented foods are foods that have undergone the lactofermentation process, meaning that natural bacteria has been feeding on the sugars and starch in that food, creating lactic acid. This lactic acid not only works to preserve that specific food, but also brings about beneficial enzymes and probiotics.
Benefits of Eating Fermented Foods
Your digestive system is what primarily benefits from eating fermented foods, as they will come into contact with beneficial bacteria that will help to balance out the bacteria that already exists in your digestive system. Fermented foods are able to aid with digestion, allow your body to absorb more nutrients from the food, boost the immune system, and have even been shown to help reverse certain diseases.
When it comes to fermented foods, sauerkraut is one of the healthiest out there and has been popular in Central Europe for hundreds of years. Essentially consisting of fermented cabbage, sauerkraut is packed with dietary fiber, as well as high levels of vitamins A, B, C and K, and plenty of manganese, magnesium, calcium and iron.
While kimchi also contains fermented cabbage, it consists of a number of other fermented vegetables too, such as carrots and onions, and is often seasoned quite heavily. Considered to be the national dish of Korea, kimchi has been popular for centuries in Asia, meaning that, today, there are hundreds of different varieties available to buy, and even more recipes available to recreate yourself at home.
Kefir has a similar taste to yogurt, but is of a much thinner consistency, making it almost like a drinkable yogurt. It is made by adding kefir cultures to cow or goat’s milk, which multiply and ferment over a 24 hour period, turning the milk into kefir. The drink is full of calcium, phosphorous, vitamin B12 and vitamin B2, as well as several organic acids and peptides that each bring about their own health benefits.
Kombucha is a fermented, slightly effervescent, black or green tea, and was first recorded as being consumed by the ancient Chinese more than 2000 years ago. In addition to aiding with digestion, kombucha is also extremely effective at detoxifying the body, bringing about mental clarity and mood stability.
While kefir may be considered to be much more powerful than yogurt, yogurt itself contains a lot of probiotics. Even better, if you are able to purchase yogurt that is labeled as containing live and active cultures, this is a guarantee that there will be at least 100 million probiotic cultures in each and every gram of that yogurt.
While it may seem as though fermented foods are a new fad that will not withstand the test of time, this is far from the case, as fermented foods have been consumed by various cultures around the world for centuries now. From the Asian origins of kimchi to the European roots of sauerkraut, these foods bring benefits to the body that nothing else can.