Contributed by: Anjali Sharma
There are several compelling health benefits of consuming fermented foods. These beneficial bacteria, especially the ones in our guts, can enhance digestion, increase immunity, and assist us in maintaining a healthy weight.
What are fermented foods?
In fermentation, bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms break down compounds like sugar.
This process brings about various chemical changes.
But most importantly, it lengthens the product’s shelf life and increases the number of healthy microorganisms in the food.
What are probiotics?
One strategy to improve gut health is to consume foods high in probiotics, or beneficial bacteria (eating more foods that are high in fibre, particularly prebiotic-rich foods, is also essential).
Probiotics are abundant in yoghurt and kimchi, two examples of fermented foods. Throughout the fermentation process, the beneficial bacteria expand.
For a balanced serving of probiotics, incorporate these seven fermented items into your diet.
A variety of health advantages have been connected to the fermented milk beverage, called kefir.
Kefir grains and milk are combined to create this cultured dairy product, which results in a creamy, tasty beverage that is rich in probiotics.
Protein, phosphorus, calcium, and vitamin B12 are just a few of the essential components included in kefir, all of which are crucial for maintaining good health.
Furthermore, kefir has a low lactose content, making it more probable for people with lactose sensitivity to accept it than ordinary milk.
Kefir has been proven to have anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory characteristics in animal experiments, suggesting that it may be helpful in the treatment of ailments like asthma.
There are many other ways to enjoy this delectable, gut-friendly beverage besides kefir milk. Kefir dairy products including goat milk kefir, kefir cheese, and kefir yoghurt are popular alternatives to conventional dairy goods.
For people who are largely vegetarian or avoid dairy, two well-liked substitutes are water kefir or coconut milk kefir.
Black or green tea is used to make the fermented beverage kombucha.
Depending on how it is made and the substances that are added, it can have a flavour that is sour or sweet and is often effervescent and crisp.
Animal and test-tube models demonstrate that kombucha may help lower blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and stop the spread of cancer cells in vitro, despite the paucity of human studies in these areas.
It can be made at home using tea, sugar, and a SCOBY, also referred to as a “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast,” and it makes an excellent substitute for soda or other sugary beverages.
Popular meals like miso soup are made using miso, a form of fermented soybean paste.
Other legumes, such as fermented black beans, chickpeas, or lentils, can also be used to make it. Additionally, it may 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 nutritious profile.
Remember that it also contains a lot of salt, so consume it moderately and combine it with a variety of other fermented foods for the greatest benefits.
Vegan kimchi, a mainstay in Korean cooking, is cherished for its mouthwatering flavour and adaptability.
It is created with 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 connected to a number of health advantages.
For instance, research from Pusan National University in Korea discovered that consuming kimchi for seven days significantly reduced cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
According to an additional study, it may also assist with weight management and improve insulin sensitivity.
A popular fermented meal with a long history of health advantages is sauerkraut.
Despite having its roots in ancient China over 2,000 years ago, sauerkraut has subsequently become a widely consumed side dish.
Traditionally, raw cabbage and lactic acid bacteria are used to make fermented sauerkraut.
Additionally, it may be flavoured in some areas with juniper berries, ginger, beets, dill, or fennel.
Sauerkraut not only offers the same health advantages as other fermented foods, but also a substantial serving of vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and manganese.
Additionally, preparing sauerkraut is simple and can be done in the convenience of your own kitchen.
Simply mix grated cabbage, salt, and any additional vegetables of your choosing, such as beets, carrots, and ginger, to make homemade sauerkraut.
Place in a clean jar and let it sit at room temperature for two to three weeks to allow fermentation to take place.
Probiotic yoghurt is a good option for yoghurt lovers. Look for a brand of yoghurt that has been cultivated with probiotics the next time you’re at the supermarket.
This sort of yoghurt is made from fermented milk and frequently has lactic acid bacteria to boost the probiotic content.
Yoghurt with probiotics can be especially helpful if you have high blood pressure.
Consuming fermented milk in foods like probiotic yoghurt can help lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, especially in people who already have high blood pressure, according to a review in The British Journal of Nutrition.
Natto beans rank as one of the top fermented foods in Asian nations.
Natto, which is prepared from fermented soybeans like tempeh, is a fantastic source of protein, manganese, iron, and copper.
Natto has been linked to a number of remarkable health advantages, despite the fact that many people are unfamiliar with its distinctive flavour, texture, and scent.
Natto includes an enzyme called nattokinase particular, which has been demonstrated to lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots.
Fermented foods have extended shelf lives which improves their nutritional value.
Probiotics included in fermented foods have been linked to enhancements in immune function, weight loss, and more.
Fermented foods are a great addition to your diet since they help many other elements of health in addition to possessing these beneficial bacteria.
It’s also highly recommended to take regular stomach tests to keep a check on your digestive health, especially if you experience the symptoms of an unhealthy stomach, frequently.