Fermented Foods – Health Benefits Go Beyond the Gut
What is fermentation? Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process where natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid (lacto fermentation). This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, as well as adding probiotics.
Historically, diets worldwide were rich in fermented foods – a process that occurred naturally and was used as a method of preservation. Today, our foods are produced and shipped long distances, and sterilization methods are used to keep foods safe. Unfortunately, we now consume sterile foods and we are suffering the consequences of eliminating natural sources of probiotics from our diets.
Health Benefits of Fermented Foods:
- improved digestion and nutrient absorption
- increased nutrient synthesis (like vitamin K)
- improving symptoms of depression
- reducing inflammation
- strengthening the immune system
- preventing pathogens from colonizing the digestive tract
- a protective role in metabolic diseases, including diabetes and obesity