Not only do fermented foods, such as kimchi, kefir, coconut yogurt, kombucha, and pickles, taste delicious, they are incredibly nutritious and healthy. Fermented foods are live foods, which means they are enzyme-rich and, therefore, help to reduce bloat, aid digestion, increase the absorption of nutrients, and so much more. Read on to learn more about the benefits of consuming fermented foods.
1. Improved Digestion
The process of fermentation pre-digests food for you. This means your digestive system has less work to do. As a result, foods like yogurt and kefir are tolerable by some people who are sensitive to dairy (examples: cheese and milk).
2. Boost The Immune System
Keeping a strong and healthy immune system is vital for living a life you love. Fortunately, fermented foods support the “good” bacteria in the body because they are bacteria-based. As HarvestHealthFoods reports, “the good bugs strengthen the immune system and help us ward off disease and illness.”
3. Improved Nutrient Absorption
There’s nothing like a free-range hot dog with mustard and sauerkraut on a hot, summer day. Don’t forget the pickle! These two fermented foods (sauerkraut and pickle) are made with lactic acid bacteria. Enzyme-rich foods help the body absorb nutrients more easily while improving gut health.
4. Increased Vitamin Content
Fermented dairy products, specifically, release more of the vitamins in foods that our bodies need to stay healthy. Folic acid, B vitamins, riboflavin, and biotin are but a few nutrients that are increased in fermented foods.
5. Longer Shelf Life
Unlike milk, which has a one or two-week life span in the fridge, canned pickles, sauerkraut, beets, and more can last months when stored in a cool environment.
6. Save Money
You can easily pickle foods at home, which makes fermented foods a cost-effective addition to any diet. Not only can fermented foods lower food costs, but they can also stretch your budget while keeping nutritious vegetables on your family’s plates.
7. Great Taste
Fermented foods are an acquired taste. However, once you learn to appreciate the pungent ‘zing’ of salsa and kimchi, you’ll never go back to eating boring, bland food.
8. Relieves Constipation
Because fermented foods are bacteria-based (the “good” kind), they can help spawn peristalsis (fecal elimination) which wards off constipation.
9. Improve Neonatal Health
Mothers who eat fermented foods maintain a healthier balance of “good” bacteria in their bodies. This is beneficial for the fetus and, in fact, can help prevent neonatal infections.
10. Weight Loss
Many fermented foods are rich in choline, which can help lower blood pressure and even help metabolize fats more quickly.
“Fermented Foods Bubble with Healthful Benefits” by Casey Seidenberg,www.washingtonpost.com, 11/19/12
“Fermenting Foods for Flavor, Fun, and Nutrition” by Paulette Millis,www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com, 3/15/11