Are you aware of the advantage of consuming probiotics found in fermented food on a daily basis, but are you familiar with the reasons why this is beneficial? When it comes to finding ways to get your necessary nutrients, there are a multitude of choices available. Eating food with probiotics is a great way to ensure your body gets what it needs.
Get More Good Bacteria
What is the reasoning behind your desire to consume foods that contain bacteria? Good question. Generally, it is not recommended to consume stale food. Yet, using these old-fashioned techniques, fermentation can bring additional health benefits.
Fermented food staples such as sauerkraut can be quite helpful when you’re aiming to lose weight. Fermented foods tend to have less sugar and fewer calories, however, they are packed with fiber, making them very satiating. Sauerkraut is a dish produced from fermenting cabbage and, sometimes, other vegetables. Not only does it contain a lot of beneficial live cultures, but it may also lessen allergy symptoms. Sauerkraut is loaded with vitamins A, B, C, and E. Certain types of kimchi start off with elevated levels of beta-carotene, and after going through a three-week period of fermentation the amount of B1, B2, and B12 in the kimchi is able to be doubled.
Fermenting edibles also assists in maintaining steadiness in your blood sugar, subsequently curtailing desires for food, sustaining the sensitivity of your insulin, and aiding with weight reduction. In a research project documented in the Journal of Medicinal Food, participants who consumed fermented cabbage each day experienced diminutions in overall cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (also known as “bad” cholesterol), and blood glucose concentrations after just a 7-day period.
Investigations conducted on kimchi indicate that this Korean favorite nurtures good bacteria that combat unhealthy bacteria, thereby aiding in thwarting issues like vaginal yeast infections, urinary tract infections, overweight, diabetes, and digestive tract malignancies.
The more you consume, the more advantages you gain! An investigation at Pusan National University in Korea examined 100 male youngsters; certain individuals in the sample ate substantial portions of kimchi consistently, while others indulged in only half an ounce. Individuals who consumed a considerable quantity of kimchi (approximately 8 oz.) daily experienced visible decreases in cholesterol levels in comparison to those who ate a minimal quantity each day for seven days. Both groups experienced a decrease in their overall and LDL cholesterol amounts throughout the study.
Evidence suggests that eating Kimchi can assist in decreasing your level of fasting glucose, which would help to balance the hormone insulin. Research has indicated that individuals from Korea that followed their traditional diet filled with kimchi had decreased levels of glycated hemoglobin (HbA?c) and proof of a decrease in blood sugar. Still not convinced? A trial took overweight and obese individuals (with a body mass index higher than 25 kg/m2) and divided them into two groups, those consuming fresh kimchi and those consuming fermented kimchi. Results indicated that consuming fermented kimchi led to a notable reduction in body weight, body mass index, body fat, waist-to-hip ratio, blood pressure, total cholesterol, and fasting blood glucose.
I strongly advise everyone to take a preventative measure for their health. To begin, having probiotic-rich foods as part of your weekly menu is an exceptional step. Fermented items like kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir have more than just a yummy taste. Not only can they aid in dropping pounds due to their nutrient content, they are also packed with vitamins and fiber, as well as full of beneficial bacteria which helps protect against several ailments. Finally, their immunity-boosting benefits outstrip any supplement powder you can buy.
Why are fermented foods good for you? The regular eating of probiotic-rich, fermented items can bring an array of positive outcomes, extending well beyond digestive health and into bodily functions in general.
A 2017 review discussed the presence of particular elements in these foods that have characteristics that can act as antimicrobial, anti-cancerous, and anti-oxidants, as well as potentially cause lowered blood pressure, providing opioid antagonist activity, and reducing allergies.
The beneficial bacteria from consuming probiotic foods create a defensive barrier in the gut and provide protection from microbes like salmonella and E.coli. They may also be a way to counteract the inflammation caused by an imbalance in the microbiome of the gut.
The consumption of fermented foods is significant in enhancing the body’s immune system by boosting the production of antibodies. Eating these foods also helps to control the appetite and to eliminate longings for sugary and processed carbohydrates.
Consuming fermented foods containing probiotics can support the management of candida growth in the digestive system as part of a candida-based eating plan.
The nutrient value of cultured foods is increased through the process of lacto-fermentation, making their minerals more accessible. Microbes in fermented edibles create vitamins and digestive enzymes that are advantageous for digestion and overall gut wellness.
A study recently published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology has demonstrated the value of probiotics as part of a balanced diet for both people and animals, and suggests that probiotics may be a practical and natural way of protecting against microbial infection.
It is astonishing but true, there is no proof that consuming fermented items can help to lessen social anxiety. An investigation conducted by the University of Maryland School of Social Work discovered a relationship between guts health and social anxiety disorder.
A significant portion of our feelings appears to be impacted by the nerves located in our digestive tract (the enteric nervous system). It seems that the microorganisms in our intestines are responsible for connections between the gut and the brain, as well as influencing various emotions and behaviors – this is referred to as the “gut-brain connection.”
Research on animals has determined that mental depression is connected to the relationship between the brain and the digestive system, demonstrating that those who have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue have responded positively to taking probiotics.
Below are the benefits of eating some of the most common fermented foods:
- Yogurt — Yogurt intake has been found to be associated with better overall diet quality, healthier metabolic profiles, and healthier blood pressure.
- Kombucha — After being fermented, kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, B vitamins, enzymes, probiotics, and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic, and lactic).
- Sauerkraut — Studies suggest that sauerkraut has a variety of beneficial effects on human health. It can help boost digestive health, aid in circulation, fight inflammation, strengthen bones, and reduce cholesterol levels.
- Pickles — Pickles alone can help address the all-too-common vitamin K deficiency, as one small pickle contains a healthy dose of this fat-soluble vitamin, which plays an important role in bone and heart health.
- Kimchi — Kimchi is known to improve cardiovascular and digestive health and has high levels of antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of serious health conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, and gastric ulcers. A report published in Bioactive Foods in Health Promotion states, “Health functionality of kimchi, based upon our research and that of others, includes anticancer, antioxidative, antiobesity, anti-constipation, serum cholesterol, and lipid-controlling, antidiabetic, and immune-boosting effects.”
- Natto — It contains the extremely powerful probiotic bacillus subtilis, which has been proven to support the immune system and cardiovascular health. It also enhances the digestion of vitamin K2. In addition to these natto benefits, it contains a powerful anti-inflammatory enzyme called nattokinase that has been shown to potentially have cancer-fighting effects.
- Miso — Miso has anti-aging properties and can help maintain healthy skin. It also boosts the immune system, may help lower the risk of certain types of cancer, improves bone health, and promotes a healthy nervous system.
- Tempeh — Tempeh contains high levels of vitamins B5, B6, B3, and B2. Eating it regularly may help reduce cholesterol, increase bone density, reduce menopausal symptoms, and promote muscle recovery, and has roughly the same protein content as meat.
How to Ferment Foods
What are fermented foods exactly? Fermentation occurs when food is left to soak, allowing the predisposed sugars and carbohydrates to react with bacterial, yeast, and microbial agents, thereby transforming the food’s molecular composition.
Fermentation is the process of using bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms to break down a substance that then produces a bubbly effervescence, giving off heat in the process. This chemical reaction converts carbohydrates and sugar from vegetables into alcohol, carbon dioxide, and an organic acid.
Research has discovered that billions of microorganisms can be present in a single gram of fermented goods, the amount varying due to the geographical location, how old it is, and when it was eaten.
Food like milk and vegetables can be preserved longer by going through fermentation, which also boosts the body’s ability to absorb the nutrients from them.
How Is Yogurt Fermented, and How Are Fermented Veggies Made?
The Milk Facts website mentions that yogurt gets its characteristic tang from the lactic acid produced when the starter culture ferments lactose, the sugar found in milk. Milk’s pH is reduced by lactic acid, resulting in clotting and thickening of the milk with a creamy feel.
Once the fermentation process has been completed, the yogurt developed will consist of two primary bacterial cultures – Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Legally, yogurt must consist of the two bacteria strains, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.
Making kefir and yogurt requires similar processes, yet the outcomes are dissimilar. This discrepancy occurs since kefir is produced at room temperature with retaining a continual quantity of kefir grains, which are composed of numerous bacteria and yeast. Kefir has a wider variety of bacteria and also harbors yeasts, and has a stronger acidic taste than yogurt.
The majority of vegetable ferments occur through the lactic acid fermentation technique (called lacto-fermentation) which is initiated when vegetables are chopped and salted. Vegetables that have been treated with fermentation have a high acid-to-low pH ratio, which typically makes them both able to stay shelf-stable and safe for consumption for a more extended period than raw vegetables.
Many kinds of pickled vegetables come with extra components such as coriander, garlic, ginger, and red pepper, which grant a range of health benefits. The microbial levels in fermented vegetables are determined depending on the nutrient content of the fresh produce used, and they can change depending on the season, level of ripeness, atmospheric moisture, temperature, and any pesticide use, amongst other elements.
How Often Should You Eat Fermented Foods?
If you have not tried fermented food before, begin by including a small portion of it in your daily diet, roughly half a cup, and slowly add more as you get used to it. This gives your digestive system time to get used to the existence of fresh microorganisms.
For optimal health benefits, it is advisable to incorporate a range of fermented foods into your diet, as each one contains its own unique beneficial bacteria.
Where can you buy fermented foods? Nowadays, they can be located at almost every grocery store.
Yogurt can be easily obtained, while supplies of other fermentations such as kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi are more conveniently obtainable nowadays. Search for fermented items at natural food markets, big supermarkets, and the local farmers’ market.
It’s a good idea to include prebiotic and high-fiber items in your diet on a daily basis, such as artichokes, bananas, onions, and other plants, as these can help nourish the probiotics in the digestive system.
How Can I Make Fermented Foods at Home?
What foods can you ferment at home? There is an extensive amount of items that comprise vegetables, grains, soybeans, milk, etc.
Examples of fermenting veggies you can make at your house include sauerkraut from cabbage, pickled carrots, green beans and turnips, pickled radishes, and pickled beetroots.
Here is a basic homemade fermented foods recipe using vegetables you may already have on hand:
- Fermenting vegetables is relatively easy, and you only need a jar with some salt and water. Salt and water combined make the brine, which aids in the fermentation process.
- Use a regular wide-mouth mason jar. Prepare the vegetables for fermenting by grating, shredding, chopping, slicing, or leaving them whole.
- Once the vegetables have been prepared and placed in the chosen jar, cover them with brine, and weigh them down so they don’t float up. Thoroughly sprinkle the salt onto the veggies, and massage them a bit. Add any other ingredients, such as spices. If there’s not enough liquid released, add more salted water (brine). There should be a little room at the top of the jar since bubbles will form during fermentation. Make sure the lid is on tightly while the veggies ferment.
- Most veggies need two to seven days to ferment. The longer you leave them to ferment, the stronger the taste will get. Once the vegetables are finished culturing, move them to cold storage.
For some fermented food recipes, you may need to use kefir grains, whey, yeast, or a starter culture, depending on the recipe and your own preference.
Risks and Side Effects
Why might fermented foods be bad for you? Fermented foods undoubtedly bring a lot of advantages; however, it is possible to experience digestive problems if one consumes a lot of them too fast. These can include bloating or diarrhea.
Begin by taking it easy, and try out diverse kinds to discover your favorites.
If you have a delicate gastrointestinal system, it is suggested that you begin with a minimal quantity, such as a few tablespoons of kefir or one probiotic capsule daily, and gradually increase the dosage.
Go for organic foods with “live and active cultures” whenever you can; this is preferable to items “made with active cultures”.
After the process of fermentation, goods that are of lower quality may be exposed to heat, which eliminates both the beneficial and damaging bacteria (enlarging the shelf life). The ideal situation would be to obtain unprocessed, natural, and locally sourced items that are not loaded with sugar or additional components.