Fermented foods exist in various food cultures for a reason. They add another layer of flavor to otherwise boring and bland dishes and they come packed with health benefits to boot.
Read on to know why including fermented food in your diet makes sense especially if you want to boost your gut’s ability to digest and absorb food.
Top Benefits of Fermented Food
Enjoyable, more flavorful meals
Fermented foods add another layer to any meal, whether it’s through texture, aroma, or taste. Fermented dairy, vegetables, and beans can be added to make boring and bland dishes more flavorful and look visually appealing. Top contenders include pickles, kimchi, and sauerkraut, three types of fermented vegetables that are often used to add spicy dimensions to different types of dishes.
The introduction of fermented food in the gut can help in the digestion process so that food is easier to break down and absorb. Fermented versions of common food such as yogurt or fermented soybeans are often easier absorbed than their non-fermented counterparts. People who are lactose intolerant may also find that consuming fermented dairy does not trigger symptoms of intolerance because the gut no longer has to break down lactose. This means less discomfort especially for those with food intolerance and allergies.
Fermented dishes are often good sources of vitamins and nutrients that help boost the immune system. These include Vitamin C, iron, and zinc that when taken regularly can help build a stronger resistance to various illnesses. This means better resistance against infections and illnesses, even common ones like the flu or the common cold.
Better gut health
Fermented food contains probiotics that help restore the natural balance of good and bad back bacteria. Our gut normally contains good and bad bacteria in levels that are safe and often necessary for the gut to work properly. Infections, a weakened immune system, and other factors can change the equilibrium inside the gut, allowing the bad bacteria to grow in number. Probiotics in fermented foods can keep the growth of bad bacteria in check which can help to alleviate digestive problems like cramps and bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, leak gut, constipation, among others. Numerous studies have shown that regular consumption of fermented food can reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Better gut health leads to better digestive function which includes better nutrient absorption so you can get the most nutrients out of everything you eat.
Many types of fermented food and drinks contain antioxidants, which counteract the cell-damaging effects of free radicals. Chronic inflammation anywhere in the body can lead to cell damage and even death and this something you can avoid with the help of antioxidants. Regular consumption of food items that contain large amounts of antioxidants is one way to strengthen the immune system and make the body more resistant to disease.
Fermented food does more than just enhance the flavor and appearance of your meals. From kimchi to kombucha, fermented food can strengthen your immune system, promote better gut health and digestion, and improve your overall health. With all these benefits, it is easy to see why fermented food remains a staple in different cuisines all over the world.