How Fermented Foods Can Change The Way You Look & Feel

by Jenna Crawford September 10, 2017

How Fermented Foods Can Change The Way You Look & Feel

Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of Lacto-fermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics.

Natural fermentation of foods has also been shown to preserve nutrients in food and break the food down to a more digestible form. This, along with the bevy of probiotics created during the fermentation process, could explain the link between consumption of fermented foods and improved digestion.

Recently, fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchee have been making news, even though they are, in fact, anything but new — fermented foods have been around for thousands of years.

For people living without modern medicine and refrigeration, fermentation has always been not only a simple means of food preservation but also a way to imbue foods with health-promoting properties, an essential tool for maintaining the gut health. Over the course of the last century, however, fermented foods fell off most dinner plates, their medicinal effects wiped out by pasteurization, resulting in a dead-on-arrival food supply, stripped of the live bacteria the gut needs to stay in balance.

Here are the reasons on how fermented foods can change the way you look & feel:

1. Fermented Foods Help Fight Off Disease

It’s estimated that roughly 70% — 80% of your immune system is in your gut. Feed it poorly and your gut will be left with few defenses, easily overwhelmed by bad bacteria, wide open to disease-triggering inflammation and plagued by gastrointestinal ills like IBS-type symptoms (i.e., gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, etc.). In your weakened state, you may also be more susceptible to colds and flu.

But, if you introduce good bacteria into the gastric mix via fermented foods, you’ll enable your gut to crush opportunistic invaders and disease-triggering inflammation, long before they can gain the upper hand. 

2. Enhanced Immune System

Eating fermented foods makes your intestines less vulnerable to intestinal illnesses and boosts your immune system. For example, kefir -- a thick, acidic beverage made by fermenting milk with certain grains -- is not only easily digested but also helps colonize your intestines with beneficial microorganisms that help maintain the healthy immune response. 

3. Fermented Foods Are Full Of Nutrients

Natural fermentation of foods has also been shown to preserve nutrients in food and break the food down to a more digestible form. This, along with the bevy of probiotics created during the fermentation process, could explain the link between consumption of fermented foods and improved digestion.

Some fermented foods are outstanding sources of essential nutrients such as vitamin K2, which help prevent arterial plaque build-up and heart disease. Fermented food is also a potent producer of many B vitamins.

4. They’re Alive, And They’re Busy

Fermented foods don’t just lounge around your belly doing nothing -- they’re active! After you eat them, those bacterial armies get to work, helping to balance your gut bacteria and stomach acids; releasing enzymes to help ease and improve digestion, thereby making it easier for your body to extract and absorb more nutrients from the foods you eat. Another pleasant side effect of all that activity? Less constipation and easier elimination, drug, and stimulant-free.

5. Fermented Food Detoxifies The Body

The beneficial bacteria in these foods are highly potent detoxifiers, capable of drawing out a wide range of toxins and heavy metals.

6. Restores Proper Bacteria In The Intestines

Fermented foods help restore the proper bacteria balance in your intestines. Most probiotics are part of a group of lactic acid-producing bacteria, which are found in yogurt, fermented milk, and other fermented foods. A research noted that eating foods that contain lactic acid bacteria improves intestinal tract health, improves the bioavailability of nutrients, reduces symptoms of lactose intolerance and decreases the prevalence of allergy in susceptible people.

7. Fermented Foods Can Save You Cash

Foods you ferment yourself can last for months, so there’s less waste, which helps save money in the long run. If you’re not the DIY type, commercially produced or store-bought fermented foods will also have a long, preservative-free shelf life, so they’re a pretty good deal too, even with the higher price. Fermented foods also add great taste, nutrition and healthy bulk to every meal — so there’s less need to buy or eat insulin-spiking, low-nutrient filler foods like pasta, bread or potatoes.

Conclusion

Fresh fruits and vegetables are very healthy for the body. But fermented food also gives the same amount of nutrients, or maybe more. Consuming fermented foods is not only cheap but also very healthy. In this post, I shared with you the reasons how fermented foods can change the way you look & feel.




Jenna Crawford

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