Why You Need Fermented foods For better health
Fermentation is a process that involves the use of yeast and bacteria to break down sugar and starch converting them into alcohol or acids. The alcohol or acids act as a natural preservative and give fermented foods a distinct flavors, aromas and textures.
Fermentation promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria, known as probiotics. Probiotics have great impact on your health because they play an essential role in digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients. However, lifestyle choices such as consumption of refined sugars, anti-biotic medicines and stress reduces the number and diversity of the beneficial bacteria in your gut and this can lead to various health problems.
You can restore the diversity and health of the beneficial bacteria in your gut by taking the simple steps of including fermented foods into your diet.
The beneficial effects of fermented foods and drinks are as follows:-
Enhances the availability of Nutrients
The process of fermentation enhances the presence of beneficial bacteria with the added advantage of destroying many of the harmful organisms and chemicals that may be present in foods.
The beneficial bacteria produce new enzymes to assist in the digestion and will also promote the manufacture of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 and the synthesis of vitamin K.
There is no doubt that fermentation enhances the availability of vitamins and minerals and makes it easier for our bodies to absorb the same.
Improves Digestive Health
Consumption of fermented foods will boost the number of the beneficial bacteria and enzymes in your gut thus enhancing the health of your digestive system.
Fermentation produces probiotics that can restore the balance of the friendly bacteria in your gut and this will reduce the negative effects of digestive problems such as diarrhea, bloating, gas and constipation.
The good bacteria in your gut have a positive impact on your immune system. Fermented foods are high in probiotics and this will boost your immune system and reduce the risk of common infections such as common cold
Consuming of foods rich in probiotics may also assist one to recover faster from illness. Ordinarily, fermented foods have high contents of vitamin C, iron, and zinc which are known to have immunity boosting capabilities.
A reduction of the beneficial bacteria encourages an environment in your gut where disease causing microbes to grow causing inflammation in the gut wall. Probiotics present in fermented foods will act as a natural barrier by supporting your gut lining from attack from the disease-causing microbes.
Makes Food Easier to Digest
Fermentation encourages the break-down of nutrients in food and this makes it easier to digest. A good example lactose in milk is broken down during fermentation into glucose and galactose which are simple sugars that are easier to digest. This makes fermented diary like yoghurt safe for consumption by those who are lactose intolerant.
The process of fermentation will also enhance the break-down and destruction of compounds such as phytates and lectins found in seeds, nuts, grains, and legumes that interfere with the absorption of nutrients.
Consumption of tempeh which is a product of fermentation of beans or legumes will ensure increased absorption of nutrients than the consumption of the unfermented alternatives.
Your gut is lined with neurons that can influence our emotions and feelings. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in mood, is made in the gut and research suggests that as probiotic bacteria contribute to a healthy gut, they are also linked to a healthy mind.
Probiotics present in fermented foods and drinks can be used to effectively manage the mild symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Consumption of fermented foods and drinks is usually considered as safe for most people, however, some end up experiencing some form of side effects.
The introduction of foods with high probiotic content can initially cause gas and bloating but the side effects are bound to subside after a while. The symptoms can briefly worsen due to consumption of high fiber-rich fermented foods such as kimchi or sauerkraut.
It is important to note that not all commercially fermented foods have the benefits because some products may contain high levels of added sugar, salt, or fat and it is imperative that one carefully reads nutrition labels so as to make an informed choice.
If you choose to undertake fermentation at home, then you have to be extra-careful to avoid making the food unsafe for consumption because the use of improper temperatures and fermentation time can lead to the spoilage of the food making it dangerous.