It’s commonly believed that the freshest foods are the healthiest option; however, another food category is gaining a surge in popularity at the moment: fermented foods.
What are Fermented Foods?
The word ferment comes from the Latin word fervere, which means to boil. But, fermentation is possible without the use of heat.
Fermented foods are foods that have undergone the process of fermentation. During the fermentation process, food is broken down by microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast, which ultimately produce fermented products.
For fermentation to occur, there is a need for the presence of microorganisms. Microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast, and mold are responsible for breaking sugars and starches into acids and alcohol. This process is responsible for making food more nutrient-dense and enabling us to preserve it for a longer period of time without spoiling it.
Fermentation is responsible for creating several well-known foods, such as Kombucha, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Makgeolli, Jeotgal, and yogurts.
Since the Neolithic period, humans have consumed fermented foods as part of their diet. This method was initially developed to preserve food and as a flavor enhancer. But nowadays, it’s also growing popular because of its amazing health benefits!
Benefits of Fermented Foods
It is good for digestion.
The benefits of fermented foods begin in the gut. It contains probiotics, the “good” bacteria that make up our gastrointestinal tract’s microbiome. This can help restore the healthy bacteria in the gut while alleviating some digestive problems.
It boosts the immune system.
The bacteria that inhabit your intestines greatly impact your immune system. With their high probiotic content, fermented foods can help strengthen your immune system and reduce your likelihood of getting sick.
In addition, the immune system improves through consumption of Vitamin C, iron, and zinc, which are all abundant in fermented foods.
It may support heart health.
According to studies, probiotics present in fermented foods may also offer additional benefits to the heart. Probiotics decrease cholesterol absorption in the digestive tract. It thus reduces your chance of hypertension and atherosclerosis or cholesterol buildup in the arteries.
It improves the availability of nutrients.
Fermented foods, in contrast to canned foods, do not lose any of their vitamins or nutrients throughout the process of fermentation. The nutritional content of certain foods may even improve.
Generally, majority of fermented foods are safe. Proper food handling is a must to minimize the danger of contamination with toxins and harmful bacteria.
Maianne Dae is an aspiring broadcast journalist with deep interest in photography, pageantry, lifestyle, and current events. In her spare time, she prefers to watch documentaries and reality shows. She believes that inquisitive minds are what makes the world go round!