4 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Fermented Foods
From cheese to yogurt, fermented foods are a big part of everyday life, but you may have never stopped to consider what benefits they offer. Let's go over some of the reasons why having more fermented foods as part of your diet is a good idea.
1 - Fermented foods are easy to digest
The fermentation process involves letting different types of bacteria start digesting the food in a controlled environment. It's these bacteria that turn milk into cheese and sweet tea into kombucha. While the process may sound off-putting when spelled out like that, bacteria are already a big part of our digestive system.
What this means is that since fermented foods are broken down by bacteria before we ingest them, they are usually easy to digest. This makes them an attractive choice for people suffering from a digestive problem caused by genetics, age, or a medical condition.
2 - Fermented foods are rich in probiotics
Ingesting fermented foods also means ingesting some of the bacteria responsible for fermenting that food, which is good news for your body. These bacteria are also known as probiotics, and they can help strengthen your digestive system by populating it with more helpful bacteria. The result is a stronger digestive system, that can handle difficult foods with fewer issues or discomforts.
Probiotics can also help you recover after events that may have affected your gut flora. Taking strong antibiotics for long periods is a common cause for this type of issue, as the same antibiotics that wipe out harmful bacteria can also wipe out bacteria that have been helping you digest food. And fermented foods can help you replace those missing bacteria.
3 - Rich in nutrients
Fermented foods are often rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Which nutrients they contain will depend on what type of fermented food you are eating - cheese, for example, is a great source of calcium and vitamin B12. Kombucha is a good source of antioxidants, and tempeh is rich in proteins and Vitamin B2.
All of this means that fermented foods can be just as nutritionally rich as non-fermented ones, and the process often makes certain food items much more palatable. Tempeh, for example, is made out of soybeans and can be quite delicious if prepared correctly.
4 - It can be easy to make
Depending on what type of fermented food you like, it can be easy to make it yourself. You can turn milk into yogurt in your fridge if you buy frozen bacteria especially for that purpose, and following the right kombucha recipe will result in you having a jar of fresh fermented tea within a week.
Making your own fermented products is more affordable than buying them, and it can also be a lot of fun. Especially when you start getting into how you can ferment foods under different conditions to change the texture and flavor of the final product. And of course, taking care of fermenting it yourself means you can make food items that don't have any added sugar, salt, and that are made entirely using organic materials.