Updated: Jan 14
Fermented foods are preserved using an age-old process that not only increases the food's shelf life and nutritional value, but can also provide your body with beneficial probiotics — live microorganisms important for digestion — and a growing body of research shows that a diet that includes fermented foods on a regular basis can provide some pretty good benefits.
We've compiled just 6 of the benefits of ingesting fermented foods here in this list.
1. Great source of “good bacteria” from lactic acid
The majority of fermented foods provide bacteria that may have probiotic properties. This suggests that these bacteria may enhance digestive health, balance out the bacteria in your stomach, and treat any digestive difficulties. However, the amount of probiotics will vary, and the number of bacteria that enter the gut, where they can be helpful, will depend on a number of factors, including the food in which they are delivered, with those supplying prebiotic fibers being the most beneficial.
2. Aids digestion
Fermented foods are simpler to digest because some of the natural sugars and starches have already been broken down. For instance, fermentation converts lactose from milk into glucose and galactose, two simpler sugars that, if you have lactose intolerance, may make yogurt, kefir, and cheese easier to digest.
3. Elevating mood and behavior
Our knowledge of the stomach and how it affects our emotions and behavior is rapidly developing, and it appears that fermented foods may play a significant role. Certain probiotic bacteria strains, such as Lactobacillis helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum, which are frequently present in fermented foods, may lessen the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
4. More nutritional availability
Certain foods have greater health potential when they are fermented. This includes enhancing our bodies' ability to absorb the vitamins and minerals they supply. This is due to the possibility that certain natural substances, such as the phytic acid in legumes like the soybeans used in CRUMBL tempeh chips, may prevent humans from absorbing vitamins and minerals like iron and zinc. However, by fermenting these foods, we eliminate these "anti-nutrients," increasing our access to their nutritional richness. The same advantages have been noted for sourdough, including increased protein breakdown, better mineral availability, and decreased glycemic reactions. Additionally, by enhancing the good bacteria in your stomach, you might encourage their capacity to produce vitamin K and B vitamins.
5. May improve cardiovascular health
The risk of heart disease appears to be reduced when fermented foods are included in a healthy, balanced diet. Modest decreases in blood pressure and enhancements in cholesterol balance could be contributing factors.
6. Aid in the recovery of your gut health after antibiotic use.
Have you ever suffered from diarrhea or other digestive issues after taking antibiotics? This is because they eliminate both good and bad bacteria. Consuming fermented foods may aid in the restoration of normal gut bacteria. Eat a diet high in fiber and plant-based foods, which help gut microbes thrive. A different strain, Lactobacillus casei Shirota, may similarly affect cortisol production and lessen the physical signs of stress.