Nutritional Benefits Of Fermented Foods

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Fermented foods are rich in probiotic bacteria. Consuming fermented foods adds beneficial bacteria and enzymes to your overall intestinal flora, improving the health of your gut microbiome and digestive system and boosting the immune system. Some experts say that every small 1/2 cup serving of fermented food can contain up to 10 trillion probiotic organisms.  Not only are fermented foods good for you, but they also add a new depth of flavour and umami to (often bland) vegetables. They can be tangy, savoury, salty and delicious! Sauerkraut, kimchi, yoghurt, wine, chocolate and cheese are all classic examples of fermented ingredients that pack a punch.

Nutritional Benefits Of Fermented Foods

Digestion & Absorption

As some of the sugars and starches in food have been broken down through the process, fermented foods are easier to digest. Bacteria assist in predigesting food, so if you have trouble processing raw fruits and vegetables, fermentation may be helpful for you! Fermentation also breaks down lactose in milk to simpler sugars (glucose and galactose), which can make products such as yoghurt and cheese easier to digest if you have a lactose sensitivity.

Synthesis & Availability of Nutrients

Fermentation is also proven to increase the availability of vitamins and minerals for our bodies to absorb. Additionally, by enhancing the beneficial bacteria in your gut, you are promoting their ability to manufacture B vitamins and synthesise vitamin K.

Immune Functions

A large proportion of the immune system is housed in the gut. By consuming probiotic-rich foods, you are supporting the gut lining as a natural barrier, making the immune system more robust. A lack of beneficial bacteria allows disease causing microbes to grow causing inflammation in the gut wall. If you have recently taken a course of antibiotics, probiotic foods are particularly helpful.

Reducing Phytic Acid

Some natural compounds that interfere with the absorption of nutrients can be removed by fermentation. Phytic acid, for example, which is found in legumes and seeds, binds minerals such as iron and zinc, reducing their absorption when eaten. However, phytic acid can be broken down during fermentation so the minerals become available.

Curbs Sugar Cravings

It is said that by adding fermented foods to your diet, it can lower sugar cravings! How do you ask? By regulating your microbiome and allowing your taste buds to adjust to more bitter & sour flavours, your need for sweeter foods is supposed to decrease.

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