The truth is – you can take charge of your health with fermented foods. Scientists now call fermented products the “food of the future”. But these products have been known for a long time (Eastern kimchi, spicy dishes with sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, Russian beet kvass). Such dishes protect against disease as they contain nutrients, antibacterial and antiviral substances. Fermented products (you can find them – here) normalize digestion: lactobacteria excrete nutrients, including vitamins B and K.
What is Fermentation? Nutritional Content of Fermented Foods
The fermentation process also neutralizes phytic and oxalic acid. In the process of fermentation carbohydrates are converted into organic acid or alcohol and carbon dioxide. Scientific studies have confirmed that the consumption of foods rich in digestive enzymes is good for the health.
Fermented food products contain the ideal amount of vitamin A and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Living lactobacteria helps to protect the body from viruses, harmful micro-organisms, pathogenic bacteria, yeast and parasites. Fermented food is an excellent source of useful bacteria, such as probiotics and enzymes. Fermented foods are also rich in vitamins, in some cases, the content of them is even higher than in the fresh vegetables. For example, the content of vitamin C in acidic cabbage exceeds the content in fresh cabbage. Lacto-fermentation neutralizes the effect of compounds that inhibit the absorption of minerals.
Health Benefits of Fermented Foods
Studies show that people who eat fermented food, absorb iron better even in comparison with those who eat a lot of raw vegetables. The by-products of fermentation help our body break down fat, lower blood pressure, regulate the composition of blood, serve as neuro-transmitters, regulates the functioning of the nervous system and also reduces pressure on the heart. Some of the bacteria that appears as a result of fermentation acts as a natural antibiotic, improving the synthesis of useful vitamins and substances and slowing down the synthesis of pathogenic bacteria. Probiotics help to develop beneficial bacteria that strengthen your immune system while maintaining the overall health of the digestive system and of the whole body.
In 1908 Ilya Mechnikov became a laureate of the Nobel prize in physiology and medicine for his research on the benefits of a diet rich in enzymes. He studied the phenomenon of Bulgarian longevity. Based on statistical data from Bulgaria, many of the inhabitants of this country have reached a hundred years old. The scientist came to the conclusion that the main reason for the health and longevity of Bulgarians are the microbes contained in Bulgarian yogurt.
5 Compelling Reasons to Include Fermented Foods In Your Diet
- They restore a proper balance of bacteria in the intestine and can be useful in facilitating and reducing disease, such as, lactose intolerance, asthma, allergies, fungal infection, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Healthy food, rich in digestive enzymes, increases the number of antibodies which fight infection and help to reinforce the immune system.
- The abundance of digestive enzymes contributes to the processing of food in the body and the proper absorption of nutrients derived from food.
- Such products enriched with vitamins, contributes to the development of additional nutrients like omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
- High concentration of antioxidants allows you to withdraw free radicals from the body.
There is a big choice of products containing digestive enzymes such as
Kimchi – fermented Chinese cabbage; Sour kraut. Can be bought in the store or prepared at home.
Apple cider vinegar. Can be added to homemade sauces, marinades.
Kvas. It is a living fermentation. It contains high levels of enzymes and is enriched with vitamins.
Overall, you can ferment any vegetables you want. The process is not hard at all once you get a good grip on it. Making your own homemade fermented products is easy and a much healthier alternative to store bought foods. By adding fermented products to your daily diet, you will improve digestion, increase immunity and get rid of toxins.
Real Food Fermentation: Preserving Whole Fresh Food with Live Cultures in Your Home Kitchen
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