If you’re looking for an effective way to really boost your health and immune system then adding fermented foods to your diet should be top of your list.
When you look at their traditional diet, every traditional culture ferments their foods. Whether it’s veggies, dairy, nuts, beans or grains this was primarily done to preserve food for longer but we now know it also creates easily digested probiotic rich foods that can boost your health and support your immune health.
Fermented foods are chock full of beneficial probiotic bacteria. Organic fruit and vegetables, the dust on our soils, and all plant matter are coated with Lactobacilli and yeasts.
When you ferment a food, you allow beneficial bacteria and yeast to colonize and feed on the food. It’s a simple biological process by which sugars are converted into cellular energy and lactic acid which helps preserve the food.
But it addition to preserving food, it also makes the nutrients in the food more bioavailable.
For example, the amount of bioavailable vitamin C in sauerkraut is 20 times higher than in the same helping of fresh cabbage this is because in the fresh cabbage, vitamin C is bound in the cellulose structure, which can be more difficult to digest and absorb.
As specific health-promoting bacteria grow, they consume sugars and produce valuable enzymes. Fermented foods are therefore pre-digested making them easy to digest.
Some fermented foods are also outstanding sources of essential nutrients such as vitamin K2, which is essential for heart health and bone health.
Just half an ounce (15 grams) of the traditional soya product called natto daily can provide all the K2 you’ll need.
Fermented food is also a potent producer of many B vitamins.
A healthy microbiome can transform our endocrine, immune, digestive, and nervous systems — and by supporting the microbiome, fermented foods help bring renewed health to your whole body.
Here are some of the key benefits:
Fermented foods are more easily digested and rich in probiotic bacteria to support digestion. This enables you to digest fats, proteins and carbohydrates more easily as well as provide support to the gut barrier lining.
They are particularly beneficial to take after antibiotics to reinoculate the gut flora.
Urinary tract infections
The beneficial yeasts and bacteria in fermented foods can be helping in fighting infections in the urinary tract, which are typically caused by an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria.
An estimated 80 percent of your immune system is actually located in your gut. Probiotics play a key role in the development and operation of the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract.
So a healthy gut is essential for a robust immune system and can be effective for reducing your risk of allergies and inflammatory conditions. Some fermented foods like kefir also provide a wealth of amino acids which are equally important for immune function.
Fermented foods are fabulous for cleansing the body. Known for their chelating properties beneficial bacteria in these foods are potent detoxifiers, capable of drawing out toxins and heavy metals.
Studies have shown that probiotics may help fight obesity. For example a 2011 study published in the journal Nutrition Research found that fermented kimchee had a significant impact on the weight and body fat of the overweight and obese patients who were being studied.
Patients shed both weight and fat, and showed improvements in blood sugar too. Restoring your gut flora is therefore a key part of any weight loss programme. Taking a couple of spoonfuls of sauerkraut with each meal is an easy natural way to boost your beneficial bacteria.
If you are interested in making your own fermented foods check out my recipes on my website or in my book ‘Eat to Get Younger: Tackling Inflammation and Other Ageing Processes for a Longer, Healthier Life’. All details and links can be found on my Profile Page here at WatchFit.