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7 Benefits of Fermented Foods

Find out what fermented food is and how it can improve your gut’s health.

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Fermented foods are becoming quite the rage in both “foodie” and healthy living circles, and for good reason! Fermentation is the process of using yeasts and bacteria for conversion of sugars and carbohydrates to alcohols or organic acids. Fermenting vegetables is typically done using salt, whey or starter cultures, usually freeze dried from a previous ferment. Brine from a prior ferment can also be used as it will carry the necessary cultures.

Improve Your Digestion and 6 More Benefits of Fermented Foods

  1. Probiotics – Fermented foods contain lactic acid producing bacteria, similar to most probiotics, which aid in digestion and keep the digestive tract healthy and functioning well. Natural Wellness’ Ultra Probiotic Formula contains 35 billions viable cells per capsule.
  2. Balances Stomach Acid – Fermented foods help balance stomach acid, acting to increase or decrease the acidity as necessary to maintain the perfect balance.
  3. Increases Bioavailability of Nutrients – The normal digestive process involves healthy or “good” bacteria and enzymes. Fermented foods offer higher levels of digestive enzymes and healthy bacteria, improving the process of digestion and resulting in the increased bioavailability of nutrients. Natural Wellness’ Digestive Enzymes is a comprehensive enzyme formula specifically formulated to improve digestion, increase nutrient absorption and reduce the side effects of poor digestion.
  4. Reduces Chronic Constipation – Due to the increase of healthy bacteria (and specifically through the increase in acetylcholine), the digestive processes is easier and faster, reducing constipation.
  5. Easier to Digest – Fermented foods are partially broken down by the healthy bacteria they already contain, so they are much easier to digest than the raw or unfermented forms of that food.
  6. Preservation – Foods that have been fermented usually last longer, due to the preservative nature of the organic acids.
  7. Reduced Cooking Times – Fermented foods tend to take less time to cook than the raw or unfermented versions.

Fermented Food Choices

sauerkraut

  • Tempeh is fermented soybeans that are rich in amino acids.
  • Sauerkraut is cabbage and salt. Sauerkraut is also rich in fiber.
  • Kimichi is a spicy version of sauerkraut.
  • Kombucha is usually green or black tea fermented with herbs or fruit for flavor.
  • Yogurt contains live, healthy bacteria cultures.
  • Miso is a paste made form barley, rice or soybeans that can be added to foods or made as a soup.
  • Kefir is a fermented milk drink that contains calcium and probiotics.

Fermented foods are becoming more popular and are popping up everywhere. Experience some of these health benefits yourself as you try out some fermented treats today!

Editor’s Note: If fermented foods aren’t to your liking, try a healthy smoothie with UltraNourish, an excellent way to improve liver function. It 16 grams of pea protein, and a proprietary digestive enzyme blend. It helps balance out your digestive tract by providing you with 6 billion probiotics, “beneficial bacteria,” and by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria.

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Cultures for health staff. (2015). Fermenting vegetables: The basic culturing process. Culturesforhealth.com. Retrieved on 2/4/16 from http://www.culturesforhealth.com/how-to-ferment-vegetables.

D’Agrosa, L. (2016). 7 Must eat fermented foods for a healthy gut. EatingWell.com. Retrieved on 2/4/16 from http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/7_must_eat_fermented_foods_for_a_healthy_gut.

Ostrovsky, L & Ostrovsky, O. (2016). 2 Ways fermented foods improve your gut health. BeWellBuzz.com. Retrieved on 2/4/16 from http://www.bewellbuzz.com/body-buzz/3-ways-fermented-foods-improve-gut-health/.

Williams, D., Dr. (2016). Gut health and the benefits of traditional fermented foods. Dr. David Williams. Retrieved on 2/4/16 from http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/gut-health-and-the-benefits-of-traditional-fermented-foods/.

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