In the past one decade fermented foods seem to have exploded into the public consciousness, but it’s rare for those obsessed with it to explain what a fermented food actually is, how it’s produced, and what the possible health benefits of eating them are.
Fermentation is actually an ancient process of preserving foods, but it’s come to prominence now because fermented foods are said to be game-changers for the gut because they’re rich in probiotics.
Fermented foods like Yoghurt, and Cheese, Sauerkraut into your diet, you’ve come to the right place. Nutritionists are thinking about implementing them into your diet, you’ve come to the right place.
What is food fermentation? Where yeast and bacteria convert carbs into alcohol or acids. These act as a natural preservative. Fermented foods and drinks are those which have been through the natural process of fermentation, where yeast and bacteria convert carbs into alcohol or acids. These act as a natural preservative.
The truth is fermentation process produces bacteria that are believed to be good for our health and may also have a higher content of certain vitamins. Depending on the type of food or drink being fermented, microbes will use the starches or sugars in those foods as their own fuel source. Some fermented foods include yoghurt, cheese, (water and milk), sauerkraut. There you have it, fact fans.
Why are fermented foods good for your health? Fermented foods have been used for thousands of years for their health promoting properties. More recently the attention has been focused on their potential to support gut health and associated symptoms or conditions. The research is still very sparse in this area but anecdotally there seems to be many people who have found benefits to introducing some fermented foods into their diet.
Unfortunately, exercise caution while eating fermented foods if you have Irritating Bowel Syndrome( IBS)?
This depends on the person. Some IBS sufferers may find that fermented foods make their symptoms worse rather than better. I would advise going slowly if you are new to them, or work with nutritionist who can guide you through what might be your personal drivers and triggers for your IBS symptoms and offer advice.
If you are suffering with IBS, stress management is key, so try yoga, meditation or simple breathing exercises. Gentle movement like walking can also help some people. Eve also advises taking time over meals and chewing your food properly.
What’s the best way for someone who is new to fermented foods to implement them into their diet? The short answer is slowly and in small amounts. With fermented dairy, aim to buy yoghurts that contain ‘live’ cultures and opt for full fat – the current thinking is that the fat helps the bacteria better survive the transit to the lower part of the gut where most of our microbes reside. Plus, in my personal opinion, they taste better!
With the fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, it is important to get the ones that say ‘unpasteurised’ or ‘raw’ so that the food has not been heat treated, advises Eve. This would destroy the bacteria. Eve also recommends making a note of how your gut feels after trying a new food for the first few times, so you can find out what works for you.
Are there any other conditions for which fermented foods can help. The health of the gut, anything that the gut influences could be positively effected by eating them. This could include supporting the immune system and helping managing inflammation.
Although we can’t say for sure yet whether or not fermented foods can directly support these issues. Though research say whether or not fermented foods can help with other health conditions. That said, since fermented foods may have some benefits to the health of the gut, anything that the gut influences could be positively effected by eating them. This could include supporting the immune system and helping managing inflammation. Although we can’t say for sure yet whether or not fermented foods can directly support these issues.
Adapted from the cosmopolitan.