We love to ferment foods here at Food Matters! Most week’s the team are digging into a jar of homemade sauerkraut at lunch, or sipping on kombucha. But why do we do it? Because it’s so good for you!
When you ferment foods, it converts the sugars into cellular energy and lactic acid. This process creates amazing digestive enzymes and probiotics, all whilst reducing the sugar content of the food or drink - it’s win-win!
You may already know that fermented foods are rich in probiotics, but here are 8 other awesome reasons to eat them:
1. Your Gut Health Thrives!
The lactic acid produced during fermentation promotes the growth of healthy flora in the intestine. When you’ve got a healthy balance of good gut bacteria, your overall health starts to thrive, including your immunity.
2. Naturally Increases Vitamin A and C Content Of Your Food
Lactic acid enhances a food's digestibility and increases vitamin C and vitamin A levels. Vitamin C is critical for so many functions in the body, including collagen production for supple skin, immunity, and it has anti-cancer properties! Plus vitamin A helps to regulate cell growth and support your eyes.
3. Helps To Rid Your Body Of Toxins
This one surprised us too! The fermentation process actually breaks down the nutrients in foods and by doing so, creates natural chelators that then bind toxins and remove them from the body. So cool!
4. The Sugar Content Of Your Food Is Reduced, Naturally
The bacteria that form during the fermentation process actually eat sugar as their food. That means that the more fermented a food is, the less sugar content it will have. In fact, it’s the sugar that starts the fermentation!
5. They’re Rich In Vitamin K2 - A Cancer-Fighting Vitamin
Fermented foods are rich in Vitamin K2 and studies have shown that increased intake of Vitamin K2 may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. In plant foods, you won't find much-preformed K2, unless those plant foods have been fermented or otherwise transformed by bacteria or other microorganisms.
6. It’s Easy On Your Digestive System
You’re only as healthy as your gut. If your body is not absorbing the nutrients from the food you eat, then your health suffers. You may be eating the most amazing, nutrient-rich foods on the planet, but without the ability to digest and absorb the goodness, you won’t be reaping any of the benefits! Fermented foods produce the digestive enzymes which ensure you get the most nutrients out of all foods you ingest.
7. Your Immune System Gets A Boost!
Many health experts believe your gut is the largest immune organ in the body. So many chronic diseases have been linked to excessive inflammation in the body. Conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer may potentially stem from an imbalance in gut bacteria causing inflammation in the body. We really are what we eat. When we eat the right foods, including fermented ones that help improve the health of our gut, we’re not only getting in more vitamins and minerals, but reducing our risk of inflammation-driven disease!
8. Have An Extra Dose Of Happy
Probiotics affect neurotransmitters in the brain, improving our mood by lowering stress hormones. Plus the bacteria in our gut are responsible for around 80-90% of the body’s serotonin production, the happy hormone! A healthy gut is a happy human!
There are so many ways to get more fermented foods into your day. Try some kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, and beet kvass to get you started!
What's Your Favorite Fermented Food?
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