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What Are Fermented Foods?

Benefits of Fermented Foods

There have been many food trends in the past, but nothing as exciting as fermented foods! Yes, fermented foods are finally getting their well-deserved spotlight as more and more people are becoming aware of the endless benefits they can do for your health as well as their incredible tastes. First, let’s define what fermented foods are. Fermented foods are foods that have undergone a process of fermentation in which natural bacteria break down the sugar and starch in the food to release beneficial enzymes as well as probiotics or the good bacteria. The process also preserves the food and creates an intense flavor and odor. If you like aged cheese, yogurt or sauerkraut, you may just have the palate for fermented foods.

Many individuals are now adding fermented foods to their diet to promote gut health, but several studies have been emerging showing that there are more health benefits of fermented foods to overall health.

Below are some of the common health benefits of fermented foods:

  • Improve digestion
  • Boost immunity
  • Promote weight loss
  • Increase the availability of vitamins and minerals for our bodies to absorb
  • Increase serotonin production in your gut improving your mood and behavior

How to Introduce Fermented Foods to Your Diet?

Initially, you may feel intimidated by the strong flavors of fermented foods, but you may be surprised that some of your staple favorites are in the list of fermented foods.

The most common fermented foods that you can include in your diet are:

  • Bread: If you love bread, opt for sourdough bread that is made from fermented dough.
  • Sauerkraut: A fermented cabbage dish that is high in fiber, as well as vitamins A, C, K.
  • Kimchi: A Korean dish that is similar to sauerkraut but has a spicier flavor.
  • Miso: A traditional Japanese paste made from fermented soybeans and grains that consisting of millions of probiotics. This paste is mostly consumed as soup or even as a spread for your toast.
  • Lassi: A popular pre-dinner drink that originated in India. It is a yogurt-based drink that can be both savory and sweet.
  • Kombucha: A variety of fermented black or green tea fizzy drink that is rich in probiotics and nutritional enzymes.

If you want to introduce fermented foods to your diet, you may want to begin with the foods that you are already familiar with such as yogurt and sourdough bread. In the next weeks, you may want to try adding one or two new fermented foods as a side dish or topping to your proteins. You may also want to start with at least one glass of fermented drink per day and build from there.

The taste of fermented foods can really grow on you and you may even find yourself craving them once you get used to having them in your diet. Just don’t be afraid to try them! There is definitely nothing for you to lose with their great taste and plenty of health benefits.

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.