Nutrition Corner: Why Eat Fermented Foods?
Fermented foods can be found in the gastronomic traditions of practically every culture around the world. Sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, kombucha and whole grain, slow-fermented breads are all delicious foods in which beneficial bacteria have been carefully nurtured for flavor and nutrition. Through the process of fermentation, bacteria have a special role to play, somewhere between cooking and a form of pre-digestion, which allows us to absorb the nutrients of fermented foods more efficiently.
Fermented foods have many benefits, including:
Reducing the simple sugar content in food, helping us avoid unwanted spikes in blood sugar.
Providing a variety of B vitamins, vitamin C, antioxidants, as well as anticarcinogenic compounds
Offering beneficial bacteria also found in probiotic supplements—specifically lactic acid bacteria—in addition to having prebiotic benefits in the case of fermented fibrous vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli
Regular consumption of fermented foods can lead to having a happier and healthier gut, which can reduce chronic inflammation, increase resilience against life-threatening diseases, improve mood (avoiding depression and anxiety), and strengthen your immune system to fight off allergies and infections. To learn more about fermented foods, talk with your practitioner.