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Health Benefits Of Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are available in some form or the other across the world. With their rising popularity and availability, it is now much easier for you to access them and consume them on a regular basis. 

What exactly are fermented foods and what kinds of benefits do they provide? What kinds of fermented foods are there and how much of them should you eat? 

You can find out more about these queries below so that you can start incorporating these foods into your diet in a healthy manner. Let’s begin! 

What Are Fermented Foods? 

Fermented foods are those that have been initiated, stored and churned out using certain kinds of healthy microorganisms. This kind of fermentation process can enhance the taste and quality of the given food while also allowing them to be processed and preserved for a long enough time. 

By controlling the growth and expansion of these microorganisms, it is possible to reach the final state of the given food. 

How long this will take, how the food will turn out and what kind of effect it will have on your body can depend on a range of factors that include the condition of the microorganisms, the environment in which you carry out the fermentation process as well as the other ingredients involved in the process for the food that you want to ferment. 

Essentially, the process involves the action of the microorganisms on some of the food ingredients to turn them into an element of their own. 

Health Benefits Of Fermented Foods 

There are several benefits that fermented foods can have on your health. You can go through some of these below. 

Improved Digestion & Gut Health 

Fermented foods can lead to improved digestion since they can break down the food in the stomach in an easier manner while also reacting well with other substances present in the body. This can help ease diarrhea, reduce inflammation and lead to better bowel movements. 

Stronger Immunity 

Consuming fermented foods on a regular basis can also improve your overall immunity by strengthening your body’s defences against harmful bacteria while also reducing the duration and intensity of a certain illness that your body might be going through. 

This can also apply to several respiratory issues and infections. 

Heart Health 

Your heart health can improve through the consumption of fermented foods. For instance, you can lower the risk of chronic heart diseases or cardiovascular attacks, especially through fermented dairy products such as cheese and yogurt. 

This can also help lower your blood pressure and help manage diabetes in an effective manner. 

Weight Management 

Fermented foods can make it easier to manage your weight effectively, as probiotics are evaluated to act on the energy as well as the gut microbes in human beings to modify them in a way that can contribute to changes in your weight. 

This kind of weight management can then also reduce the risk of other chronic conditions and diseases. 

Mood Regulation 

Certain probiotics can also have impacts on the brain by improving memory, reducing the impacts of anxiety and depression as well as improving the overall function of the central nervous system. 

These effects, when combined with other therapies, can help improve your mental health to quite an extent. 


Types Of Fermented Foods 

There are several types of fermented foods that you can find and consume, each of which is likely to have different impacts on your health and body. You can go through some of these below so that you know what to look for. 

  • Kimchi 
  • Kefir 
  • Sourdough bread 
  • Cheese and yogurt 
  • Wine and beer 
  • Miso 
  • Tempeh 
  • Kombucha 
  • Fermented rice 
  • Pickles 

The kinds of bacteria and other microorganisms involved in each of these foods can differ. How long they will take to ferment can also vary from one food to another. 

Some foods are more likely to belong to a particular cuisine in the world as well, although you might be able to find most of them in a nearby supermarket. You can also ferment them on your own.


Daily Recommended Intake Of Fermented Foods 

On a daily basis, you should try to include a couple of small servings of fermented foods with your meals so that you can glean the benefits from them. When it comes to probiotics, in particular, obtaining them from such fermented foods can prove to be quite beneficial. 

It can also be a good way for you to have controlled amounts of the food while also enhancing the taste of the other food that you consume. 

How To Take Fermented Foods 

You should ideally take fermented foods as part of your daily meals by including a few servings of them. You can buy most of these foods from your local supermarkets and eat them directly as and when required. 

It is also quite easy to ferment these foods on your own by buying a few universal ingredients such as cabbage, radish, carrots, mangoes, yeast and flour, among others. 

You can then leave them aside in a jar for the required amount of time to let the microorganisms work their way on the ingredients. 

It is best to eat these foods along with other foods that are usually a part of your meals. This can help ensure that the nutrition and benefits that you obtain from your diet are well balanced, as a large quantity of fermented food can be a bit harmful. 


Side Effects Of Fermented Foods 

There are a few side effects that you should watch out for, especially when it comes to probiotic supplements or a large quantity of fermented food. These include the following: 

  • Bloating 
  • Constipation 
  • Headaches 
  • Allergies 
  • Infections 

You should ensure that the ingredients that you use or the fermented foods that you buy from the market are all safe and have been made using safe practices to prevent too much harm. 

You should also consume these foods in small quantities and usually as accompaniments to your meal.


Health Benefits Of Fermented Foods: Concluding Remarks 

It is clear that fermented foods, eaten in the right quantity and with other foods, can have several health benefits. There are several kinds of fermented foods all over the world that you can pick from or make on your own. 

Rosemary Richards
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