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Proven Benefits of Fermented Foods: Here's What Science Has to Say

Proven Benefits of Fermented Foods: Here's What Science Has to Say

Traditionally, the process of fermentation was used to help preserve foods to store for long periods of time. These days, while we don’t necessarily ferment food for storage, we do eat fermented foods because of their proven benefits. Here are 5 great reasons why you should add fermented foods to your diet.

proven benefits of fermented foods

5 Proven benefits of fermented foods

Fermentation is a process wherein foods undergo chemical changes with the help of microorganisms. These microorganisms can either be yeasts or fungi, bacteria, or a combination of both.

The main difference between rotting or spoilage and fermentation is that fermentation retains the “good” microorganisms and kills off harmful bacteria. When done properly, fermented foods have numerous health benefits, and can improve a person’s overall health.

Some great examples of fermented foods are miso, yogurt, wine, beer, pickles, kimchi, and sourdough bread.

They contain good bacteria

One important benefit to fermented foods is that most of them contain good bacteria. Our stomach contains millions of bacteria that can do all sorts of amazing things.

From killing off bad bacteria, helping with digestion, and strengthening the immune system, our bodies need a thriving colony of good bacteria. And one of the best ways to have this would be to eat foods that have been fermented, since these contain the bacteria that our bodies need.

Fermented foods help with digestion

Another benefit of eating fermented foods is that these foods help with digestion. This is because the bacteria that we get from eating fermented foods can also help in breaking down the food we eat.

Bacteria do a great job of digesting food, and it also allows us to maximize the nutrients that we absorb. In particular, good bacteria helps with breaking down insoluble fiber, which is commonly found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Our bodies need fiber in order to maintain good digestion, but we can’t readily digest fiber on our own. By eating fermented foods, we can increase the good bacteria in our gut, and improve our ability to digest fiber.

Fermented foods improve gut health

proven benefits of fermented foods

Eating fermented foods can also help improve our gut health. One example of this is whenever you take antibiotics, you might notice that you’re more prone to diarrhea and digestive problems afterwards.

The reason behind this is that antibiotics kill off both good and bad bacteria. And when there’s a lack of good bacteria in your gut, you become more prone to digestive problems. To counteract this, you should eat more fermented foods such as yogurt, pickles, miso, and kimchi. Eating these fermented foods can help replenish the good bacteria in your gut, and help prevent digestive problems.

They have more nutrients

Another one of the proven benefits of fermented foods is that they have more nutrients. The reason behind this is that fermented food has already gone through numerous chemical changes as it is being broken down by bacteria. This results in fermented foods having more nutrients.

Additionally, the good bacteria found in fermented foods also helps your body synthesize or break down nutrients from the food you eat. This means that you can absorb more nutrients and be healthier by simply adding fermented foods to your diet.

They can help boost your immune system

Lastly, eating fermented foods can help boost your immune system. This is because almost 70% of your immune system is located inside your gut.

The healthier your gut is, the better your immune system can protect your body against infection. And by eating foods that are fermented, you are improving your gut health as well as your immune system.

Key Takeaways

Fermented foods can greatly help keep our bodies healthy and strong. These foods contain a lot of good bacteria as well as nutrients that our body needs in order to maintain our bodily functions and improve our overall health. Make it a point to eat more fermented foods daily in order to savor its benefits.

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Sources

5 Reasons to Add More Fermented Foods to Your Diet – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/5-reasons-you-should-add-more-fermented-foods-to-your-diet-infographic/, Accessed November 24, 2020

Fermented foods can add depth to your diet – Harvard Health, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/fermented-foods-can-add-depth-to-your-diet, Accessed November 24, 2020

Health benefits of fermented foods – PubMed, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28945458/, Accessed November 24, 2020

Benefits of Traditional Fermented Foods – Our World, https://ourworld.unu.edu/en/benefits-of-traditional-fermented-foods, Accessed November 24, 2020

Health benefits of fermented foods: microbiota and beyond, https://isappscience.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Marco-health-benefits-fermented-foods-ISAPP-rev-171.pdf, Accessed November 24, 2020

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara on Dec 01, 2020
Medically reviewed by Chris Icamen
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