So let’s talk about Fermented foods for optimal health. So fermented foods are an absolute favourite topic of mine, mostly, because I really like eating them but also because they have incredibly beneficial health benefits. No just digestive but whole system benefits!
So, I’ll explain a little bit about what fermented foods are and the fermentation process and the studies on what those benefits are and I’ll give you some examples of all the wonderful fermented foods that you can be consuming on a daily basis or a regular basis.
What is fermentation?
Fermentation is the process of chemical breakdown of food, by the bacteria, it contains. When foods are fermented the nutritional status increases, and they become more easily digested as they have already been pre-digested by the bacteria, which is very cool.
Fermented foods contain a collection of bacteria. The colonizing forming units are usually not very high. Colonizing forming units (CFU) is the measurement tool used when looking at a probiotic supplement which you can find out more information about here. So in fermented foods, the CFU count is not usually very high and they die pretty quickly in oxygen because of the variety of the different types of bacteria, and it’s generally not monitored. If you make your own ferments – you will get a variety of bacteria more specific to you and your environment. Or if you purchase fermented foods you will get a different range of bacterias and they aren’t usually monitored for CFUs.
Fermented foods are full of bacteriocins which are antimicrobial substances produced by the bacteria doing the fermenting. These bacteriocins stop pathogens from growing.
How fermented foods can benefit you?
Studies have shown that fermented foods can improve your mood. They can improve your immunity. And they can help to downregulate inflammation. They have also been show to have anticancer, anti-obesity, anti-constipation effects, colorectal health promotion, probiotic properties, cholesterol reduction, fibrolytic effect, antioxidative and antiaging properties, brain health promotion, immune promotion, and skin health promotion. The studies are super supportive of fermented foods for a range of health conditions.
Examples of fermented foods which I highly recommend:
- Fermented cabbage juice
- Fermented soy products like miso, tempeh and natto
There is also a few more that are like super readily available in today’s society, or you know you may have a home family recipe that has been passed out passed down from your mother or your grandparents which is awesome!
Fermented foods can be traced back through families and most ancient cultures. Perhaps its time we embraced some ancient wisdom of fermenting our foods again in all households because of the super beneficial effects they have = fermented food for optimal health!
If you want to read up more about how fermented foods affect your gut health, here are some great resources: