Fermented Foods Can Boost Your Health and Your Lifestyle

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Photo by spanginator

If you eat these fermented foods it could make a dramatic difference to your health.

The process of fermentation involves a metabolic process where micro-organisms like bacteria, yeast or fungi turn compounds into alcohol or acids. Normally, these compounds are sugars and starches.

When we consume fermented foods we are digesting microbes that have a positive effect on the ‘good’ bacteria in our digestive system.

Diseases such as bowel cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, immune disorders, allergies, diabetes and even mental disorders can occur when these ‘good bacteria’s are unbalanced and not working effectively. Fermented foods, in particular natural yogurt, are bursting with these microbes.

Some foods which you might be already familiar with are wine, cheese and salami and sauerkraut.

Here are more fermented foods that can benefit your health:

Vinegar

Did you know that vinegar is produced from fermenting yeast turning fruit into alcohol? This is the first step to making cider and wine. The bacteria involved in the process eventually turn the alcohol into acetic acid, which when complete turns it into vinegar. The acetic acid in vinegar increases your body’s ability to absorb minerals from other foods, in particular, calcium. This is particularly useful for women and men who may suffer osteoporosis.

 Pickled vegetables

A whole range of vegetables can be fermented through a pickling process where bacteria converts sugars into lactic acid. When salt is added to the process it kills off any unwanted organisms until the lactic acid takes over. To get the best out of pickled vegetables you should do it yourself.

Large scale production of commercialized pickled vegetables requires the addition of pasteurization which kills of the ‘good’ bacteria.

The art of pickling vegetables goes back as far as 4,000 years to when the Indians pickled cucumbers.

Now, countries all over the world pickle produce.

In the US, okra, watermelon rind, pig’s feet, quail eggs and sausages are popular favourites for pickling.

In Korea, many people believe that no meal should be without kimchi, a spicy pickled cabbage.

The Poles enjoy pickled plums, pumpkins and mushrooms, while the Italians pickle onions, carrots, celery and cauliflower.

In Iran, people pickle turnips, peppers, cabbage, lemons and cauliflower.

The Chinese love to pickle radishes, chili peppers and Chinese cabbage.

Bread

We all know that yeast helps bread dough rise, but many don’t realize that the process involves the yeast fermenting sugars found in the flour and forming carbon dioxide and alcohol. This is what causes the light, fluffy characteristics of bread.

While most of the alcohol is destroyed in the heat of the oven, there still remains some in most loaves of bread.

While trace amounts of alcohol can be detected in people’s systems after eating bread, it doesn’t stay around very long.

As a fermented food, bread can contribute important microbes to your stomach and intestines.

While providing high levels of vitamins, calcium, protein and iron, whole wheat bread reduces the risk of heart attacks and diabetes.

It can also regulate sugar levels, cholesterol levels and even your blood pressure.

Olives

When we buy olives in the store they are already fermenting. The sugars are converting into lactic or acetic acid.

Olives that come straight from the tree are hard and bitter. The process of fermentation helps soften the fruit and remove the bitterness.

The benefits of eating olives are many.

In particular, olives contain varied antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients. They have also been linked to osteoporosis and the maintenance of an allergy-free diet.

As well, olive extracts have been demonstrated to work like anti-histamines at a cellular level.