19 Top Benefits of Fermented Foods Fully Revealed


19 Top Benefits of Fermented Foods Fully Revealed

Does the word, “fermented” turn you off? Does it conjure up the image of all unpleasant things? Well, you should know that there are several benefits of fermented foods. They are delicious, nutritious and also essential for your health.

The time before refrigeration was available, people used the method of lacto fermentation in order to preserve food that they harvested until the months of winter. As a matter of fact, it also has additional advantages, such as enhancing the nutritional value of some specific food and thereby, keeping the gut optimally healthy. The majority of the digestion process takes place in your gut.

In this article, you will learn about fermentation and its benefits. Don’t forget to read our last tip on how fermented foods are budget-friendly. Let’s get started with our list.

1. What is Fermentation?

good bacteriaIn the fermentation process, the bacterium that is present in the food starts to break down the sugars and the starches. It produces lactic acid, which halts the growth of bad bacteria. Thus, the food gets preserved and does not rot.

Fermented foods are foods where the good bacteria or lactobacilli proliferate, when given the right condition through sugar or salt. Fermented foods have been an integral part of the diet in certain cultures around the world. Some of the common examples of fermented food are:

  • Fermented soy like tempeh, natto and miso.
  • Fermented dairy like yogurt, milk kefir, butter milk and crème Fraîche.
  • Fermented vegetables like gherkins, kimchi, sauerkraut and sushi ginger.
  • Sourdough bread
  • Condiments such as preserved lemons, fish sauce and umeboshi.

Some of these foods are better than the others for you. For instance, your body is able to easily digest cheese and sourdough, rather than milk or bread, respectively; however, they do not have enormous probiotic benefits like other fermented food items. In this article, we are going to take a look at the various health benefits of fermented foods.

2. Fermented Foods Helps Digest Your Food Smoothly

digestive systemFermented foods are generally partially digested foods. This means that fermentation has already done some of the work of the digestive system, and thus digesting the food item becomes much easier. Also, fermented foods are affluent in enzymes, which help in the assimilation of food.

A majority of foods require a specific enzyme in order to unlock its nutritional potential. Thus, these enzymes are vital. For example, milk has sugar lactose and you will need the enzyme, lactase, to assimilate lactose. When milk is cultured or fermented in various other products, like kefir or yogurt, the enzymes that are present in it proliferate and the food is easily digested.

If you are facing problems in digesting raw vegetables and fruits, you need to try out fermentation. This might prove to be helpful for you.

The imbalance of bad and good bacteria in the digestive system can weaken the entire process. This makes you spend more time in the bathroom. You develop heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome and other problems related to digestion. Consuming fermented foods will help in the maintenance of bacteria ecosystem of the guts. This makes sure that the process works smoothly.

You can also make use of a natural reflux supplement to get rid of all acid reflux in no time at all. This is a cutting edge digestive medicine. In order to know more about natural reflux treatments, we recommend you visit this page.

3. Fermented Foods Boost Your Immune System and Prevent Various Diseases

By eating foods that are fermented, you are re-introducing the good microbes into your gastrointestinal tract. You might have missed out on some of them during the time of your childhood. Fermented foods contain beneficial yeast and bacteria. It synthesizes nutrients such as folate, biotin and vitamin K2.

These nutrients provide protection to the cells and prevent them from any kind of damage. It nourishes the brain and also provides support to the skeletal system. Good bacteria fight the harmful bacteria and thereby produce a specialized fat, which controls inflammation. Keeping a healthy gut will also help in keeping your immune system healthy.

4. Improvement of Moods is One of the Unknown Benefits of Fermented Foods

brainWhen you take fermented foods, they produce and release essential digestive enzymes and other digestive substances, which coincide with the chemicals that are present in your brain. These comprise of vitamins and nutrients, which you require for the healthy functioning of the neurotransmitters and also your cognitive processes.

It is crucial that your brain digests all the nutrients, which include fatty acids and amino acids for the production of hormones, like dopamine and serotonin. These are the hormones that help in the regulation of your mood.

Fermented foods assist in the production of these hormones and thereby, fight the effect of stress on the body. Thus, consumption of such food might help you to feel more optimistic and provide you with a good night’s sleep. So, if you are worried about an upcoming presentation, it might be a wise choice to nibble on some yogurt.

5. Prevent the Risk of Cancer by Eating Fermented Foods

CancerSauerkraut belongs to the list of fermented foods. When you eat it, the glucosinolates present in activates the antioxidants of the body. This helps in fighting inflammation and lipid oxidation, which can trigger heart disease and cancer. Apart from this, the process of lacto-fermentation makes sauerkraut produce more anti-inflammatory cancer-fighting elements.

Lacto fermentation produces large amounts of advantageous lactobacillus bacteria, which provide support to the healthy flora of the intestinal tract. It also releases isothiocyanate compounds from the glucosinolate that already present in the intestine. These isothiocyanates have anti carcinogenic effects on the cell. Thus, taking fermented food might help in the prevention of cancer.

6. Fermented Foods Reduce Inflammation

One of the major causes of inflammation is autoimmunity. This is basically a state in which the body attacks its own tissue, since it suspects that a foreign element is attacking it. These might be products that you are allergic to or sensitive to, as well. These can also be the toxins from beauty and household products and poor quality water and air.

heart diseaseFermented drinks or food like kombucha increases and regulate natural killer cells, which control the inflammatory pathways and also takes action regarding food allergy and infections. This can also reduce the risk of other chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart diseases. Other benefits of kombucha include:

  • Better digestion
  • Skin rejuvenation
  • Immunity boost
  • Treats osteoarthritis, asthma, flue and cold
  • Energy enhancer
  • Anti-aging effects
  • Prevents eczema and psoriasis
  • Stabilizes blood pressure and promotes good sleep

If you are suffering from a chronic inflammatory disease, such as pancreatitis or diabetes, then fermented foods can act as lifesavers. However, you should not opt for fermented beverages. Alcohol is an exception since it can worsen the inflammation in some other ways.

7. Fermented Foods Protect Your Intestinal Tract

Intestinal TractWe might not realize it, but so-called modern healthy food diet is comprised of an enormous amount of processed and refined foods. These toxic materials ravage the gut by blunting the villi, which are the little fingers grabbing and processing each bit of food. Thus, it destroys the beneficial bacteria.

It leaves the walls of the intestinal tract inflamed and raw, which makes it incapable of absorbing the nutrients. If you have fermented food, you will be able to heal the gut by repopulating it with innumerable strains of variable bacteria. This, in turn, provides an ideal PH balance.

If you are suffering from Crohn’s disease, gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance, celiac disease, yeast infections, constipation or chronic flatulence, then you should include fermented foods in your dietary regime. This will encourage healing and respite.

8. Fermented Foods are Diabetes-Friendly

Foods with probiotics in them are diabetic friendly. This is mainly because the process of fermentation burns up a maximum portion of sugar and converts carbohydrates into lactic acid. If the fermentation process is cutting the carbohydrates, like sugar and starch then it is an advantageous situation for diabetic people. The fermented food can also absorb the bad elements that can cause a rise in the levels of blood sugar.

Besides, during the process of fermentation of food, the sugar present in the vegetables, plus the sugar that you add kicks off the process of fermentation. So, naturally, the sugar content of your body reduces. Thus, this kind of food proves to be beneficial for many diabetic people.

9. Fermented Products Reverse the Damage Caused by Antibiotics

AntibioticsYou might have been prescribed a round of antibiotics for an infection in the past, or to prevent one. With regular consumption, these antibiotics might even fail to work. Besides, they damage the internal flora of your gut. Excessive use of antibiotics harms the gut bacteria, which weakens the immune system of your body. It also increases the risk of diabetes.

It is wise to avoid antibiotics whenever possible. But, what if you have already taken antibiotics and your internal flora is disrupted? You might not know, but this can cause some serious health issues. One of the significant benefits of fermentation is that it helps heal your gut and restore proper function.

Keep reading to know about more surprising health benefits of fermentation products.

10. Fermented Foods Assist in the Protection of Your Cognitive Health

Did you know that there is a connection between your brain and your digestive system?

Try remembering the last time you were sick to your stomach or had the butterfly effect in your stomach because you were nervous. Research is in progress regarding the remarkable and close relationship between your gut and your brain. This relationship is a “two-way street.”

Not only does your mood can have an effect on your digestion, but also the digestive system has an effect on the nervous system, mood and brain function. This is possible because of the nerve called the vagus nerve. This is one of the twelve cranial nerves. It helps in the formation of the primary channel of information in between the central nervous system and the nerve cells present in the intestinal nervous system of the brain.

The population of bacteria present in the gut affects communication through the vagus nerve. Your body sends different kinds of chemical messages and this depends on the proportion of bacteria that is present in your gut. These messages have an impact on your ability to sort information, learn and also remember variety of stuff.

11. Fermented Foods: Excellent Sources of Vitamin C

Vitamin CVitamin C helps strengthen the immune system and this is the reason several people take Vitamin C when they incur any infection. The body absorbs Vitamin C during stress or infection and thereby plays a vital role to repair your immune system. Vitamin C also serves an antioxidant and provides protection to the body against free radical damage and stress. Hence, it is clear that your body requires Vitamin C to avoid diseases.

Consumption of fermented foods increases Vitamin C in your body and protects your gut by supporting your immune system.

12. Fermented Foods Help the Process of Detoxification

The beneficial bacteria present in the fermented foods work to support your digestive system. Lactic acid is formed at the time of food fermentation, which helps your body to break down the pesticides.

Pesticides are pervasive pollutant, which are present in the food, as well as in drinking water. Thus, you need natural methods to detoxify the body. The preservatives accumulate in the body and prevent the body from breaking down the water particles. It also stores the body fat so that they can survive in the body.

Excessive accumulation of toxic materials might disrupt the normal functioning of the body. Incorporating fermented food in your diet might help in the detoxification process to eliminate waste and harmful products.

13. Fermented Foods Secrete Compounds to Destroy Pathogenic Bacteria

pathogenic bacteriaThere are several pathogenic forms of bacteria, which are sensitive to the acidic environment. This is true in the case of both typhoid and cholera. Fermented foods lower the level of pH in gastrointestinal tract. This makes the tract more acidic, which creates and inhospitable environment for the pathogenic bacteria.

According to researchers, fresh sauerkraut helps eradicate bacteria. They found that sourdough bread contains a strain of lactic acid, which is more effective than other strains at killing microbes. In tests, it speedily eradicated the super-bugs resistant to most antibiotics.

14. Fermented Foods Reduce the Risk of Eczema in Unborn Babies

At birth, the gastrointestinal tract of humans is quite sterile; however, in the first few months, a rapid colonization of bacteria takes place until the infant gains a stable local microflora.

Eczema is a type of skin infection. It causes an infant to develop an itchy and red skin. At times, it can also cause lesions. These lesions might become scaly and crafty and also discharge some serious matter. This is an allergic reaction, which develops during infancy. Studies have suggested that infants who suffer from eczema are highly likely to suffer from asthma in their later life.

Pregnant moms should consume fermented foods to reduce the risk of eczema in their children. When you take plenty of fermented foods, your baby receives sufficient beneficial bacteria.

15. Lower Your Cholesterol With Fermented Foods

CholesterolBelieve it or not, researchers have found that lacto-fermented food or friendly bacteria helps to lower down the level of bad cholesterol in the body. It can lower the level of cholesterol in basically three different ways:

  • Fermented foods actively help in fiber digestion and produce propionic acid, which reduce the cholesterol production by the liver.
  • Bile works to digest fat molecules, but the liver secretes bile acids from cholesterol. Fermented foods breakdown bile acids and stimulate liver to produce additional bile acid by using cholesterol.
  • Probiotic bacteria consume cholesterol for its nourishment.

Incorporate probiotics in your diet and enjoy a healthy diet.

16. Say Goodbye to Acne With Fermented Foods

Are you suffering from acne, rashes and any other skin issues? Chances are that there is an imbalance of bacteria in your gut. Healthy fermented food, when added to the body reduces inflammation and treats several skin conditions including acne.

When you take these fermented vegetables, you indirectly help your body to work more efficiently. And when your body is working properly, you will simply feel energetic and healthy. It is a fact that proper functioning of the body provides you with a healthy skin and thereby, makes you look beautiful.

17. Fermented Foods Prevents Cavities and Promotes Dental Health

The harmful bacteria that are present inside your mouth can lead to gingivitis, cavities, halitosis and periodontitis. The intake of fermented foods, rich in beneficial bacteria like lactic acid bacteria, promotes a balance, healthy environment in your mouth.

Taking half a teaspoon of fermented cod liver oil three times a day can alleviate tooth pain in just one day, and then effectively heal the tooth.

18. Understand Why Fermented Foods Are Good for Weight Loss

Weight LossOne of the effective benefits of fermented foods is losing weight. Beneficial bacteria, present in the gut can govern several essential functions of the body, related to your health. A balanced presence of beneficial bacteria can regulate the metabolism of your body. In case, you are looking forward to losing weight, you need to have a balance of beneficial bacteria in your body. One of the most efficacious ways that you will be able to do that is by eating a sumptuous amount of fermented foods.

The consumption of fermented foods improves the enzymatic power of foods and eradicates the toxins and harmful chemicals. It improves your immune system and helps balance your hormones. With these positive changes in your body, it becomes easy to let go of the excess fat.

19. Fermented Foods: A Long Shelf Life Will Save You Money

Milk that you store in your refrigerator might go bad after some time, so you’ll have to toss it out; but, when you ferment it into yogurt or kefir, it lasts for a longer period of time. In fact, you will be able to store it for months.

Foods you ferment yourself can last for months, so there is less waste. Fermenting foods is an easy procedure and inexpensive, too. You can ferment majority of the vegetables and food. If you are not able to do fermentation yourself, you can buy commercially produced or store-bought fermented foods. They will also have a long, preservative-free shelf life.

How to Enjoy the Benefits of Fermented Foods

  • a bowl of yogurtConsume a bowl of yogurt with active cultures every day. If you are a little more daring, give kefir or kombucha a try. You can make kefir more fun. Add nuts, seeds, fresh fruit and spices to kefir. It’s a perfect and nourishing way to start the morning. Sip on a bottle of flavored kombucha as a healthy replacement for soft drinks.
  • Make your own sauerkraut. You will get the benefits of the good bacteria and the anti-cancer compounds in cabbage at the same time. Remember, sauerkraut you purchase in cans at your local store don’t contain live probiotics.
  • Purchase aged cheese with natural probiotics. Fermented soy is full of isoflavones, which works to decrease the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer. Use miso to prepare soup, sauces and salad dressings. You can also add it to soups and stews for manifold health benefits.

Eating fermented foods will not only improve your health, but also be able to alter your entire experience with flavors and foods. Other benefits of fermented foods are that they add nutrition to your meals and are budget-friendly. Thus by buying fermented food items, you cut down on purchasing low-nutrient, satiating foods, such as bread, potatoes and pasta. Make sure that you add fermented foods to your basket when you are at your local supermarket next time.



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