Fermented Foods Should Be a Staple In Our Diet – Here’s Why
Updated on June 7, 2022 by Team ShineSheets
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“Are you having problems with your digestive system? Well, what are you eating love?” – my doctor after I told her I notice a significant amount of bloating lately.
Unfortunately, most people’s diets are far from healthy these days. We eat large amounts of high sugar and processed foods and this, combined with our stressful lifestyles, can throw your digestive system completely out of whack. Even those who do eat healthy on a regular basis fall off the healthy eating wagon sometimes – and that’s normal.
Yet, this can result in an upset stomach and other unhappy belly situations on a daily basis. The situation can be quickly improved by including more fermented foods in our diet.
The Importance Of Bacteria In Your Gut
You see, your gut is home to hundreds of millions of bacteria and microorganisms. These good bacteria that live in your gut are extremely important for your health. They are primarily responsible for helping you digest and absorb the food you eat and play an important role in your immune system.
We also have what is known as bad bacteria. These can cause bloating, constipation and diarrhea. In order to have good digestion, you need to balance the good and bad bacteria. When this is achieved, your digestion will work beautifully and you’ll feel amazing! The simplest way to do this is by adding fermented foods to your diet.
Fermented Foods VS Probiotics
Before the days of refrigerators, food was fermented in order to preserve it and also to enhance its taste. When food is fermented, microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast turn organic matter into alcohol and acids.
This process also enhances the good bacteria. Eating fermented foods like Sauerkraut can help with a number of health issues, the biggest being digestion problems. They can also help you to maintain a healthy weight.
If you have stomach troubles, or trouble digesting food then people may have told you to take probiotics. Probiotics are bacteria supplements and have become extremely popular in recent years. Unfortunately, some of them are mostly useless and a complete waste of money, so you need to pick wisely. Bacteria are delicate natural organisms and most do not survive the storage, transport, and manufacturing process. These supplements must also pass through your highly acidic stomach which prevents them from reaching the gut.
Eating fermented foods is a great alternative and will also provide you with other benefits! Let’s see what they are.
Fermented Foods Benefits
1. Improved digestion and nutrient absorption
Fermented foods are easier to digest. They fill your gut will good bacteria, enhancing digestion, and increasing the number of nutrients that your body can absorb. Fermented foods also improve your body’s ability to manufacture various types of vitamins.
2. Improved immune system
Your gut makes up a large part of the immune system. Eating fermented foods helps to support your gut lining which is a natural barrier against disease. Without good bacteria in your gut, disease-causing microbes can grow and this can lead to illness.
They also help to prevent inflammation which can lead to obesity, diabetes, and conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. It is especially important to eat fermented foods if you have recently taken a course of antibiotics.
3. Improved mood and behavior
Believe it or not, your gut and brain are linked. Your gut is lined with neurons that can affect your emotions and feelings. Serotonin – the neurotransmitter which determines your mood – is also manufactured in your gut. All of this means that a healthy gut is linked to feeling good and being happy.
The Best Fermented Foods To Eat
There are dozens of different fermented foods you can add to your diet. And they’re super tasty!
1. Sauerkraut and Kimchi
Sauerkraut is basically fermented cabbage with added salt. Kimchi is similar, just made from Napa cabbage. As well as being high in fiber, fermented cabbages contain vitamins A, C. K and B and large amounts of iron, manganese, copper, sodium, magnesium, and calcium.
Sourdough is made from dough that has been fermented and contains good bacteria.
This is probably the easiest and most popular fermented food you can add to your diet. Make sure to buy plain yogurt instead of the flavored ones as these contain large amounts of sugar!
Miso is a type of Japanese fermented food which is made from fermented soybeans and grains. It contains millions of good bacteria and essential minerals and is a fantastic source of vitamin B, E, K, and folic acid.
P. S. You can also make fermented foods at home. This is useful if you can’t find what you want at the supermarket. Plus it’s also a lot easier than it seems. The best foods to ferment are cabbage, carrots, apples, and beetroot.
Most people never think about their gut, but this part of your body performs many critical functions. This is why it’s so helpful to eat plenty of fermented foods so that you can maintain a healthy gut, feel great, and stay healthy.