At first the thought of eating something fermented may not seem very appetizing. However, I would bet you probably already eat some fermented food but may not realize it. There are actually several benefits of fermented food.
First of all what is the fermentation process?
It is a process that preserves food called lactofermentation. Natural bacteria feed on the natural sugars found in the food and make acids, gases, or alcohol. This is a very old way to preserve food. It was done way before people ever understood why or how it happens exactly. Fermentation is used to make common foods as wine, cheese, and beer.
With modern refrigeration and canning the need for foods to be preserved through fermentation became less. However they are getting popular again.
There are several health benefits of fermented food:
- Promotes good bacteria. – Fermented foods help to fortify the good bacteria otherwise known as probiotics that live in the large intestines. These help in digestion and help our immunity.
- Home made – It is possible to make fermented foods at home. As foods bought in the store have many things added for preservation and taste a lot of the good they would have in their natural state are negated. When it is made at home there is more control over what you eat.
- Preserves food – It can save space in our refrigerators by allowing us to store food for long periods of time without using refrigeration. It also allows storing food without using heat which can kill the good bacteria we use.
What are some examples of fermented foods?
- Sauerkraut – It is a fermented cabbage that is typically eaten throughout Eastern Europe.
- Kimchee – Asia’s answer to fermented cabbage. However some add other vegetables such as carrots and onions.
- Kefir – Is a beverage that is made from fermented milk. Although it is similar to yogurt it contains more probiotic cultures than yogurt.
- Ginger beer – Gaining in popularity as a refreshing drink. Ginger is known to help with digestion, relieve nausea. The best way to have it is to make you own as you know how much sugar and ginger root is used.
The next time you hear of fermented foods don’t automatically turn your nose up at it. The taste may surprise you. The benefits of fermented food can encourage us to try some.