According to more and more scientific discoveries, there’s a link between the bacteria in our gut and the health of the rest of our bodies.
It’s estimated that approximately 70% – 80% of your immune system is in your gut. If you feed it poorly, your gut will be left with few defenses, easily overwhelmed by bad bacteria, wide open to disease-triggering inflammation and plagued by gastro-intestinal illnesses like IBS-type symptoms (gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, etc.). Also, in your weakened state, you may be more susceptible to colds and flu. However, if you add the good bacteria into the gastric mix via fermented foods, you’ll enable your gut to crush opportunistic invaders and disease-triggering inflammation.
To fortify your gut, start incorporating small servings of fermented foods, once or twice a day. So, take a look at few of the reasons why you should add these foods to your diet:
Fermented foods improve digestion
Fermenting foods is kind of like “pre-digesting” them. This process makes them easier to digest, and easier for the body to absorb the nutrients.
Fermentation makes foods more nutritious
Studies have also found that traditionally fermented dairy products actually provide more vitamins than conventional or even raw milk. Vegetables, fruits, beans and grains also become more nutritious after they ferment.
Fermentation helps eliminate phytic acid
The phytic acid is an anti-nutrient that can be found in beans, seeds and nuts. Reducing the phytic acid makes it less difficult for the gut to absorb minerals.
So, make sure you try out the following delicious and healthy fermented foods:
Made from fermented soybeans, miso is a great source of manganese, zinc and antioxidants. It’s frequently used in soup recipes, however it can also add flavor to other dishes.
Sauerkraut is nicely cut fermented cabbage that is packed with vitamins C, B and K. It also contains a great number of probiotics, such as leuconostoc, pediococcus, and lactobacillus. In case you’re buying sauerkraut at the store instead of making your own, make sure to choose unpasteurized brands because pasteurization actually kills all the helpful bacteria.
- Coconut yogurt
Coconut yogurt is loaded with probiotics and it’s also much easier to digest than conventional yogurt because it’s non-dairy. Coconut is antiviral, anti-fungal and antibacterial. In addition, it is high in electrolytes, calcium, potassium and magnesium.
Pickles are filled with active bacterial cultures and enzymes. However make sure you purchase lacto-fermented pickles from the refrigerator section, not the kind made with vinegar. Although they may taste similar, they don’t have the same health benefits.
Kimchi is a fermented Korean side dish that’s generally made with cabbage, radish or cucumber. It is loaded with vitamin C and carotene, and can be eaten on its own or incorporated into several dishes.
Have you ever tried fermented food? Or have you ever made some yourself? Share with us in the comments below.