DIGESTIVE NEWS & REVIEW:
Fermented foods are consumed by traditional cultures throughout the world on a daily basis. This is part of their healthcare plan as they don’t have funds to access doctors. Many of these traditional cultures also don’t have refrigeration so it is an easy, cost effective way to preserve their food and take care of their health.
How are Fermented Foods Produced?
Fermented foods are created when a process called lacto-fermentation occurs. This process happens when the sugars and starches from Lactobacilli on the fruits and vegetables are turned into lactic acid by the bacteria as it consumes the starches and sugars from these fruits and vegetables.
How are Fermented Foods Good for Our Health?
These fermented foods can be good for our physical health, as they:
• Increase the Vitamin C content by 600% after sauerkraut has been fermenting for 7 days.
• Reduce the level of pesticides on foods so the body can better deal with them.
• Reduce the phytic acid content of grains by 80% after fermentation making them easier to digest.
• Preserve and enhance the enzyme content of the foods.
• Improve the nutrient bioavailability from the fermented foods in the body
• Improve the digestibility of the food.
• Help you digest and assimilate the cooked foods that you eat with the fermented foods.
• Enhance your immune function.
• Decrease your risk of respiratory infection.
• Assist in how you metabolise fats.
• Reduce tumour activity.
• Act on the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal system by creating an acidic environment to stop pathogenic bacteria from multiplying.
• Increase iron absorption because they increase hydrochloric acid and iron needs hydrochloric acid to be absorbed.
• Produces acetylcholine which has an effect on peristalsis(muscular contractions of the smooth muscle of the bowel) so excellent for constipation.
What are Popular Fermented Foods?
Popular fermented foods include sauerkraut, Kim chi, milk kefir, water kefir, beet kvass. These can be safely and easily made at home.
Fermented Food Myths Busted
A common misconception is that fermented foods feed our gut bacteria and that they also recolonise your gut bacteria. This is not the case, they can alter the pH making the environment right for our own bacteria to thrive. They also increase enzyme production and are a supply of pre-digested food which helps all of the things listed above.
Who Should Avoid Fermented Foods?
There are some people who should not eat fermented foods and this can be people who have a known Candida overgrowth and if you have Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) ferments will make you feel worse. It is always best to seek help if you feel worse. My best tip if you are trying fermented foods for the first time is to start low and go slow. Ferments are powerful foods.
About Our Digestive News and Review Columnist – Ange Sinclair
Ange Sinclair, founder of Digestive Detective is a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist. She has a special interest in Digestive Disorders. She helps you beat the bloat, purge your pain and find the root cause of your problem using nutrition, herbal medicine and supplements.
Disclaimer: The information published in this column are based on each of the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.