For thousands of years, cultures have been using fermented foods as a way to preserve fresh food. Over time, we have come to learn that through this process, the food also has added health benefits.
- Help repair the gut and better digestion
- Detoxify and cleanse your system from harmful pollutants and chemicals
- Boost your immune system to prevent colds, infection, and disease
- Eliminate gas and bloating
- Improve your mood with nutrients created during the fermentation process
- Work to improve the skin, decreasing or eliminating acne
- Contain many more healthy compounds such as enzymes and B vitamins that aren’t in the initial medium (what you started with!)
If you live a stressful lifestyle, have taken antibiotics, or taken many other medications (over-the-counter or prescription) chances are your digestion is impaired. Fermented foods can boost the number of healthy bacteria in your gut, which will help you digest your food better, reduce gas and bloating, and help you get more nutrition from the food you eat (you can ingest huge amounts of nutrients but unless you actually absorb them, they’re useless to you. When you improve digestion, you improve absorption!).
One of the biggest markers of disease is inflammation. Inflammation is something that all medical professionals understand as being a major factor in the cause of disease. When you can eliminate or reduce inflammation in the body your chance of getting sick decreases dramatically. Eating fermented foods and having healthy gut bacteria has been shown to reduce this disease causing inflammation, in turn keeping you healthier for longer.
List of common fermented foods:
- Kombucha (fermented tea-based drink)
- Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)
- Naturally fermented pickles
- Yoghurt (go full fat, organic!)
- Hard cheeses and sour cream
- Sourdough bread made using active culture
Article by Kavisha Jega
Holding a Masters degree in Wellness, Kavisha works to promote optimal health and well-being by teaching people how to move away from processed foods and towards a more nourishing whole foods diet. Her educational seminars and cooking workshops draw on her knowledge of whole food cooking and passion for wellness to show everyday people that healthy eating can be easy and attainable. A lover of all things food and travel, Kavisha also has a wellness travel practice, which focuses on connecting health savvy travellers with good food by showcasing local, organic and whole food experiences all over the world.