Including fermented foods in your daily diet plan is an excellent way to get healthy. Fermented foods contain vast caches of digestive enzymes, healthy probiotics and beneficial nutrients. Fermented foods proffer a host of health benefits ranging from healthy immune system to fighting cancer. To discover some of the unique health benefits of fermented foods, read on.
Here are 10 Health Benefits of Fermented Foods:
Fermented foods are packed with beneficial bacteria which help to enhance digestive health. The ‘good’ bacteria which is present in fermented food increases the number of healthy gut flora. These useful microorganisms also aid digestion by breaking down nutrients into easily digestible components. Consuming fermented food like kimchi, miso, and yoghurt (to name a few) also enhance absorption of live nutrients in the food.
Fermented foods help to remove harmful toxins like mercury from the system. The beneficial micro-organisms in fermented food not only break down nutrients in food, but they also help to create natural chelators (compounds that bind to metal ions). Chelators bind with mercury and other heavy metals in the blood stream, and expel them from the body.
Improves Immune Function
Fermented food not only calms down an overactive immune system, but they also help to boost the immune system function. The beneficial bacteria which are present in fermented foods boost gut health. A healthy gut bolsters the immune system. Unprocessed fermented foods also stimulate the production of disease fighting proteins called antibodies. Antibodies are vital for the healthy functioning of the immune system.
Medical studies indicate that consuming raw, fermented foods can reduce the risk of cancer. Fermented foods like tempeh ,miso and sauerkraut contain substantial amounts of vitamin K2, which has remarkable anti-cancer effects. Additionally, fermented foods like sauerkraut contain high amounts of glucosinolates. Glucosinolates have potent anti-cancerous activity. They also help to slow down the initiation phase and promotion phase of carcinogenesis (process by which normal healthy cells are transformed into cancer cells).
Fights Cardiovascular Disease
Fermented foods contain beneficial probiotics. Probiotic bacteria digest dietary fiber, and produce specific acids like proprionic acid. Medical studies have indicated that proprionic acid can lower the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver. Reducing blood cholesterol levels can prevent a host of cardiovascular diseases. Nattokinase a potent enzyme which is present in the Japanese fermented soy foods Natto, help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering the blood pressure levels and by dissolving blood clots.
Consuming fermented foods can actually help to reduce the risk of Type II diabetes. Fermented foods have an extremely low glycemic index. The healthy bacteria or probiotics which are present in fermented food converts sugar into lactic acid. Fermented foods also reduce the risk of diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels. Regular consumption of fermented food can help overweight people to shed excess body weight – which can help to reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases like diabetes.
For Healthy Bones
To prevent bone degenerative disease like osteoporosis, intake of fermented foods should be substantially increased. Fermented foods are rich sources of vitamin k2 or menaquinone. Menoquinone is essential for removing calcium from those areas of the body where it is not required (soft tissue and arteries) and transporting them to specific regions of the body which requires substantial amounts of this mineral – like the bone and the teeth.
Fermented foods which are rich in healthy bacteria are touted as the next best thing to Prozac. Fermented foods increase the production of GABA or Gamma Aminobutyric Acid (chemical messengers which are widely distributed in the brain). GABA calms down the nervous system, alleviates anxiety and fights depression.
For Healthy Skin
Fermented foods remove harmful toxins from the body. Ridding the body of dangerous toxins is vital to keep chronic skin disease like eczema, acne and psoriasis at bay. Fermented foods are rich sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is vital for the production of the skin protein collagen (which gives skin its elasticity). So, to get healthy, youthful looking skin, increase your intake of delicious fermented foods like sauerkraut, yogurt and buttermilk.
Aids Weight Loss
Fermented foods can restore the natural balance between the good and bad bacteria in the intestines. Rectifying any imbalance which may be present in the levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut is pivotal for weight loss. Consuming fermented foods improves satiety value or feeling fullness. Fermented foods also regularize blood sugar levels. All these factors together can aid in weight loss.