What Are The Benefits Of Fermented Foods On Our Health?
When the intestinal flora (what is now called the microbiota) is disrupted, many ailments appear: intestinal pain, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, etc. These disabling disorders can be treated quickly, provided of course, to use the right solutions!
Who says intestinal flora, says bacteria and nothing like fermented foods to repair the small hassles caused by poor diet, medical treatment or stress.
Definition and Benefits of Fermented Foods
Fermentation is one of the oldest food preservation techniques. It also allows them to be processed using micro-organisms added or already present in order to improve their nutritional value, taste or digestion. Of all these fermentations, the lactic fermentation is the most interesting from the nutritional point of view.
The principle of fermentation is simple: it consists of a biochemical reaction carried out by the enzymes of yeasts or bacteria, which takes place in the absence of oxygen from the air, allowing to recover part of the energy of the sugars Present in the food.
There are different types of fermentation, the most common of which are:
- Alcoholic fermentation: the sugars of a food are transformed into ethyl alcohol thanks to the yeasts. This fermentation is specific to cereals and fruits.
- Lactic fermentation or lacto-fermentation: the sugars are transformed into lactic acid thanks to bacteria. It is used in making yogurts, cheeses, vegetable products (beets, cucumbers, cabbage) and sausages.
- Acetic fermentation: the sugars are converted into acetic acid. It is this fermentation which is used to obtain vinegar for example.
Of animal or vegetable origin, fermented foods are found in many forms. As far as drinks, wine and beer are obviously obtained by fermentation. But sausage, bread, cheese, alcohol, coffee, beans etc. are also part of the fermented foods, in order to develop the flavors or to keep them longer.
Each country has its own specific fermented foods. Bread and cheese are particularly popular in Europe, while products derived from soya beans or different fish are highlighted in Asia and fermented starchy fermented starch such as yams or cassava are popular in Africa .
What are the properties of fermented foods?
Fermented foods can retain their vitamins and minerals. They are also more digestible! Ferments are enzymes that increase the digestibility of food . In addition, lacto-fermentation helps to regenerate the intestinal flora and protect it from the “bad” bacteria that attack the intestinal wall.
6 fermented foods to eat without restriction
Many fermented products are already part of our everyday life, as for the others, it would be interesting to discover them and to put them to the honor on a regular basis.
1 – Yogurt
Their protective action make them one of the fermented foods not to be neglected. The lactic bacteria they contain, once ingested, continue their work in your stomach and help protect your intestinal flora.
2 – The sauerkraut
Sliced into thin slices that have been fermented in salt and lactic ferments, the cabbage can be eaten as a salad or cooked. However, cooked, sauerkraut will have lost its lactic ferments and will therefore have no effect on the intestinal flora. The little more of this food when consumed raw: its content rich in vitamin C increases consequently following its fermentation. So, it would be better to eat raw sauerkraut! This does not mean that baked sauerkraut is not a food of choice …
In the form of Kimchi in Korea, sauerkraut is used as a condiment in burgers or as a garnish in salads.
3 – Fermented milks
Rich in enzymes, fermented milks contain good bacteria that seed the intestinal flora and protect it. Fermenting milk before drinking is a process that has been adopted for decades in many countries. Different types of milk, such as Ribot milk in France, Lassi in India and Leben in the Middle East, are available in supermarkets and specialty stores.
4 – The Kombucha
Consumed for many years in China and Russia, Kombucha is a fermented tea whose mode of manufacture is reminiscent of vinegar and is produced from yeasts. These can be used to convert added sugar into lactic acid.
5 – The Miso
The Miso is a paste made from fermented soybeans and rice in cubic shape, white, or brown and is part of the Asian culinary culture because of its many benefits to the body.
Rich in protein, Miso is fermented for a few weeks usually and can be fermented for years. To avoid losing all the nutrients and the benefits of Miso when cooking, do not overcook it.
6 – The Tempeh
Unlike many fermented products based on lactic ferments, here are soybeans fermented by a fungus. During fermentation, the phytic acid contained in Tempeh is destroyed, making the soybean more digestible.
In the form of tofu, marinated, sautéed or grilled, Tempeh is a food to try!
Should we consume these foods?
Consuming fermented products improves the intestinal flora . Each year thousands of French people suffer from digestive disorders. Fermented products can therefore be an effective response to these ailments.
Nevertheless, an excessive consumption of lactic ferments can also result in the appearance of digestive disorders and in particular of diarrhea.
It is therefore recommended not to consume too much fermented food and to remember that the best is the enemy of the good.