Fermented food and beverages were among the very first processed foods consumed by humans. In the beginning, fermented foods were valued for their safe shelf life and the popularity of foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, wine and even fermented sausage grew. However, these days the consumption of fermented foods is closely associated with a wide variety of health benefits.
Fermented foods are foods which are produced or preserved by the action of microorganisms. When a food is fermented, it is left to sit and steep until the sugars and carbs become bacteria-boosting agents. The fermentation process preserves the food and creates beneficial enzymes, b-Vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids and a wide variety of probiotics. Probiotics are important because they improve digestion, help prevent against disease and are known to enhance immune functions.
Fermented Food Benefits
Fermentation is the metabolic process in which microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast or fungi convert organic compounds such as sugars and starch into alcohol or acids. The process of fermentation preserves food, adds microbes to the gut when eaten, increases micronutrients, makes foods more digestible, eliminates bad bacteria and decreases cooking time.
In addition to adding probiotics to the body, the health benefits of fermented foods are plenty some of which include:
- Weight loss
- Clearing up of skin problems
- Aiding in hormonal issues
- Provide defense against immune weaknesses
- Help energy levels
Fermented foods also help regulate the immune system and metabolism, support mood and brain function as well as alleviate stress and help us maintain a healthy weight.
What are the best fermented foods for health?
Readily available, the best fermented foods for health include yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir and fermented vegetables. Here is a breakdown of why these fermented foods are so good for us.
Sauerkraut is a sour cabbage pickled by lacto-fermentation. It has a sour taste and makes a great accompaniment to salads. Sauerkraut is a good source of live bacteria.
Fermented vegetables are natural probiotics that do not contain added sugar, gluten or preservatives. Their taste is often tangy and zesty.
Kefir is a fermented milk drink that resembles a liquid yogurt. It offers incredible immune system support and can even help prevent chronic diseases and illnesses.
Kombucha is a naturally fermented tea that aids in digestion and fights candida. Often referred to as nature’s elixir, Kombucha comes in many flavors and is safe to drink daily.
Yogurt is at its best when it is plain and unflavored. Although its health benefits are numerous, yogurt is a healthy breakfast or anytime snack that is good for weight loss.
Interested in learning more about fermented foods?
If you are interested in learning more about fermented foods, we highly suggest you drop by Santosa Vegan Restaurant located in Santosa Detox & Wellness Center here in Phuket. Located in the hills above Kata Beach, Santosa is a state-of-the-art detox retreat specializing in a wide variety of detox programs, spa & yoga retreats as well as healthy eating programs. Drop in and see us to try some our homemade fermented foods in our vegan restaurant, to chat about health and wellness or sign up for a program. Simply fill in the enquiry form below and a member of staff will be in contact with you. We look forward to welcoming you to Santosa here in Phuket, Thailand.