When I was a kid, I remember when my grandmother tried to make me eat sauerkraut and gave the worst reaction. My grandmother smiled and said, “Sauerkraut is not only good, but also good for you!” When I told my patient that sauerkraut is a kind of When it comes to healthy eating, they almost pull the same funny faces! Recently, however, it turned out that Grandma’s words are correct – sauerkraut, like other fermented foods, has amazing health benefits. There was even a recent study on the incidence of breast cancer in a group of Polish women. The group that ate a lot of sauerkraut had a very low incidence of breast cancer.
Health Benefits of Fermented Foods
Fermented foods like sauerkraut, olives, kimchi and sourdough bread have been around for a long time. They are designed to make food last longer through a natural fermentation process called lactic acid fermentation. In this process, the beneficial Lactobacillus acidophilus (the kind that lives in the gut and helps digest food) converts the starch and sugar in the food into lactic acid. Lactic acid acts as a preservative, so there is no need to keep it in the refrigerator and the shelf life of food is very long.
Then he discovered the surprising little-known health benefits of these fermented foods. It seems that the same fermentation process not only preserves these foods, but also gives them a unique sour taste, with a higher vitamin content, which aids digestion, removes excess saturated fat and cholesterol, and keeps the digestive tract healthy and happy.
In fact, these beneficial bacteria found in naturally fermented foods have recently begun to appear in TV commercials and health food articles. As “probiotics,” they can restore and maintain the gut flora, that is, the level of beneficial bacteria in the gut tract. If you don’t know this, your colon (where all these beneficial bacteria are housed) is where your immune system is. When your level of beneficial bacteria is at its best, your immune system is strong enough to fight off infections and other diseases.
Many fermented foods, such as olives, also contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce systemic inflammation.
Not all acidic foods are naturally fermented
When I told my patients about naturally fermented superfoods, they said great, I’ll buy some at the grocery store! However, most canned sauerkraut, kimchi, Greek olives, as well as buttermilk, yogurt and kefir in the dairy section of a supermarket should not be produced by natural fermentation and should not contain live bacteria.
In fact, many sour dairy products in these grocery stores are pasteurized, and canned varieties can be added by adding vinegar (itself a fermented food) and/or certain preservative-grade minerals, such as potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate, to extend shelf life. shelf life. Most are added with lactic acid rather than naturally produced during the fermentation process described above. But even the “quick” fermented foods of these supermarket varieties, in addition to containing vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, etc., also offer some health benefits, but they are not as many as the naturally fermented foods that live culture.
Unless your local supermarket has a special section of refrigerated natural foods, you may need to go to a health food or health food store to buy real, naturally fermented, unpasteurized sauerkraut, kimchi, olives, kefir, buttermilk, and yogurt. You can also easily make your own fermented food. Obtain starter kits for fermentation at health food stores and/or online, as well as instructions for how to ferment many foods.
What Fermented Foods Are There?
Sauerkraut is probably the most well-known fermented food. It is the staple food of German and Polish cuisine. If you’ve eaten Korean, you may have eaten vegetables such as kimchi and sauerkraut, Korea’s staple foods. Researchers even found that chickens infected with bird flu recovered after being fed kimchi extract! Sake is a type of Japanese rice wine and a fermented food, like all wines, red or white varieties, and most beers. If you eat Chinese, you may have eaten soy sauce on rice, at least you’ve heard of tempeh, fermented soybeans. Here are some other common fermented foods:
• Pickles, olives, onions, mustard greens – Omega 3, promotes good intestinal bacteria.
• Yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, cheese – good for digestion and strengthening
Relationship and ability to lower blood sugar in diabetic patients.
• Chocolate contains important antioxidants, just like sugar-free fruit!
You may have been eating and enjoying fermented foods for a long time, but you don’t know how many health benefits you will get from them. Who knew that kimchi and chocolate might be healthy foods? Read labels carefully and make sure they are marked “naturally fermented” or contain “live bacteria” or “lactobacillus acidophilus” to ensure you get the most