In the previous instalments, we’ve talked about the wonders of fermentation in skincare. Full of probiotics, fermented foods are also good for you body, and a great way to keep your gut healthy and happy!
The History of Fermentation
Fermentation was used as a way of preserving perishable foods in the days that refrigerators did not exist. Micro-organisms such as bacteria, yeast or fungi would work to convert organic compounds such as sugars and starch into alcohol or acids. Bacteria works in milk to produce lactic acid, acting as a natural preservative which gives us yogurt. The process often results in distinctive, strong, and slightly sour flavours that not everyone may be a fan of!
Why Fermentation is Your Friend
The thought of eating bacteria-filled products may be off-putting to some, but fermented foods are rich in probiotics, which are great for your gut health. However, modern day diets high refined, high sugar have contributed to bad bacteria flourishing in your body. Therefore, probiotics are essential in fighting against these to keep your body in tip top shape. Some other areas that probiotics help in are:
- Good bacteria help break down complex carbohydrates that you eat. This fermenting and metabolising process results in other substances that are beneficial to your body, too.
- When too much bad bacteria overrun your body, your immune system goes down and you get sick. Probiotics help fight against diesease and prevent you from getting sick.
- Good bacteria play a key role in producing many vitamins your body needs. That list includes vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 and K.
What Fermented Foods to Eat
Sauerkraut is a German fermented cabbage dish that has been around for centuries. High in fibre, as well as vitamins A, C, K and various B vitamins, this is one dish you’ll want to add to your diet. It’s also a good source of iron, manganese, copper, sodium, magnesium and calcium.
Made from fermented soybeans and grains consisting of millions of beneficial bacteria, miso is a staple in Japanese cooking. From a simple miso soup to miso-glazed dishes, it won’t be hard to incorporate this into your food. It’s rich in essential minerals and a good source of various B vitamins, vitamins E, K and folic acid.
This Korean side dish is beloved by many, and it’s not hard to see why. Boasting a slightly spicy, tangy taste, kimchi comes in various forms of vegetables, cabbage being the most common. It contains vitamins A, B1, B2 and C and minerals such as iron, calcium and selenium.
This fizzy, fermented tea has made waves in the recent years. It is host to wild yeast, which converts turns into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Although it can be easily found in stores, you can just as easily make it at home too!
A popular ingredient in Indonesian and Malay cooking, tempeh is made from fermented soy beans. Affordable and rich in protein, it makes a great choice for vegetarians and vegans out there.
Lactobacilli bacteria convert sugar in milk into glucose and galactose, which break down further into lactic acid, giving yogurt its trademark sour taste. Live bacteria remain in the yogurt and provide a valuable contribution to gut microflora. Try to avoid yogurts high in sugar.
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