Fermented foods have been around for thousands of years, before fridges even existed. Now nutritionists say they're one of the best ways to get all of the nutrients out of your foods. To get the scoop on the benefits of fermented foods, we asked nutritionist Meghan Telpner.
What are fermented foods?
Fermented foods exist where we take a food and pre-digest it, outside of the body. Fermentation is a process where foods are exposed to bacteria that cause them to start to break down. That makes them easier to digest, and easier for our bodies to absorb their nutrients. People have eaten fermented foods for thousands of years. It was essential before refrigeration.
What are the health benefits of fermented foods?
Fermented foods are packed with probiotics, which are essential for a health promoting bacterial balance. This helps with better digestion and strong immune function. Seventy per centof our immune system is in the gut, and for this to function optimally, we need that balance of good bacteria in place.
Fun fact: We are more bacteria than human! Bacteria cells outnumber human cells 10:1. An imbalance in the gut called dysbiosis has been connected with a huge range of conditions including obesity, anxiety, heart disease and autoimmune conditions like Crohn's Colitis Arthritis and hormonal imbalance.
Are fermented foods known to improve gut health?
It's always better to do our healing with food rather than a pill. A diet rich in fermented foods can help us achieve this balance for optimal immune function and better digestion.