Fermented foods have been eaten by people around the world for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. There are multiple reasons for this, including that it was a way of preserving food before the methods of canning or refrigeration were used. One of the vital reasons why fermentation was so widely practiced though, is because fermentation creates communities of good bacteria which were vital for the health and wellbeing of people who could not grow or access foods that were good sources of nutrients all year round.
In today’s society, where highly processed foods are the norm, it is easy to destroy our body’s gut flora. Gut flora is vital for general immunity, digestion and prevention of disease and allergies. Highly processed foods are full of refined sugar and carbohydrates which are detrimental to the health of our intestinal tracts. Antibiotics and many other medications also kill the good bacteria which we need to fight off sickness and disease. Eating fermented foods is a great way to replenish the bacteria in our gut and release protective compounds throughout our intestines.
Fermented foods are pre-digested, which means some of the hard work has already been done for our bodies. As the food ferments, microorganisms feed on the sugars and starches to begin breaking down the food and making it easier to digest. This means our body has to expend less energy to digest food and absorb more of the nutrients from the food. The pre-digestion process is also helpful for people who have food intolerances to gluten or lactose as they are partly broken down in the fermentation process.
There are so many benefits to fermented food. Although it is not a cure, it’s a great boost in the general wellbeing and immunity of those who eat it. Fermented foods are full of good bacteria and are really helpful in replenishing gut flora. The pre-digestion that takes place during the fermentation process assists our bodies to be able to digest it better and enables us to better absorb the nutrients.