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Fermented Foods Health

How are fermented foods beneficial for health?
(May 11, 2010)

Foods are broadly classified into 3 main types -raw food which is not heated at a temperature more that 118 degrees (F),Fermented foods that basically have their sugars and carbohydrates converted into some beneficial acids or alcohol and finally living food which is a combination of raw and fermented foods an still has enzymes living in it. Fermented foods undergo a breakdown of proteins and carbohydrates through certain microorganisms like yeasts, bacteria and molds and are also known as probiotic foods.

Since ancient times, fermented foods are considered to be extremely beneficial to one’s health as they encourage the growth of bacteria required by the intestine, help digestion, elevate overall nutrition levels and strengthen the body’s immune system. Fermented foods are also known to provide the body with an additional amount of omega-3 fatty acids, lactic acid, B Vitamins and various other chemicals that help fight off cancer and harmful bacteria. There are various types of fermented foods commercially available nowadays such as kimchi, nham, balao – balao and others. Kimchi is a popular fermented food consumed in Korea.

It basically is spicy fermented cabbage that is known to have medicinal properties along with even anti aging benefits. The US alternatives of available fermented foods would include sauerkraut which is fermented cabbage, kefir, fermented and milk or yogurt. Fermented foods are also known to help detoxification and preservation of foods. Additionally, fermented milk has lactobacillus acidophilus which in turn produces good bacteria like lactocidin, acidophillin etc which prevent the occurrence or growth of harmful microorganisms in the body. Overall, fermented foods are an excellent source of minerals, amino acids and vitamins and hence should constitute an important part of our diet. B vitamins that increase the energy levels are found in ferment milk whereas Vitamin C is obtained from fermented vegetables which are also easier to digest. Various cereals or grains typically contain harmful phytates, gluten and lectins which can be considerably reduced by fermenting them. During fermentation of milk, lactose is broken down which addressed the problem of sugar and also reduces the carbohydrate content making it healthier and more nutritious.

One of the most refreshing fermented drinks that is commonly consumed nowadays is Kombucha which is ideal in warm weather conditions. Thus fermented foods result in the consumption of helpful probiotics which are known to offer protection from medical disorders such as colon cancer, reduction in cavities in children, minimizing tolerance to lactose and even stopping the reoccurrence of inflammatory bowel disease.
Submitted by S M on May 11, 2010 at 01:54


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