What is Fermentation?
Fermentation is a process in which food is exposed to bacteria and yeasts, either by adding the bacteria or naturally through the air. Beneficial microorganisms beat out the kind that can kill you, and eat up the carbohydrates in the food. The results are interesting flavors, textures, and smells. Before refrigeration started, curing meats, pickling vegetables, and clabbering milk was the only way to extend the life of perishables.
It is a metabolic process in which an organism converts a carbohydrate, such as starch or a sugar, into an alcohol or an acid. For example, yeast perform fermentation to obtain energy by converting sugar into alcohol. Bacteria perform fermentation, converting carbohydrates into lactic acid.
How is fermented food good for us and for our gut’s health?
Disease begins in the gut. So, it only stands to reason that health and beauty begin there, too. The importance of good bacteria in the gut is central to this. We want to increase this friendly bacteria, and one of the very best ways to do this is through fermented foods. How does these bacteria help us?
1. Increase gut flora. This will strengthen digestion for better elimination of toxic waste through the bowels.
2. Sharpen mind. Any dysfunction of the brain is usually connected to what’s going on in the digestive system. Hence the phrases, “What’s your gut feeling?,” “Have you got the guts?” and “Trust your gut instincts.” Clean stomach, clean and clear mind.
3. Heal immune system and improves digestion. Fermenting our foods before we eat them is like partially digesting them before we consume them. Those who cannot tolerate milk can eat yogurt. That’s because the lactose (which is usually the part people can’t tolerate) in milk is broken down as the milk is fermented and turns into yogurt. Do you suffer from lactose intolerance? Gluten intolerance? Constipation? Irritable bowel syndrome? Yeast infections? Allergies? Asthma? All of these conditions have been linked to a lack of good bacteria in the gut.
4. Detox. Fermented foods are some of the most potent detoxifiers, capable of drawing out a wide range of heavy metals. The beneficial bacteria grab hold of mercury, lead, aluminum, arsenate, and anything else toxic, holding on to them until they’re removed through stool.
5. Beautiful skin. Every day you will see our skin improve. When we decrease the toxic load, and the bad bacterial load, this alleviates pressure on the body to do other things.
6. Increase the vitamin content. Fermented dairy products consistently reveal an increased level of folic acid which is critical to producing pyroxidine, B vitamins, riboflavin and biotin depending on the strains of bacteria present. Eating fermented food helps us to absorb the nutrients we’re consuming. We can ingest huge amounts of nutrients, but unless we actually absorb them, they’re useless to us. When we improve digestion, we improve absorption. If we eat one meal with fermented foods every day, our gut will be dominated by beneficial probiotic species of microbes, and they will start to build and make all kinds of essential nutrients like B12, vitamin B6, vitamin K2, and biotin.
7. Biological enrichment of protein, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, and vitamins. As we ferment the vegetables, we break down their cellulose structure, and they become more nourishing and mineral dense. The protein structure of foods is unraveled through fermentation, and becomes much easier to digest.
8. Food lasts longer. Fermenting has been a way of preserving foods since ancient times. Fermented foods generally do not need refrigeration, and certainly don’t require artificial chemicals for preservation. Quite on the contrary: time actually assists the fermentation process.
9. Promote weight loss. Fermented foods are stabilizing for blood sugar, which means two things. First, they will balance appetite, leaving you feeling more satiated and less hungry. And secondly, they create a more even and steady release of insulin so the body doesn’t store fat.
10. Great taste! You can enrich your diet through a more diverse range of flavors, aromas, and textures in food substrates. Expanding your cuisine into new foods goes against the health trend of denying and cutting out. Delicious and nutritious.
2. Sprouted foods
Soaking a bean, grain, or seed in water causes the outer hull to be broken down by probiotics—fermented—which enables the sprouting process. Foods treated in this way have higher, more easily absorbed nutrient contents. Sprouting also reduces the content of antinutrients, such as phytic acid, which inhibits the absorption of minerals such as iron and zinc from these grains.
3. Idli. Dosa, Uttapam:
Make pickles at home and have them esp the typical pickle based diet like pickle and pulao. Pickle and khichadi etc
PS: Wine and chocolate are also fermented. Fermentation reduce the tanin content in them. The best wine and teh best dark chocolate is that which has been fermented properly over the years to bring out the flavor and aroma So have them once in a while
Eat fermented food and improve your guts’ health. Cheers!
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