Nov 28, 2022
5 Reasons You Should Include Fermented Foods in Your Diet
While many people don't like to think about it, your body, especially your digestive system, is home to trillions of bacteria. The thought of bacteria squirming through your intestines might make your skin crawl, but not all bacteria are bad. In a healthy system, good bacteria outnumber bad, and they play a vital role in the overall health and function of the body.
To promote healthy bacteria numbers, you must maintain a healthy diet, including foods specific to good bacteria. Fermented foods contribute to the gut microbiome, and any healthy diet should include them.
5 Reasons To Choose Fermented Foods
Fermented foods are those foods produced through controlled microbial growth, using enzymatic action to create different food components. Common examples of fermented foods include:
Nutritionists explain fermented foods are crucial to your health. These experts also explain there are at least five benefits to including these foods in your regular diet.
1. Essential to a Healthy Gut Microbiome
Good bacteria are essential to the breakdown of complex carbs. The healthy breakdown of these nutrients results in a beneficial metabolizing and fermenting process in the body.
Fermented foods contribute to a diverse microbiome, meaning reduced risk of gastric distress. Gut bacteria are some of the primary components in digestion, helping the body break down fiber and other substances.
2. Aids in Immune Defense
You may not notice, but your body is in a constant battle for your health. You swallow countless disease-causing bacteria every day, but you don't always get sick because your body's good bacteria take care of the threats.
By consuming fermented foods, you increase the number of good bacteria. These bacteria lower your intestine's pH by creating acidic fermentation byproducts, reducing the survival rate of harmful bacteria.
3. Helps Synthesize Essential Vitamins
By increasing the number of good bacteria in your system through your dietary choices, you also promote efficiency in your body's vitamin-producing and synthesizing capabilities. Good bacteria synthesize and produce many essential vitamins, including:
4. Reduces Risk of Chronic Disease
Studies suggest people with less diverse gut microbiomes have an increased risk of chronic diseases like asthma, obesity, and inflammatory diseases. While there is no conclusive answer to why a less diverse system results in more significant risks, it is a common finding, which is why most medical professionals urge balanced diets, including fermented foods.
5. Restores Gut Health Balance After Antibiotics
Antibiotics do not discriminate; they kill all bacteria. By wiping out good and bad bacteria, antibiotics help to make you feel better, but they may come with side effects, like diarrhea. Consuming fermented foods after taking antibiotics can help restore gut bacteria to healthy levels. You will also want to consume a high-fiber diet to nourish the bacteria and help them flourish.
Your digestive system, especially the GI tract, needs bacteria. Fermented foods help establish a healthy population of good bacteria and contribute to the balance within the digestive system. If you are unsure of how to include fermented foods in your diet or supplement good gut bacteria, talk to your doctor.