Fermented Foods & Gut Health

Over the past years, we have had more talk about gut health, and, as a result, these foods have become a subject of public interest. The popularity of fermented foods - like traditional Indian pickles, Korean kimchi and Japanese miso has gone up since time immemorial for the reason of their unique taste and nutritional perks. 

Let us explore the exclusive factor that makes fermented foods so important for our gut health? In this post, we will have a look at fermented foods interestingly but pick out their unexpected advantages so that they gain the attention of people who are health-conscious the whole world.

The Ancient Tradition of Fermentation: 

In human history, fermentation corresponds to ancient cultures that measure ages by centuries. In present India, this food category has been in the ancestral diet for many years which includes dosa, idli, and dhokla. Other cultures also ferment their varieties of tasty meals, each having its own flavour and health competency. Despite their diverse origins, fermented foods share a common process: this process involves the fermentative reaction of beneficial microorganisms such as bacterial and yeast species that break down sugar compounds into alcohol or organic acids.

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The Gut-Healthy Trend:

The mention of fermented foods revitalization can be attributed to the same fact that their consumption tends to help with gut health. The gut microbiota represents the entire microbial flora living in our gastrointestinal tract. These trillions of microorganisms are indispensable for the proper functioning of digestion, the immune system, and overall well-being. Probiotic-rich foods- are fermented, possessing beneficial live bacteria that facilitate the maintenance of a healthy gut. By consuming fermented foods, one can aid the good bacteria in his/her gut to flourish and become diverse and abundant. As a result, gastrointestinal issues might be lower, and immune function can improve.

The Surprising Benefits of Fermented Foods

Improved Digestion: 

It has been proven that probiotics used in the production of fermented foods can be an invaluable agent in the digestion process by decreasing the complex carbohydrates and making the nutrients easier for the body to absorb. This may improve conditions such as flatulence, stomachache, and bloating and also carry the weight of good digestive health as a whole.

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Enhanced Immune Function: 

A considerable part of the immunity is created in the digestive system. Therefore, this is the organ that is the key factor in the process of robust immune response. The probiotics which are the healthy microorganisms from fermented foods can help to increase antibody production and boost the immune system allowing the body to be able to fight against infections and many more diseases.

Reduced Inflammation: 

Inflammatory processes have repeatedly been associated with adverse health outcomes like cardiovascular system pathologies, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders. Fermentations help to modify pro-inflammatory compounds and create a favourable intestinal environment, which is beneficial to restore good health levels.

Better Nutrient Absorption: 

Beer can improve the easier absorption of nutrients within foods through the aid of fermentation. It can not only enhance the nutrition of the diets but also maximize the nutritional benefits of the foods we eat, hence, drawing the most of the food that we eat.

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Incorporating Fermented Foods into Your Diet

It seems so simple, but the simplest way to add fermented foods into your diet is not that self-explanatory. Here are some delicious and nutritious fermented foods to try: 

Yoghurt: Choose a straightforward, cultured, and natural yoghurt instead of sweetened yoghurts for you to obtain the most frivolous bacteria. You may take it as a snack, include it in smoothies/lassi/buttermilk or make a creamy topping for curries and raita. (No raita failana pls) 😁

Kimchi:  An iconic spicy Korean dish, kimchi is made from fermented cabbage, radish, as well as seasonings. Have it as a main course or use it in stir-fries, noodles, and rice bowls for a perfect boosting flavour.

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Sauerkraut: It is a German traditional dish, and is made from fermented cabbage. This is crunchy, sour and rich in probiotics. You can use it in sandwiches, hotdogs, as a side dish to grilled snacks on the BBQ.

Kombucha: This probiotic bubble tea, with all the magic of fizzy fermented tea, can be your best friend when it comes to counter-striking the sweet sensitivity of our taste buds. Have it as an unusual drink on its own, or you can make it a standalone bottler for other cocktails and mocktails. It is Chinese by origin.

Pickles: The Indian pickles are a speciality of Indian cuisine. They are known to be made from vegetables such as mangoes, and lime, as well as green chilli, fermented with spices and oil. Make good use of them to enhance your platters made of rice, dal, or bread and get a delicious tangy taste.

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Dhokla, Dosa, Idlies, Uttpam etc are popular Indian food items that are made from fermented batter. these are delicious to eat and keep our gut happy. Since it's Holi time, do not forget the Kanji, which is a speciality of this season.

Kali Gajar Kanji

In sum, fermented foods include more beneficial effects than just delicious creamy taste as they are full of nutrients and useful microorganisms that support our gut health and, as a result, general well-being. 

To gain the most from fermenting, you can add some fermented food to your diet and not only get the health benefits they offer but also have an array of tastes and cuisines. Then again, if you are yet to experience the wonders of a healthy gut, why do you not hit the street today and try more fermented food in your meal? Enjoy the journey of rediscovering this forgotten flavour, while you also nurture the well-being of your palate and your intestines!

Happy eating!

Neerja Bhatnagar

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