Fermented Foods and Digestive Health
What are Fermented Foods?
Fermentation produces some of the world’s favourite foods and beverages like wine, beer, yogurt and even chocolate and coffee.
Fermentation prolongs the freshness of grains, vegetables and milk during different seasons. Fermented foods are also considered easy to digest and have great health benefits. Pickles, raw cheese, yogurt, apple cider vinegar are good examples of fermented food.
What is Fermentation?
Fermentation is a natural process through which micro-organisms like yeast and bacteria convert carbs — such as starch and sugar — into alcohol or acids.
These alcohol or acids act as a natural preservative and give fermented foods a distinct zest and tartness which is appreciated by taste connoisseurs.
Fermentation also breaks down food nutrients into simple forms thereby making them easily digestible. For example, fermentation breaks down the lactose in milk into simpler sugars- glucose and galactose.
Health Benefits of Fermented Foods
Fermentation produces probiotics, the good gut bacteria to restore favourable balance in the gut, improve gut health and promote a supportive environment for overall digestive health.
A Healthy Gut makes digestion smooth, improves nutrient absorption during digestion and can help in achieving optimum weight.
Good bacteria synthesize many vitamins the body needs like Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 and K.
Good bacteria create acidic fermentation by products that lower the intestine’s pH and decrease the chances of survival of bad bacteria.
Probiotics also alleviate common digestive disorders, for example they reduce uncomfortable symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). According to a study 125 grams of yogurt like fermented milk daily improved IBS symptoms, including bloating and stool frequency.
Fermented foods may also lessen the severity of diarrhoea, bloating, gas, and constipation.
High probiotic content in fermented food boosts the immune system, foster recovery from sickness and reduce risk of infections like common cold.
Fermentation also breaks down anti-nutrients (which interfere with the nutrient absorption) i.e., phytates and lectins, nuts, grains, and legumes, thereby improving absorption of beneficial nutrients.
Studies have shown that Probiotics are also responsible for weight loss, decreasing belly fat, reducing blood pressure and lowering bad LDL cholesterol. All this reduce anxiety, depression and risk of heart disease.
Adding Prebiotics to the Diet:
Adding Prebiotics to one’s diet can also increase good gut bacteria. Prebiotics are carbohydrates that ferment in the gut and act as food for probiotics that help good bacteria to flourish. A quick and easy way to increase prebiotic fiber in diet is by consuming Myfy. Myfy is a wheat dextrin and hydrolysed Guar gum based prebiotic fiber supplement which improves gut health tremendously.