Eat More Fermented Foods For A Healthy Gut
Imagine millions of tiny creatures working diligently day and night to build barriers that fight unwanted invaders, to improve absorption of nutrients. These communities of friendly bacteria are often referred to as gut microbiota and can impact various aspects of our health.
Studies show that the type of foods consumed can modulate the functioning of our gut microbiota. The traditional method of fermenting foods is one such technique that is gaining popularity for their role in improving the bioavailability of nutrients and biodiversity of our gut environment. Thus, consuming fermented foods such as yogurt, tempeh, Korean kimchi and Indian delicacies like dhokla, idlis or dosas provide an abundance of probiotics or live bacteria that contribute to a robust digestive system.
5 Benefits Of Eating Fermented Foods
Improves The Digestive System
Fermentation aids in breakdown of complex compounds into simpler forms, making fermented foods potentially easier to digest. For instance, the lactose sugar in milk is broken down by lactobacillus bacteria during fermentation into simple sugars such as glucose and galactose.
Removes Anti-Nutritional Factors
There are certain natural compounds such as phytates in legumes and nuts or tannins in tea that inhibit the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Fermentation of beans (as in miso or natto) or of black tea (as in kombucha) helps in removal of these compounds, thus enhancing the availability of vital nutrients.
Produces Beneficial Enzymes
The microbes present in fermented foods aid in the synthesis of live enzymes that improve assimilation of nutrients and also ease digestive troubles.
Fermented foods support a healthy immune system by lowering the gut pH (that helps to destroy bad bacteria) and by building a protective gut lining that fights allergies, inflammations, and infections.
The process of fermentation of non-digestible carbohydrates such as cellulose by live bacteria in the intestine results in release of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) as end products. These SCFAs play a critical role in regulating appetite energy production and lipid metabolism and are even linked to a lowered risk to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disorders.