Our busy lifestyle can wreck havoc on our health. Long work hours, little to no leisure time, lack of sleep and a poor diet are all hallmarks of the busy Western lifestyle. It’s no wonder we suffer from a variety of ills, from mild digestive upset to chronic illness.
Studies have shown that populations with diets rich in fermented foods enjoy better health overall. Benefits such as better digestion, higher energy levels, and reduced incidences of chronic illness have been traced back to diets rich in fermented foods.
While most people imagine sauerkraut and kimchi when they think of fermented foods, Western favorites such as coffee, chocolate, wine, beer, yogurt, and some cheeses are also fermented. Here are five good reasons to eat fermented foods.
They are the key to good gut health. Fermented foods are rich in the friendly bacteria that nourish and replenish our gut microbiome. Ongoing research has demonstrated that populations that consume a diet rich in fermented foods experience less diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, and other digestive ailments.
Fermented foods aid in nutrient absorption. Since an unbalanced gut microbiome can limit the absorption of nutrients, fermented foods facilitate the absorption of nutrients by balancing the gut microbiome. Once your body is fully able to access all the nutrients in your food, you will notice a difference in your overall health.
They are natural probiotics. Fermented foods are rich in friendly bacteria, vitamins, and minerals. All of these elements combine to replenish and nourish the delicate gut flora that facilitates better overall health.
You’ll maintain a healthy weight. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Nutrition Research explored the benefits of Korean kimchi in overweight adults. The subjects who added kimchi to their diets enjoyed lower blood sugar, decreased blood pressure, lower body weight, and lower body fat percentages. Additionally, those who ate kimchi also had a lower waist-to-hip ratio, an important indicator of overall health.
They have natural prebiotic properties. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut also feed and nourish the gut flora, allowing them to proliferate.
By adding fermented foods to your diet, you’ll be enjoying the same health benefits that people around the world have enjoyed for hundreds of years. You’ll not only enhance your overall health, but you’ll also enjoy better gut health.
In some cases, food sources aren’t enough, especially if your diet is heavy in processed foods. A high-quality probiotic supplement combined with fermented foods can set you on the path to better nutrient absorption, better digestion and sleep, and increased ability to ward off colds and other infections.
You’ll need to travel no further than your supermarket or farmer’s market to enjoy the rich health benefits of fermented foods, and there is no price difference between fermented foods and conventional foods.
By adding fermented foods to your diet, you’ll enjoy the rich health benefits that people the world over have enjoyed for hundreds of years.