Benefits of Fermenting Foods

Benefits of Fermenting Foods

Since time began, humans have been searching for ways to store and keep foods fresh. And whilst the invention of the refrigerator was certainly a leap forward in the development of food storage technology, one of the oldest and most nutritionally beneficial ways of stabilising foods for storage is fermentation.

What is Fermentation?

Ancient cultures used fermentation methods to store fresh milk for days in ceramic jars. The resulting yoghurt was then consumed within days without the need for daily milking. Other ancient methods lead to the development of alcoholic beverages, as the fermentation of grapes in bacteria and yeast rich cellars lead to the development of wine, whereas other fermentation processes such as the addition of yeast to grains, lead to the development of modern foods such as bread.

So, if you eat bread, have yoghurt on your morning cereal or enjoy a glass of wine at the end of a long day, you’ll know the tasty benefits of consuming fermented foods.  

How does Fermentation improve foods?

Fermentation works as bacteria or yeast are added to foods to stabilise or nutritionally enhance their qualities. In fact, in some cases, the fermentation of foods leads to the development of new, healthy antioxidants and phytonutrients not found in their fresh counterparts. When you ferment rockmelon (also known as cantaloupe) for example, enzymes develop that encourage the building of a strong, biologically active enzyme known as Superoxide dismutase (or SOD). This SOD is extremely important as it helps the liver to rid the body of some toxins, including some heavy metals.

Another example of nutritional enhancement caused by fermentation, is the role traditionally fermented foods such as miso, tempeh and sauerkraut play in helping to keep the digestive system healthy. They do this by supplying not only healthy probiotic bacteria to the gut, but by enhancing the digestibility of the ingredients found in these products, such as soy beans and cabbage.

So, when considering a healthy, easy to digest whole food option, consider the benefits of choosing foods and supplements made from nutritionally enhanced, fermented products.


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