Fermented food is a type of preserved food that involves a metabolic process that uses lactobacilli or other microorganisms to break down components found in the food, such as sugars and proteins. There are many reasons why you should incorporate fermented food into your recipes. Here are 4 of the best reasons to do it.
It Benefits Your Digestive System
Your digestive system is very sensitive, and it’s important to maintain a healthy balance of gut flora. Fermented food contains beneficial probiotics that promote a healthy digestive system. Some examples of fermented foods are yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, tempeh, and miso paste. Or, you may combine different food, including other fermented foods and sauerkraut for better results. Here are the ways in which probiotics in fermented food benefits your digestive system:
Helps Prevent Intestinal Illnesses
Probiotics help to balance the production of other microorganisms, keeping them under control so they don’t cause diseases. Three common types of intestinal illnesses are ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s disease. Eating fermented food with probiotics can help prevent these diseases from occurring.
Aids in the Digestion of Other Foods
Probiotics aid in the digestion of other foods by helping to produce certain enzymes that are responsible for breaking down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. If you’re not digesting your food properly, all of the nutrients won’t be absorbed by your body, which can lead to fatigue and illness.
Helps Remove Toxins from Your Body
The digestive tract is responsible for ridding the body of toxins. When you eat fermented foods, probiotics help to flush out harmful toxins that are present in your intestinal tract. If these substances accumulate, they can lead to disease and other health issues.
It Can Help Your Immune System
Your immune system is responsible for fighting off bacteria, viruses, and other harmful substances from the body. When you eat fermented food, your immune system can become stronger because it’s receiving a boost of good bacteria from the probiotics in these foods.
With an increase of harmful bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli, and listeria that cause intestinal illnesses like food poisoning, probiotics found in fermented foods help to combat these dangerous bacteria from growing. Also, fermented foods contain organic acids and lactic acid bacteria that fight infections and also boost your immune system. These good bacteria help restore the balance in your intestines, which can help prevent illness and promote a healthy immune system.
Further, incorporating fermented foods into your diet can help stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting infections and disease. White blood cells also help to speed up recovery time when you’re sick with a virus or illness.
It Helps Your Energy Levels
Fermented food is a natural energy booster. Energy production in the body requires healthy digestion and assimilation of nutrients contained in the foods you eat. People who lack vital enzymes and good bacteria from fermented foods can experience fatigue, as their bodies aren’t properly digesting or absorbing nutrients. With the added benefit of probiotics that come with eating fermented food, you’ll be promoting better digestion and assimilation of nutrients, leading to increased energy levels.
It Offers Immense Flavor Profiles
If you want to add some flavour to your dishes, fermented foods are an incredible way to do so. It can be difficult to get used to the taste at first, but once you do it makes your recipes so much more delicious. Here are some delicious recipes that incorporate fermented food you can try:
Miso Macaroni and Cheese
Ingredients: 8 ounces macaroni, cooked to al dente 1/2 cup boiling water 2 tablespoons miso paste 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (or more if you like it cheesier) 1/4 teaspoon turmeric salt and pepper, to taste
For the breadcrumbs: A handful of bread, crusts removed 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
Directions: In a high-powered blender or food processor, blend together the bread and water until they form a paste. Add in all other ingredients except for the cooked macaroni and stir until smooth. Pour mixture into a pot and bring to heat stirring constantly until thickened. Mix with cooked macaroni and put into a casserole dish. Make the breadcrumbs by mixing together all ingredients until they form small crumbs, about the size of peas or smaller. Sprinkle over mac ‘n’ cheese mixture so it forms an even crust on top. Bake for 15 minutes at 350F.
Kombucha Iced Tea Cooler
Ingredients: 1 cup water 1 tablespoon loose green tea or 3 green tea bags 1/2 cup sugar 1 cup kombucha (store-bought or homemade) 12 ounces sparkling water, seltzer or club soda Mint sprigs and lemon slices, for serving
Directions: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring water and tea (loose tea in a tea ball, teabags removed from their pouches) to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is very fragrant and reduced to about 1 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes. Pour tea through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard solids in the sieve. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Let the tea cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Combine tea and kombucha in a large pitcher; mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight (the longer it chills, the more pronounced the flavour will be). To serve, fill tall glasses with ice cubes and add about 2 tablespoons flavoured tea mixture to each glass; top with sparkling water and garnish with mint and lemon slices.
Kefir Teff Porridge with Berries
Ingredients: 1/2 cup teff grains (whole grains) 1 tablespoon flax seeds 2 tablespoons chia seeds 3 cups fresh fruit, cut into pieces to fit in your feed tube (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries or raspberries are good choices) 1/4 cup kefir (store-bought or homemade) 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar, optional
Directions: The night before you plan to make the porridge, combine the teff and flax seeds in a bowl and add enough water to cover. Allow soaking overnight. In the morning, drain off the water and combine with chia seeds in a blender or food processor. Blend until consistent, but still has some texture to it. Combine the soaked grain mixture with fresh fruit, kefir, and honey if used.
There are many reasons why fermented food should be incorporated into your recipes, not only because it improves your immune system but also because it can promote better digestive health. Further, it boosts your energy levels, while adding delicious flavour to your food!