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Why You Should Use Fermented Foods In Your Cooking

If you live in Mt. Airy, you probably know that fermented foods are more popular. You see a lot more options at the grocery and people are using fermented foods more for cooking. Whether it’s sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, or yogurt, there are health benefits. Fermented foods can boost your immunity. Fermented food isn’t new. It’s been used for centuries as a way to preserve food and extend its usefulness. Cheese and pickles have been a staple for dining tables for years. Cottage cheese, apple cider vinegar, and sourdough bread are often in many kitchens and bring health benefits.

Fermented foods often contain probiotics.

Probiotics are microorganisms that preserve food by stopping the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi. When you eat the food, it also aids in digestion. The microbes that ferment the food break down the food as it preserves it, making the nutrients more available to the body. Not all fermented foods are alike. For instance, yogurt and kefir often contain live cultures, but sourdough bread doesn’t. That doesn’t mean that sourdough bread doesn’t have benefits from fermentation. It does. The process of fermentation makes the nutrients in the grains easier for the body to absorb, as it reduces the substances in grain that negatively affect the digestive system.

Cooking may reduce the benefits of fermented food.

If you cook fermented food at temperatures over 110 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit, it will destroy the probiotics. It’s why sourdough bread doesn’t get the benefits from the probiotics, but the processes that occurred in the bread before cooking. Highly processed foods, such as many commercial yogurts, don’t contain live bacteria, which eliminates the benefits you get from yogurt, other than the nutritional value.

You’ll boost your immune system when fermented foods are part of your diet.

The microbes in the digestive system play an important role in many processes. They are the first line of defense for the immune system. The balance of microbes can even affect your mental health. Fermented foods provide beneficial microbes that aid digestion, fight off harmful bacteria and fungi, while also reducing bloating, diarrhea, or constipation.

  • Antibiotics kill many of the beneficial bacteria in the digestive system, as well as the ones causing illness. Consuming probiotic foods to replace the loss, rebalances your immune system, improves your immunity, and boosts nutrient absorption.
  • A well-balanced microbiome can help you control your appetite and lower cravings for sugar. Sauerkraut and kimchi contain fermented vegetables and also provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Pickles are fermented cucumbers, so they contain all the nutrients that cucumbers contain, plus additional friendly bacteria. If you use vinegar as a probiotic, make sure it has “the mother” if you want probiotic benefits.
  • Live culture cottage cheese is lower in sugar and contains bacteria that breaks down lactose, making it friendlier to the digestive systems of people who are lactose intolerant.

For more information, contact us today at Urban Athlete

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