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|Can fermented foods and drinks boost your health?|
|Writer : 관리자(@) Date : 18.03.29 Hit : 1031|
Can fermented foods and drinks boost your health?
Unlike homemade fermented foods, many found in supermarket jars or cans have been pasteurized and cooked at high heat, killing any gut-friendly bacteria.
It’s hard to imagine how food left out to fester could possibly be good for you. But research has shown how some fermented foods contain bacteria that can help preserve the sanctity of what’s referred to as your “gut biome,” or existing colonies of beneficial bacteria, that live in digestive system.
As a result, many fermented foods and drinks have come to occupy marquee space in your local market. Kombuchas (or fermented teas) in various formations line the shelves, emblazoned with health-promoting promises. Other naturally fermented foods, like yogurt and kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut and tempeh, also now seem to be surging in newfound popularity.
SO HOW DO FERMENTED FOODS HELP YOU BE HEALTHY?
The “good” bacteria some foods acquire during fermentation may potentially have a positive impact on your overall health while keeping “bad” bacteria at bay. “Fermented foods can produce compounds that prevent and destroy the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut, assist in the production of neurotransmitters, acetylcholine (a chemical released by nerve cells to send signals to other cells) and serotonin (a feel-good chemical produced by nerve cells in your gut), aids in the production of stomach acid, boosts your immune system and improves your mood,” says Sandra Allonen, MEd, RD, LDN, outpatient ambulatory dietitian at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA.
WHY GUT HEALTH IS SO IMPORTANT
Pedre says fermented foods produce vitamins B12 and K2, which impacts the nervous system to the cardiovascular system to the bones; helping the body to eliminate toxins, fending off harmful bacteria, yeast, and parasites, adding what he calls “friendly flora” to the gut lining — even boosting the immune system.
“Seventy percent of the immune system exists all along the digestive tract,” Pedre explains. “Favorable bacteria has a regulatory effect on the immune system, keeping inflammation down and promoting cells that control the immune response.”
Rising awareness of gut health has driven the sale of probiotics (and related fermented drinks like kombucha) into big business. An article that questions the efficacy of probiotics in Scientific American cites statistics from San Francisco–based business consulting firm Grand View Research, estimating the global probiotics market exceeded $35 billion in 2015 and that it will reach $66 billion by 2024.
But probiotic supplements don’t have plant fibers that contribute to a healthier gut microbiome, says Pedre. So, if you’d rather get your probiotics through fermented foods, where do you start?
Keep an eye out for fermented foods that require refrigeration — Allonen says most fermented foods in supermarket jars or cans have been pasteurized and cooked at high heat, killing any friendly bacteria. She also recommends introducing fermented foods into your diet gradually — they can be problematic if you have yeast overgrowth, like candida. “In this case, eating fermented foods may cause headaches, malaise, fatigue, muscle aches and sometimes even low-grade fevers,” warns Pedre.
Ready to give fermented foods a try? Here are four to add to your diet: