Although most of us have been advised to eat more vegetables, it is very rare to hear a recommendation to include more fermented foods in the diet. Yet, Probiotics have been associated with a variety of health benefits, including improved digestion, better immunity, total wellness and even increased weight loss.
What Are Fermented Foods?
Fermentation is one of the oldest ways to preserve food. When you ferment a food, you allow beneficial bacteria and yeast to colonize and feed on the food. The process is still used today to produce foods like wine, cheese, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kombucha.
When raw, cruciferous vegetables or dairy are fermented, the nutrients in these foods are enhanced and more available to the body for use. Fermenting vegetables or dairy makes the food even more nutritious and readily available for use in the body.
Fermentation also promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria, known as probiotics. Probiotics have been shown to improve immune function as well as digestive and heart health
Researchers found that the bacteria in fermented milk had a greater chance of surviving the digestive system than pure bacterial culture—or the equivalent of a probiotic pill. When you eat fermented foods the beneficial microbes are well equipped to immediately set up residence in your digestive tract.
Why do We need to eat more fermented foods?
Enhance digestion and your overall health!
Fermentation can help increase both the shelf life and health benefits of many different foods.
Fermented foods are pre-digested. This means that bacteria have already done some of the digestive work for you.
Fermented foods are full of friendly bacteria that can provide support for constipation, diarrhea, allergies, urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, and more.
What are the Benefits of Fermented Foods?
Improves Digestive Health
Boosts Your Immune System
Makes Food Easier to Digest
What Are Some Examples of Good Fermented Foods?
Cultured milk and yoghurt - High in nutrients and could help reduce body weight, lower blood pressure, and improve bone health.
Kefir - may improve lactose digestion, decrease inflammation, and boost bone health.
Tempeh - It’s high in probiotics and contains compounds that may act as antioxidants and help improve heart health.
Miso - improved heart health
Kimchi - may help reduce insulin resistance and blood cholesterol.
Sauerkraut - It’s high in antioxidants that are important for eye health
Kombucha - it could help protect the liver, decrease blood sugar, and reduce levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
These probiotic-rich delights not only complement the fasting routine but also offer a range of health benefits. In this article, we explore the advantages of consuming fermented foods during the eating window of intermittent fasting.
Enhanced Gut Health: Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha, contain beneficial bacteria that support a healthy gut microbiome. Intermittent fasting combined with fermented foods can promote a balanced and diverse gut flora. A thriving gut microbiota has been linked to improved digestion, enhanced immune function, and even positive effects on mental health.
Improved Nutrient Absorption: Intermittent fasting may enhance nutrient absorption by allowing the body to enter a state of autophagy, where it effectively eliminates damaged cells and improves cellular regeneration. When fermented foods are consumed within the eating window, their live cultures assist in breaking down nutrients and supporting optimal absorption. This synergy can amplify the benefits of intermittent fasting by ensuring that the body efficiently utilizes the available nutrients.
Reduced Inflammation: Inflammation is a common underlying factor in various chronic conditions. Fermented foods possess anti-inflammatory properties due to the production of short-chain fatty acids and other bioactive compounds during the fermentation process. Incorporating fermented foods into the eating window of intermittent fasting can contribute to reducing systemic inflammation, potentially benefiting conditions such as arthritis, metabolic syndrome, and certain gastrointestinal disorders.
Strengthened Immune System: The gut is intricately connected to the immune system, and a robust gut microbiome plays a crucial role in supporting immune function. Fermented foods introduce beneficial bacteria into the gut, stimulating the production of antibodies and enhancing the body's defense mechanisms. By consuming fermented foods during the eating window, intermittent fasters can bolster their immune system and promote overall health.
Satiety and Weight Management: One of the challenges of intermittent fasting can be managing hunger and satiety during the fasting period. Fermented foods, particularly those rich in fiber and protein, can help promote feelings of fullness and reduce cravings. Including fermented foods in the eating window can contribute to a more satisfying meal, potentially aiding in weight management and adherence to the fasting protocol.
Have a beautiful day and let us know how did you feel after breaking your fast with fermented foods!