Fermentation is an ancient method of preserving food. Examples of everyday fermented foods and drinks are wine, cider, cheese, yogurt and craft sodas.
There are a number of benefits associated with fermented foods and drinks. They are usually correlated with supporting a healthy gut through probiotics and easy digestion.
THE FERMENTATION PROCESS
The fermentation process converts carbohydrates (starch and sugar) into alcohol and acids as well as creating the perfect environment for the growth of beneficial bacteria - the famous probiotics.
Fruit and vegetables, when fermented, convert carbs into lactic acid which is a natural preservative. The reason why Michael Brothers can make craft sodas that preservative-free and yet have a best before of six months and funk cider can make preservative-free ciders.
EASIER TO DIGEST & IMPROVES ABSORPTION OF NUTRIENTS
Another benefit from fermentation is that it breaks down the food and vegetables making them easier to digest and improving absorption of nutrients.
Some of the grains & leafy greens have ‘protective layers’ that are identified as antinutrients - they are compounds that stop or reduce the absorption of nutrients by our bodies. The fermentation process breaks down antinutrients.
By breaking down carbs and antinutrients, the fermentation process makes the food/drink much easier to digest and allows our body to absorb nutrients that would otherwise have been lost.
PROMOTES GUT HEALTH
Fermented drinks are full of probiotics
And that’s a big deal because it makes them powerful in supporting a healthy gut.
A healthy gut is now known to be correlated to so much more than simply good digestion and a nutritious lifestyle. Recent studies have shown that gut health is directly correlated to our mood and personality, improving our overall well being! As a matter of fact, our microbiome is becoming so holistically important to our health that there are researches now making a big map of the world’s microbiome in the Human Microbiome Project.
We have actually written a blog about it with all the important stuff you need to know about probiotics - you can check it out here.
At the end of the day, fermented products have been used for millennia. It’s an effective way of naturally preserving food and drinks that then evolve into some really powerful, nutritious sources for your gut and overall health. It’s a recommendation by doctors and nutritionists to add it to your regular diet and keep that goo bacteria comin’!