This is a sneak peek of an article on the many positive health benefits of fermented foods, written by nutritionist and CNM graduate, Caroline Punch. You can read the full article in our Autumn 2017 issue, available now from our lovely stockists across Ireland.
By Caroline Punch
The practice of fermentation has been around for centuries. However, its re-emergence as the latest buzzword in health news is reflected in the ever-expanding range of products, from kefir to kimchi, lining the shelves of our local health stores.
Fermentation is a process of converting starches and sugars in certain foods into lactic acid. This is a natural preservative which can kill harmful bacteria while promoting plenty of beneficial enzymes, highly supportive to our intestinal gut flora. This explains why our ancestors used this as a healthy method of food preservation.
How fermented foods can benefit our health:
- The abundance of fermented food in our ancestors’ diets served not only the purpose of preservation and a satisfying taste, but more significantly, to ensure optimal gut health, and thus, overall health. The high density of good bacteria present in such food makes it an excellent natural prebiotic source; by adding just a small portion to every meal, this can contain up to 100 times the amount of probiotics than that of a supplement.
- Given that up to 80% of our immune system is found in the gut, ensuring optimal gut function should be a priority for everybody. The probiotic properties in fermented and cultured foods support the development of the mucosal immune system in our digestive tract and protect against disease.
- A strong source of essential nutrients can be found in some fermented products such as Vitamin K2, which is heart-protective, and B vitamins, which are essential for metabolism and red blood cell production.
This is a sneak peek from our Autumn 2017 issue. To read the full article, pick up a cop of the magazine from one of our stockists today.