3 Surprising Benefits of Fermented Foods
Sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, kefir…
We LOVE our ferments and incorporate them daily for good gut health (as you may have noticed in our What We Eat In A Day videos!).
However, if you’re yet to be convinced… we’re sharing 3 compelling benefits of fermented foods beyond healthy digestion. You may be surprised!
In fact, we think you’re bound to be inspired to try some of these sour foods for yourself (or crack open your jar of kraut lingering in the fridge!). So keep reading:
#1 – Ferments Have Detoxifying Benefits
There’s a lot of hype and false advertising out there when it comes to the word “detox”, to the point that many of us have become sceptical.
Well, we’re here to tell you that detoxification is real – and your liver is all about it!
The thing is… our bodies encounter toxins and pollutants every single day, and more than ever in our modern life. They come from our environment, our air, our food, and even our body’s metabolic processes. To maintain our health + wellbeing, it’s our liver’s job to detoxify and excrete these substances from the body.
Fermented foods give our liver’s detox pathways a boost in a number of ways. Firstly, they contain organic acids (such as glucaronic acid, found in kombucha) which aid in our natural detoxification process. (1) Fermented cabbage products such as sauerkraut and kimchi are also natural sources of a substance called Indole-3-carbinol, which promotes estrogen metabolism (which is significant for women’s health!). (2)
Further, one study also observed that the fermentation process of kimchi has the ability to degrade pesticides. (3) It may therefore be possible that consumption of fermented foods aids in our body’s defence against pesticides, which are hard to avoid these days – even if you eat all organic food!
#2 – Ferments Are A Great Source of B Vitamins
Fermented foods are known for being loaded with healthy bacteria as well as prebiotic fibre (the stuff that feeds probiotics!). But did you know that ferments are also a rich source of B vitamins?
This is because the lactic acid forming bacteria present in fermented foods actually produce B vitamins, just like a healthy gut microbiome produces our B vitamins internally (neat, huh!). In particular, fermented foods are known to be rich in vitamins B2, B6 and B12. (4)
This would explain why many people experience more energy + greater stress resilience once they make fermented foods a regular part of their diet!
#3 – Ferments Are A Potent Source of Antioxidants
When you think about antioxidants… chances are that fresh berries, green juice and brightly coloured veggies spring to mind. But in fact, we should add our ferments on to that list!
Fermented foods also provide us with a potent source of antioxidants, which are key to fighting oxidative damage, illness and premature ageing.
- Kombucha brewed on black or green tea is rich in polyphenols, including the powerful antioxidant EGCG (5)
- Sauerkraut is high in flavonoid antioxidants such as quercetin, and is also a rich source of Vitamin C. This antioxidant content is actually intensified through the fermentation process… so it just goes to show that it’s not all about the fresh produce! (6)
Looking to Start Eating Fermented Foods?
As you can see, there are many reasons to incorporate fermented foods into your diet. Besides supporting digestive health (which honestly, is the foundation of all health!), fermented foods aid detoxification, boost our B vitamins + fight oxidative damage.
Incorporating some ferments into your every day is nothing to be intimidated about… and in fact, once you have the taste for them they can become addictive! And you needn’t be consuming a tonne of ferments to get the benefits.
For an average day, you could work up to:
- a forkful of sauerkraut with 1 – 2 meals, or
- a shot of kefir with dinner, or
- a bottle of kombucha!
Want more? Let’s do this together!
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In other words… naturally glowing skin, balanced weight and vibrant health!
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