Fermented food has made a comeback in the world of foodies and health enthusiasts for its unique taste and incredible health benefits. So why are fermented foods beneficial?
When we ferment cabbage into kraut or kimchi, milk into cheese, soybeans into miso or tempeh, and vegetables into pickles, we create lactic acid bacteria, which are more commonly referred to as probiotics. Through fermentation, dairy becomes more digestible as yogurt or kefir, as the lactose is destroyed by the bacteria. The “good” bacteria in these fermented foods help us restore a healthy digestive system by replenishing beneficial bacteria in our gut that fight off the bad bacteria, boost our immune system and prevent inflammation, to name just a few of a long list of benefits. But before you run to the closest supermarket to buy every product with a “probiotic” claim on it, please read these tips on how to choose the right probiotic food first:
1. Large food manufacturing practices, such as heat processing and pasteurization, destroy the beneficial bacteria. Therefore choose small scale produced products, which you can find at your local gourmet stores and farmers markets and avoid products that are pasteurized.
2. Most probiotic products that are not stored in the fridge are most likely pasteurized and have lost their beneficial live organisms.
3. Buy organic, non-GMO. Look for fermented foods that come from the best source possible. Your gut will thank you for it!