Fermented Foods – What You Need To Know

The Goods and the Bads of Fermented Foods

Fermented Foods - What You need to Know

We all tend to have an inherent knack for things that are unhealthy for us. Food automatically tastes better when it’s unhealthy. But health must be your prior concern. Your body is, as john Mayer would say, a wonderland. While probiotics and fermented foods are doing the rounds with nutritionists and people in general these days. Not all fermented food is healthy. So, before committing yourself to such a diet, you must know everything you can about fermented foods.

What exactly is fermentation?

The process involves conversion of nutrients mainly carbohydrates into certain organic acids like alcohol with the aid of bacteria or yeasts under forced or unforced anaerobic conditions. The term generically applies to alcohol like wine or beer but means the desired action or reaction of the microorganisms.

Which fermented foods are healthy for you?

  • Kefir which is a kind of an yogurt made from fermenting milk is rich in minerals, nutrients, vitamins and probiotics and enzymes. It enhances your immune system and helps you to battle against allergies.
  • Kombucha which is made from fermented black tea and sugar and aids in combating heart diseases, digestion, boosts energy, detoxifies the body and enables weight loss.
Pickles are Fermented but Yummy
Pickles are Fermented but Yummy

Image Credit: whiskaffair

  • Pickles are very rich in antioxidants and give you strong, sturdy bones.
  • Miso is made from fermentation of brown rice, barley or soya bean with a fungus called koji. It helps you maintain a healthy skin and is imbued with anti ageing properties.
  • Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish of fermented veggies that is very healthy when it comes to gastric ulcers, diabetes or even fatal health conditions like cancer.
  • Raw cheese and yoghurt are other products made from fermentation of milk and significantly contributes to your overall diet plan.

Disadvantages of fermented foods

  • Certain fermented foods produce a lot of by products which can yield catastrophic consequences like alcohol. Although a considerably trivial amount, it can affect the cells in your body significantly.
  • Ammonia is another fatal by-product which is normally used as a house cleaning agent. You know what happens when you consume house cleaning agents.
  • Fermented foods are very low on nutrient content except for the few mentioned above.
  • Any store bought fermented food is likely to be vitiated in useful bacterial content and can also enhance the chances of gastric cancer.
Tom Cruise's Family survives on Stored/Fermented Food in "War of the Worlds"
Tom Cruise’s Family survives on Stored/Fermented Food in “War of the Worlds”

Image Credit: YouTube

While some fermented food items can be beneficial some can be immensely fatal. Fermented foods can be useful and handy when you are on a long trip or when there’s a… Zombie apocalypse! Remember how Tom cruise and his family survived on canned and fermented food in war of the worlds?

So, it is highly advisable that you do a thorough background check before consuming any food item that is fermented.

Hey, are you aware of recipes or foods other than the above, that involve fermentation and are healthy too? Comment below and share with us!

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