When a food initiates the process of transformation and decomposition of its sugars through yeasts or bacteria, it is said that they are fermented foods.
This process is sometimes negative for the preservation of the product, but sometimes it is beneficial and encourages the regeneration of our volume of beneficial bacteria in our intestine.
Therefore, these fermented foods are considered probiotics and produces benefits for our health.
This type of food has been associated, according to many scientific studies, with multiple improvements for health, starting with better digestion, increased immune system or weight loss.
Therefore, we wanted to give fermented foods the importance they currently have in our diet, and these are the 8 that have shown the greatest benefits for our health, according to the scientific community.
Table of Contents
Top fermented foods
Kombucha is one of the most famous beverages and has currently revolutionized the young Americans of California.
It really is a fermented infusion, with a sour taste and a lot of gases. It is obtained from the fermentation of black tea or green tea.
Currently, several animal studies have been carried out to study the relationship of these fermented foods in human health.
The first trials have obtained a positive response when it comes to preventing liver damage.
Other studies still in the laboratory phase try to link the antioxidant activity of Kombucha and the reduction of cancer cells.
Kefir comes from fermenting dairy and mixed with bacteria and yeasts.
During the elaboration process, a liquid and thick drink is obtained, somewhat spicy, but quite related in flavor to the traditional yogurt.
Because it is part of the fermented food group, it is associated with many health benefits. In general, related, with the ease of digestion.
Lactose intolerant people may feel improvements when they take milk kefir, as we incorporate lactic acid bacteria into the body that reduce the sugars in dairy products.
On the other hand, milk kefir has been shown to reduce inflammation caused by chronic diseases.
On the other hand, its content in minerals such as calcium and magnesium is also linked to an improvement in bone density, as some trials have shown in people with porous bones.
Tempeh is another fermented soy-based food that has grown in popularity in recent years.
Physically it is a compact cake since it is pressed, but it retains a high index of vegetable proteins and can be used in different dishes (steam, baked, sautéed, etc.)
It is important to mention its high volume of nutrients, associated with soy itself, which also includes value-added elements that reduce the risk of heart disease.
Fermented foods based on soy Tempeh can act on bad cholesterol, as has been shown in clinical trials conducted in animals.
In these trials, an average reduction of 5% of bad cholesterol and up to 13.5% of triglycerides was achieved. [See study]
On the other hand, it has been associated with being an antioxidant food, because it contains polyphenols that reduce the presence of celebrities. free radicals, enemies present in many foods that cause cellular oxidation.
Yogurts are one of the most well-known fermented and probiotic foods even by those who have no idea what a probiotic is.
This dairy product swims from the fermentation of milk from lactic acid bacteria.
Yogurts provide us with a lot of benefits, including a large contribution of minerals and sustactive years such as the following:
- Vitamin B12
In addition to all the nutrients provided, it also offers other interesting benefits.
Fermented dairy foods, such as yogurt, can reduce blood pressure, according to several studies carried out in recent years.
Bone mineral density
The amount of calcium and magnesium in a fermented food is related to bone density and the reduction of bone breaks or fissures in older people. [See study]
Reduction of body weight
On the other hand, you can also lose weight, since it is a satiating product and provides few calories. [See study]
Finally, as there is a very extensive catalog of yogurts in the supermarket, be sure to choose fermented foods low in sugars or that contain live cultures of bacteria and are not pasteurized.
Fermented foods include many nutrients from soy, such as Natto.
This probiotic is widely used in Japanese cuisine, and is made from fermented soybeans.
Del Natto must be highlighted for its high volume of dietary fiber. To put numbers, it provides about 5 grams of fiber per 100 grams of product.
Digestive health is intimately related to fiber consumption, which we already anticipate doesn’t really take the amount we should take.
Another important element of this probiotic food is the contribution of vitamin k. This vitamin is associated with calcium to promote its assimilation and prevent osteoporosis.
In fact, in a scientific study with more than 900 postmenopausal women a reduction in bone loss was found.
During the fermentation process of Natto, an enzyme known as nattokinase. This substance has been linked to reduced blood clotting, something very important in older people to prevent the formation of thrombi.
This substance is also associated with the reduction of blood pressure. Scientific trials found a mean reduction of 5.5 mmHG for systolic blood pressure and 2.84 mmHg for diastolic blood pressure.
Miso is another probiotic food frequently used in Japanese gastronomy.
It is obtained from the fermentation of soybeans spread with salt and koji, a type of mushroom that grows naturally in the Asian country.
It is common to consume miso in broth, miso soup, usually consumed during breakfast.
There are several benefits that miso brings linked to its probiotic properties.
One of the most influential studies, which involved more than 21,500 women, found a lower response to breast cancer. [View Report]
On the other hand, there are also studies that try to relate its consumption with the reduction of cardiovascular diseases and blood pressure.
The same goes for strokes, where a study has concluded that miso is a food to prevent this problem, with more than 40,000 people studied. [See study]
Other fermented foods are obtained from fermented cruciferous foods, such as cabbage or radishes. In the case of kimchi, its origin is the origin of the fermentation process of cabbage.
Its interest as a value-added nutrient is to reduce cholesterol, blood pressure and, especially, insulin resistance.
It is increasingly common to use kimchi in Western cuisine, especially in sauces.
Sauerkraut is very popular in some European countries, such as Germany, and is born from the fermentation of cabbage by lactic acid bacteria.
It is especially nutritious even with the few calories it provides, with large amounts of fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K.
In addition, its appeal lies in the presence of different types of antioxidants, such as zeaxanthin and lutein.
Both substances are related to the prevention of eye diseases.
Other scientific studies have linked fermented plant foods such as sauerkraut to preventing cancerous activity of cells. [See study]
Even so, it is necessary to carry out more tests to be able to standardize the benefits commented.