Benefits and Misconceptions About Fermented Foods

There are considerable benefits to consuming fermented foods and understanding why will help you choose the right ones that are best for your health and well-being.

Benefits

There are several benefits to consuming fermented foods, particularly those who may suffer from digestive issues. However, the benefits go beyond just good digestion as it offers positive results to the body.

Better Absorption: One of the chief benefits of fermented foods is that because they have “good” bacteria inside, it helps the body breakdown and absorb the nutrients more efficiently. This is because the digestive process is improved which means that the foods are sent into the intestinal tract in a state that makes it easier for the nutrients to be passed into the body itself.

Preserves Vitamins and Minerals: You’ll find plenty of good nutrients in fermented foods which include B-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, beneficial enzymes, and different strains of probiotics which help in the digestive process.

Longevity: Fermented foods last for a considerable amount of time, even when stored at room temperature. Until the advent of refrigeration, fermented foods were quite popular in households, especially over the winter months when fresh foods were more difficult to obtain.

Misconceptions

Although fermented foods have been around far longer than human beings on Earth, there are still many misconceptions about the proper care and storage of such foods. Here are a few misconceptions that you will want to learn so that your fermented foods can be stored properly.

Glass Jars: A traditional glass jars are the most recognized container of fermented foods in modern culture. It’s not surprising given just how common they are and their famous screw-on lid have been used for generations in the fermenting process.

However, fermenting foods inside of a commercially made glass jar is not the same as using a glass-sealed crock. The essence of the lacto-fermentation process is that it is done in an oxygen-free or low-oxygen environment that is called anaerobic. The screw-on lid is not air-tight which means that oxygen gets inside to disrupt the fermentation. This means a slower, less efficient process that may affect the status of the food itself.   Additionally, commercial glass was not designed for fermentation as when the pH of the ferment drops, it allows aluminum which is used in commercial glass manufacturing to leach into the food.

Yeast-Growth:  Jars and other containers with screw-on lids means that the seal is not air-tight and may result in the growth of yeast or mold which can cause a histamine reaction when consuming the food. So, you will need to find a container that has a true air-tight lid so that mold and yeast are denied the oxygen needed for growth.

Fermented Foods Do Not Need to Be Cold: Eating fermented foods cold to preserve the probiotics inside is a common misconception. This is because cold is used to preserve certain foods from spoiling, but fermentation means that the probiotics inside are preserved. In fact, you should eat most fermented foods hot so that the probiotics are fully activated.

These are just a few benefits and misconceptions of fermented foods. By employing the right methods of fermenting and preparing, you can get the most out of them