Fermented foods: are they good for our health?
The choice of consumers tends more and more towards fermented type foods. How are its foods more beneficial for health and how can we include them in our daily diet?
To dive into the world of fermentation, first here are some fermented foods:
- sourdough bread
- soy sauce
- apple cider vinegar
- miso paste
- umboshi paste
- raw milk yogurts
What is that?
Basically, the fermentation of food is a traditional preservation technique used since prehistoric times. This phenomenon is characterized by the transformation of the sugar in the food into lactic acid, acetic acid or alcohol. This transformation is due to the microorganisms naturally present in these products.
Why consume it ?
Aside from their digestive benefits, fermented foods help boost the immune system. They provide bacteria that enrich and diversify the microbiota, a pool of good bacteria found throughout our body. In fact, our immune system is mainly made up of the microbiota. The bacteria found there play several front-line roles, including that of attacking intrusive and infectious agents (pathogens).
What if you are an active person?
Often more concerned with bloating and digestive upset, maybe you tend to avoid things that cause bloating? The digestive system is alive and living things move, so it is normal to feel effects, especially at first when these foods are added.
Here are some ideas for making them part of your daily routine:
- To maximize your hydration post-workout or through the day, go for a drink of Kombucha.
- Switch up the routine and try sourdough bread for breakfast and use it to make your lunchtime sandwiches. For dinner, this bread goes perfectly with a good homemade soup before training.
- Kimchi for dinner? Try this traditional Korean dish made from fermented vegetables with pasta and seafood after a workout.
- For tofu eaters, try tempeh in your meals, you won’t be disappointed! It will bring novelty to your plates.
- A little soy sauce or tamari in your sauces and Asian meals after exercise, replaces the sodium lost in sweat, but be careful not to add salt, they are already quite salty to the taste.
- Make sure you’re getting enough fruits and vegetables each day. They are an important source of fiber and polyphenols, both of which promote healthy intestinal flora.
- Choose foods that contain probiotics and / or equip yourself with an over-the-counter probiotic supplement.
- Favor plant-based proteins to limit the less healthy fats in meat.
- Choose fresh and minimally processed products.
The key to a healthy microbiota is also to be creative and to diversify your food choices on a daily basis. Consuming fermented foods on a daily basis, among other things, can give our defensive system a little help and start the winter season on the right foot!
The Microbiome: Maintaining a healthy gut in the athlete : Natasha Haskey MSc RD Nutrition Consultant November 17, 2016