The process of fermentation is a metabolic one that converts sugar into acids, gases or alcohol. Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of lacto-fermentation where natural bacteria feed on the sugar in the food creating lactic acid.
Cultures around the world have been eating fermented foods for years, from Sauerkraut in Germany, Kimichi in Korea and beer and wine just about everywhere.
The benefits of fermented foods are noted in many studies pertaining to cancer care and prevention due in great part for their ability to improve intestinal tract health, enhance immunity and to synthesize and enhance the bioavailability of nutrients.
The beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods have been shown to be effective for suppressing colon cancer and may also inhibit cancers of the breast, liver, small intestine and other organs.
Butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid created when microbes ferment dietary fiber in your gut, has been shown to induce programmed cell death of colon cancer cells. Cultured milk products may reduce your risk of bladder cancer by about 29 percent.
5 Reasons to Use Fermented Foods in Your Cancer Fighting Diet
Fermented foods contain probiotics. Probiotics are important to intake daily as they improve digestion, aid in our immune function and balance our intestinal bacteria.
Fermenting foods is like partially digesting them before they are consumed. This means that there will be less work that the body has to do to break them down. Due to this benefit it is interesting to note that many people who are lactose intolerant will be able to tolerate kefir, a fermented milk product.
Enzymes break down the food that we eat enabling nutrients to be absorbed into the bloodstream. The probiotics in fermented foods produce digestive enzymes that are essential when breaking down our food. This helps to make the nutrients in food more bioavailable for absorption.
Increases Nutrient Content of Food
Fermenting foods improves the quantity, availability and digestibility of some dietary nutrients. Fermentation of food with lactic acid bacteria increases folic acid in yogurt. Niacin and riboflavin levels in yogurt are increased with fermentation.
Supports our immune function
It is estimated that approximately 80% of our immune system is in our gut. Fermented foods enable better digestion and healthy gut flora, which in turn supports immune function. Fermented foods are also rich in vitamins and antioxidants, which help to strengthen immunity.
Here is a wonderful recipe for Fermented Quinoa Breakfast Bowl: