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FERMENTED FOODS 101

Fermentation is an ancient method of preserving food which has been used by humans for thousands of years before the advent of refrigeration and other forms of preservation. Fermentation used to be a major source of beneficial bacteria, and they understood that there was some kind of connection between fermented foods, digestive health and the immune system.

 WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF FERMENTATION?

During fermentation a carbohydrate or sugar such as glucose or lactose is converted to a preservative called lactic acid. Lactic acid bacteria, mainly Lactobacillus species, are responsible for the fermentation process as they use that carbohydrate as an energy source. This results in an increase of beneficial bacteria known as probiotics. Probiotics are discussed in depth in the article“Probiotics and the quest for a healthy microbiome”. To give you an overview, probiotics are the beneficial bacteria which live in the colon. They create a healthy environment which results in several health benefits such as a strong immune system, efficient digestion, assists in weight loss or management and are also beneficial in depression and anxiety. The process of fermentation is still widely used today to make several foods such as yogurt, cheese, sourdough, sour cream, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and kombucha.

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF FERMENTED FOODS AND BEVERAGES?

They contain higher amounts of peptides and free amino acids

The proteolysis that occurs in fermenting milk results in a higher content of peptides and free amino acids, especially cysteine, histidine, and asparagine which play various roles in health, and produce a more digestible food than milk. They are also higher in B vitamins, even vitamin B12 as well as lactase and lactic acid.

 Fermented dairy products are better tolerated by lactose-intolerant individuals

The lactose concentration is broken down by the bacteria- firstly in the fermentation process and also in the stomach when the bacteria die and release this enzyme (lactase), which allows lactose-intolerant individuals to consume the fermented milk product (yogurt, sour cream, cheese).

 Rich source of probiotics

Fermented foods are incredibly rich sources of beneficial bacteria. One teaspoon of fermented food has about 10 trillion colony-forming units of bacteria.

 The beneficial bacteria act as potent detoxifiers

Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride is the author of the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Nutritional Program. She mentions in her book that fermented and cultured foods are instrumental in restoring the body’s natural detoxifying system. She also mentions that “the cell wall of the bacteria have chelators; molecules that grab hold of mercury, lead, aluminium, arsenate, and anything else toxic, they hold them until they’re removed through stool.”

 Promotes a healthy immune system

80% of your immune cells reside in your digestive system which leads us to the conclusion: a healthy gut leads to a healthy immune system. This has also been proven in several studies. Probiotics and beneficial bacteria improve the integrity of the cells lining the digestive system. This prevents harmful bacteria from leaking into the blood system and being transported somewhere else in the body.

WHERE DOES FUTURELIFE® FIT IN?

You may be wondering what on earth fermented foods has to do with FUTURELIFE®. Well, not much to be honest howeverFUTURELIFE® Bran Flakes and Barley with Probiotic Capsuleshas the bragging rights of being the world’s first 2in1 breakfast to combine fibre and live beneficial cultures (Probiotics) which are packaged separately to retain their nutritional properties.

The following FUTURELIFE® products contain fibre and the prebiotic inulin which when consumed acts as food to selectively grow healthy bacteria already existing in your digestive tract. Inulin can also assist you in aiming to increase your prebiotic intake to promote probiotic growth.

  • FUTURELIFE® Smart food™
  • FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™
  • FUTURELIFE® ZERO Smart food™
  • FUTURELIFE® CRUNCH Smart food™

REFERENCES

  1. SN Chilton, JP Burton, G Reid. Inclusion of Fermented Foods in Food Guides around the World. Nutrients. 2015;7:390-404
  2. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/07/14/gut-microbes-for-healthy-immune-system.aspx
  3. http://www.gapsdiet.com/Home_Page.html

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