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Thu, Nov 14, 2019

What is Fermentation? What Are the Benefits of Fermented Foods?

The chemical description of fermentation: it is the process of a chemical breakdown of a substance into a simpler substance by giving of heat and foaming in the presence of bacteria, yeasts and other microorganisms. 

Consumption of fermented foods is often seen among healthy nutrition recommendations. Fermented foods and their properties are not actually newly discovered. So, what are the reasons of fermented foods are suddenly become trendy in all over the world?

Fermentation is a preservation method in food products dating back to many years. While the invention of the refrigerator was only in recent history, ancient societies used fermentation to prevent food spoilage, especially during the cold winter months.

Fermentation process is currently used in the production of foods such as cheese, wine, sauerkraut, yogurt and kefir.

Fermentation ensures the increasing of the probiotic richness of foods while preventing the food spoilage. Thus, it is argued that it is beneficial for digestive health and immune system.

Increasing in the food variety has recently caused excessive consumption of simple carbohydrates such as sugar, flour and bread. The beneficial bacterias in our flora started to decrease gradually due to new eating habits while the number of harmful bacteria began to increase. As a result, the prevalence of common diseases such as depression, various metabolic disorders and obesity has increased.

In summary, if you are feeling tired, unhappy and exhausted when you wake up in the morning, there is a high probability that something goes wrong in your bowels. Fermented foods consumed by children especially in winter months are much more effective alternatives to antibiotics given every time you visit a doctor.

Fermented Foods and Their Effects

Fermentation is also a yeasting process. Fermentation means that when living micro-organisms are mixed into one food, it turns into another food product.

Consider fermentation of milk into yogurt. Similarly, cereals such as rice,  millet and bulgur turn into boza after fermentation. Likewise, pickles are produced as a result of fermentation of vegetables.

Some of the fermented foods consumed worldwide are as follows: Kefir, sauerkraut, cheese, natto, kombucha tea, miso, salami, yogurt, bread, beer, wine and olives.

In addition, kimchi, tempeh, kombucha and yogurt are among the most consumed fermented foods. These foods are especially preferred in the diet menu of those who want to lose weight.

What is the Importance of Fermented Foods?

The health benefits of some foods are related to their fermentation. In this respect, it can be said that fermented foods are more beneficial than non-fermented foods.

The most important feature of fermentation is that food has started to be digested by beneficial bacterias before entering our body. The living bacteria in the food helps to ease the digestion and absorption of nutrients through our body by breaking down.

Vitamin B and iron, which are effective against cancer, are very difficult to digest by the body. By consuming fermented foods, the absorption of useful but difficult-to-digest vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B and iron can be made easier.

Some research suggests that fermented foods have a regulatory effect on the digestive tract. In a 6-week study of 274 adult patients diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS); 125 grams of yogurt and similar fermented products were given to the patients. At the end of the study, it was found that consumption of fermented products improved IBS symptoms such as bloating and stool frequency.

In addition, it was found that consumption of fermented food was effective in reducing the severity of disorders such as diarrhea, bloating, flatulence and constipation.

Effects of Fermented Foods on Immune System

Bacteria that live in our bowels have important effects on the immune system. Fermented foods are also probiotic foods and are thought to be effective on colds and upper respiratory tract disorders regarding this feature.

Fermented foods are also rich in vitamin C, iron and zinc. Another study shows that fermented foods boost the immune system in that respect.

Are Fermented Food Good for Digestive Health?

During the fermentation process, we outlined food being broken down by beneficial bacteria. During fermentation, fermented foods break down and are more easily digested by the human body than other foods.

For example, natural sugar in milk is converted into simpler sugars such as glucose and galactose during the fermentation process and is thus more easily digested.

According to a study, in adults with lactose intolerance, kefir was found to improve lactose digestion and tolerance.

Fermented Foods and Heart Health

Some research results on fermented foods suggest that probiotics have an effect on reducing blood pressure and lower LDL cholesterol, which is known as bad cholesterol.

Fermentation of Blütenpollen: Bienenbrot

Each of the bee products has different features and effects. In order to benefit from each of these properties, it is more useful to consume propolis, royal jelly and bee pollen separately of each other.

Bee pollen, which is obtained by collecting nectars from flowers, is known as “super food” thanks to its natural carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, lipids and amino acids.

The bees ferment the bee pollen so that they and their offspring can benefit from the features of the bee pollen. In this way, the bee bread is produced. Bee bread is the fermented form of pollen.

As a result of fermentation of the bee bread, the outer shell is shredded to reveal valuable components. When we consider pollen as an egg, bee bread represents the inside of the egg.

Fermentation of bee pollen is very important for bees. The bees that break down the outer film of the bee pollen with a special liquid that they secrete enable the release of vitamins and minerals in the bee pollen as well as making it easier to digest.

Bee bread is a natural product produced by fermenting bee pollen by bees and has probiotic properties.

Bee bread, propolis, royal jelly, bee pollen and raw honey are products that do not accumulate in the body but are digested naturally. Therefore, it can be consumed in both summer and winter. The important key point here is the daily intake of bee bread.

Daily use of bee bread in children older than 13 years and adults is 6-12 pieces; and for the children under the age of 13 is about 3-6.