The Joys and Health Benefits of Fermented Foods.

I love kimchi. Spicy. Tangy. Awesome.

Fermented food has been used for centuries as a way to preserve food, but it also played a very important nutritional role. In fact, in some ways it changed the world.

Fermentation—a chemical process by which a carbohydrate is converted into an alcohol or an acid—has long been used in cultures all over the world as a food preserving technique. While beer and wine are produced by ethanol fermentation, where sugars are converted to the alcohol ethanol, fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt are made by lactic acid fermentation.  A bacteria called lactobacilli converts the starches and sugars in fruits or vegetables into lactic acid, which accounts for the distinct, sour flavor and smell of these foods.

Fermenting foods increases their nutritive value; for example, higher levels of niacin and riboflavin are found in fermented yogurt.[1] One of the main reasons why fermented foods are healthy is their high probiotic content.” (Source)

I’ve written a couple times about gut health over the past year (here and here). It’s so incredibly important! And fermented food is a great way to help your gut health.

Here are three fantastic articles on fermented food that I think you will enjoy…

Magical Sour Cabbage: How Sauerkraut Helped Save the Age of Sail. How 8,000 pounds of sauerkraut helped defeat the scourge of the seas: Scurvy.

7 Reasons Why Fermented Foods are Healthy. This is a great introduction and overview of fermentation.

A Living Larder: The Joys of Fermentation. This is a great article about how Cortney Burns has turned fermented food into an art.

Please share this article with someone you know who loves cooking. Also tell us what you’ve learned about fermented foods in the comments below.

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