Fermentation is one of the oldest methods of food preservation. It’s also potentially among the most beneficial for your health. The process occurs when naturally-occurring bacteria, yeast or mold converts sugars in food into lactic acid, which helps preserve it and gives it a tangy flavor. Fermented foods like kimchi, kefir and sauerkraut are rich in vitamins (especially vitamin B12), minerals and friendly bacteria that can help improve digestion and immune system function. Most of us live a very fast paced life and choosing healthy food or unprocessed food can sometimes be hard to do. You can still reap the benefits of gut health, fermentation, and probiotic bacteria without too much effort by eating fermented foods.
Millions of nerves and neurons run between your gut and brain. Neurotransmitters and other chemicals produced in your gut also affect your brain. By altering the types of bacteria in your gut, it may be possible to improve your brain health.
Why is Gut health so important?Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria, some good and some bad. The gut microbiota has been linked with everything from obesity and anxiety to heart disease and cancer. So it’s no surprise that researchers are keenly interested in understanding how gut health affects our overall health. One way the gut microbiota influences our health is through its impact on gut-derived hormones that regulate our metabolism and caloric intake. These gut microbial metabolites have been shown to influence the brain through a pathway known as the gut-brain axis, in which messages travel from your gut to your central nervous system via neurotransmitters in order for you to feel full or satiated after eating. This is why fermented foods are so good for gut health. The gut-brain axis is the relationship between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract. It’s composed of the enteric nervous system, the central nervous system, and the hypothalamus. The gut-brain axis regulates our moods, social behavior, eating habits, energy levels and even metabolism! Your gut contains 500 million neurons, which are connected to your brain through nerves in your nervous system The vagus nerve is one of the biggest nerves connecting your gut and brain. It sends signals in both directions
- Fermented foods are a great way to get probiotics and gut health
- Live bacteria is crucial for digestive health and immunity
- Fermentation creates an acidic environment which helps to preserve food
- The fermentation process can also be used to make alcohol such as beer, wine, or champagne
- Fermentation has been around since ancient times with the discovery of yeast by scientists in 1837
- There are many different types of fermented foods including kimchi, sauerkraut, sourdough breads, pickles, tempeh, miso paste, yogurt (with live cultures), kefir (with live cultures), soy sauce (made from soy beans) etc…
- A stronger immune system
- Improved cognitive function
- Reduced inflammation throughout the body