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Health benefits of fermented foods!!

I’m sure you are all wondering what is the picture attached to this article. Well, it is fermented carrots which I made in a workshop for fermented foods. All of us have heard about fermented foods like iddlies, dosas, Dhoklas etc. but there are other foods too like fermented vegetables, olives, sauerkraut etc. Why are these foods important to us? And how do they help? Let us go right in and see.

1. Did you all know that our digestive system is made up of about 100 trillion bacteria and many are still undetected.

2. These bacteria help in maintaining the gut microbiome and prevents inflammation inside the body. It is inflammation that also leads to conditions like obesity and other lifestyle related diseases.

3. Fermented foods are helpful because they provide a spectrum of probiotics that can keep the digestive tract healthy and prevents diseases.

4. If you all remember fermenting is not new to us. Even our grandparents had every meal with curd and pickles both of which are fermented.

5. They used to preserve food during lean periods using this process. Eg. Cabbage could be fermented and preserved for months and this is called sauerkraut. And cheese (fermented milk) lasts longer than milk, right?

6. Fermentation enhances taste and adds nutrients to the foods. Vitamin B12 which is a challenge for vegetarians is high in all fermented foods.

7. Not all fermented foods have the same benefits. It is important to see if the bacteria are living. Curd has live bacteria, but cheese does not, and vegetables soaked in brine has live bacteria but not the ones soaked in vinegar.

8. So how are iddies and dokhlas different? Well, they do not contain live cultures but the bacteria in them makes them easily digestible and are hence highly recommended as healthy foods.

9. So, in the picture below you have brine(Himalayan pink or rock salt in certain proportions ), garlic pods and chilli soaked for 3 to 5 days . It’s yummy and a treasury of probiotics.

So, please use fermented foods in your diet. A word of caution though soaking in brine is not the best option for hypertensives. Pls remember!!Hope this was enlightening. Do let me know if there are any specific topics that you want me to talk about. Have a lovely weekend.

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