Health Benefits of Fermentation

Health Benefits of Fermentation

1. Improves Digestion
Fermentation breaks down nutrients into more easily digestible forms. When lactobacilli in fermented foods proliferate, their vitamin levels increase and digestibility is enhanced. When it comes to soybeans, this protein-rich bean is indigestible without fermentation. Fermentation breaks down the soybeans complex protein into readily digestible amino acids, giving us traditional Asian ingredients, such as miso, tamari (soy sauce) and tempeh.
2. Suppresses H. pylori
H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori infection) is an important risk factor for many gastrointestinal diseases. Some fermented foods serve useful for suppressing H. pylori infection.
3. Has Anticancer Effects
Cancer is caused by activation or mutation of abnormal genes, which control cell growth and division. Researchers believe probiotic cultures and fermented foods might decrease the exposure to chemical carcinogens by
• detoxifying the ingestion of carcinogens
• altering the environment of the intestine and decreasing metabolic activities or populations of bacteria that may generate carcinogenic compounds
• producing metabolic products that cause programmed cell death or apoptosis
• producing compounds that inhibit the growth of tumor cells
• stimulating the immune system to defend itself against cancer cell proliferation
4. Enhances Bioavailability of Nutrients
Fermentation helps create new nutrients and has been shown to improve the availability, digestibility and quantity of some dietary nutrients.
5. Reduces Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance
Lactobacillus consumes lactose in milk and transforms it into lactic acid that may be easier for individuals to digest. Lactic acid in yogurt reduces symptoms of lactose intolerance in individuals who are lactase-deficient. The beneficial effect appears to be a result of the lactic acid bacteria in fermented milk, increasing lactase in the small intestine.
6. Helps Treat Hepatic Disease
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the buildup of extra fat in the liver cells not caused by alcohol. Liver disease can cause liver swelling, scarring, and even lead to cancer or liver failure.
7. Improves Arthritis Symptoms
Most people know someone with arthritis. It is the leading cause of disability, with symptoms including aching, pain, stiffness and swelling of the joints. It is thought that inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms may be modulated by the consumption of fermented foods.
8. Treats Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Fermented milk supplemented with probiotics can exhibit a direct effect in the gut in managing inflammatory and functional bowel disorders. Clinical trials show that probiotics help reduce abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and flatulence in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease.

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